DSHS limits visits at its 24/7 facilities

Release Date: 
Mar 16 2020
DSHS Office of Communications
Adolfo Capestany
(360) 902-8007 or (360) 878-1240


UPDATED VERSION 1p.m.: Clarifies limited, professional visitation at all facilities

OLYMPIA – In accordance with a proclamation by Governor Jay Inslee late yesterday, and upon further clarification, the Department of Social and Health Services will stop most visitors to its 24/7 facilities effective immediately.

“This was a difficult, but necessary decision,” said Sean Murphy, Assistant Secretary for the DSHS Behavioral Health Administration. “The most important thing right now is to stop the virus from spreading into our institutions and keeping our clients and staff safe.”

The residential habilitation centers and state-operated living alternatives operated by the agency’s Developmental Disabilities Administration will also limit visitors effective immediately. This is based on guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The prohibition does not apply to end of life situations.

Certain visitor types including legal professionals, advocacy groups and the state’s Ombudsman program, are prescriptively allowed by the Governor’s Proclamation and federal guidance respectively, and may occur in the facilities listed below. These visitor types are still subject to case-by-case consideration and all COVID-19 infection control practices must be exercised. The facilities include:

  • Western State Hospital in Lakewood
  • Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake
  • Fort Steilacoom Competency Restoration Program in Lakewood
  • Maple Lane Competency Restoration Program in Rochester
  • Yakima Competency Restoration Program in Yakima
  • The Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island
  • Rainier School in Buckley
  • Yakima Valley School in Yakima
  • Lakeland Village in Medical Lake​
  • Fircrest School in Shoreline

There are 67 SOLAs statewide affected by the proclamation. Also, based on CDC and CMS guidance, the same restrictions are in place for DDA clients in the community at long-term care facilities.

The Child Study and Treatment Center in Lakewood will continue to allow visitors to the children residing there, however, the visitation will be limited to one adult visitor per day.

Visitors permitted will be asked if they have had a fever, cough, shortness of breath, contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 or if they have traveled internationally within the past two weeks. They will have their temperature taken. If they are running a temperature or answer yes to any of the questions, they will not be allowed to enter the facility.

This screening process will remain in place until the risk of COVID-19 has been mitigated.