The Washington Department of Health is planning to open quarantine and isolation facilities to house Washingtonians unable to self-quarantine. The move has sparked fears that the program could be used to forcibly detain American citizens who violate the state's health mandates. 

Details of the plans surfaced when the health department put out a call to recruit workers, or “Isolation & Quarantine Team Consultants,” with salaries of up to $4,286 a month, Summit News reported

According to the job listing, one of these facilities is located “within a motel in Lewis County.” Employees are required to provide for those infected with COVID with “transportation to and from the facility in vans that have been altered to separate airflow to protect the driver.” 

“Team members provide for all aspects of the guest’s stay to include providing laundry services, delivering hygiene products, delivering ready-made foods or microwaveable foods to the guests,” the listing adds.

“People who test positive for COVID-19 or who are exposed to someone who tests positive are asked to isolate or quarantine (I & Q) away from other people for 10 to 14 days in order to reduce risk of transmitting the virus to others,” the Washington Department of Health website states. “Most people are able to isolate or quarantine in their own homes. In Washington State, providing for I & Q is the responsibility of local jurisdictions.”

It continues: “The state Isolation and Quarantine facility was created for individuals who are not Washington residents but are traveling in our state and test positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed to someone who tests positive and do not have a residence or other location in which to spend their 10-14 day isolation or quarantine period.”

Efforts to open quarantine facilities follow a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in summer suggesting that “high-risk individuals” be relocated to keep them isolated from the rest of the population. 

The document claims that the plan is designed “to reduce the number of severe COVID-19 cases by limiting contact between individuals at higher risk of developing severe disease (“high-risk”) and the general population (“low-risk”).”

When the Washington plan surfaced on social media through the job listing, many expressed alarm, suggesting that the state could forcibly quarantine anyone who breaks isolation rules. 

In Canada, two brothers were recently issued $7,000 in fines for refusing to stay at one of Trudeau’s so-called COVID hotels, Rebel News reported. Meanwhile, in Australia, the Victorian Department of Health has found itself in hot water over its hotel quarantine program that began last year, following allegations from WorkSafe that there have been 58 breaches of the Operational Health and Safety Act.

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