8 hospitals in Washington, including Tacoma General, designated to treat Ebola patients

Eight hospitals in Washington are taking extra steps to be able to care for a person infected with Ebola, the state Department of Health said this week.

The risk of someone in the state being infected with Ebola remains quite low.

Every health care provider must be able to screen and identify a person who might be infected, but these eight hospitals will be able to care for an infected person for the duration of their illness.

They are:

According to the state, the hospitals are working to meet the CDC guidelines for Ebola treatment facilities. Those include: providing intensive training to staff, evaluating and preparing space, ensuring an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, planning for waste storage and disposal, and developing contingency plans.

In Tacoma, MultiCare plans to convert some space at Tacoma General to a special communicable diseases unit. The unit will hold up to five patients, with room for expansion, according to a news release. Construction on that space will be done around the end of the year.

“When complete, the unit will include equipment and features to care for patients with a number of highly infectious diseases, not just Ebola, making it a useful addition to our community’s health care capabilities in the long term,” according to the release.