Clallam County OKs contract extensions for Social Distancing Center

Clallam County commissioners have approved two-month contract extensions for security, medical staff and operations of the COVID-19 Social Distancing Center.

The three commissioners voted unanimously on Nov. 17 to approve professional services agreements with Norpoint Tactical, Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic and Olympic Community Action Programs to maintain the status quo at the low-barrier isolation and quarantine facility though Dec. 31.

The Social Distancing Center in west Port Angeles houses homeless individuals who cannot maintain 6 feet of physical distance during the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been serving about 50 to 60 guests per day, Interim Clallam County Health and Human Services Director Kevin LoPiccolo said.

The security contact with Norpoint Tactical is for a not-to-exceed $42,496. A Norpoint officer will staff the facility from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and on-call security will be available at night.

The medical staffing contract with Olympic Peninsula Community Clinic is for a not-to-exceed $4,995. OPCC provides a medical doctor at no cost, and a medical assistant and case manager are available.

The operations contract with Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP) is for a not-to-exceed $131,223. OlyCAP provides managers, an on-site supervisor and a cadre of 10 shelter monitors.

Commissioners discussed the professional services agreements in a work session last week and approved the contracts without discussion Tuesday.

Meanwhile, county officials are negotiating an extended lease with the Port of Port Angeles and more state and federal funding to maintain the Social Distancing Center into May.

The county is renting the port facility near William R. Fairchild International Airport at a monthly cost of $15,000.

Serenity House of Clallam County officials plan to open an expanded shelter in May, reducing the need for the Social Distancing Center.

The county’s total cost to provide the facility is about $90,850 per month, LoPiccolo has said.

Clallam County has exhausted the $433,368 grant it received from the state Department of Commerce to operate the facility, which opened in April.

The county also received $1.5 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding for Health and Human Services projects like the shelter. That funding must be spent by the end of this year.

Other counties, including Jefferson, have reserved local hotel rooms for homeless individuals who have contracted COVID-19.

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