UPDATE: Public Health – Seattle & King County announced on Sunday afternoon four additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County residents, including one death, bringing the total of confirmed cases to ten. Today’s results include an additional death, bringing the total number of deaths in King County from COVID-19 to two.
King County Executive’s Office will join local and state public health officials on Monday to discuss the latest cases and the King County response to this outbreak to discuss the latest cases and the King County response to this outbreak.
The four new cases are:
- A woman in her 80s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The woman has underlying health conditions and is in critical condition.
- A woman in her 90s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The woman has underlying health conditions and is in critical condition.
- A man in his 70s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The man has underlying health conditions and is in critical condition.
- A man in his 70s was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth. He had underlying health conditions and died on 2/29/20.
Health officials say all four of the new cases stem from the potential outbreak at LifeCare nursing facility.
KING COUNTY -- Seattle and King County Public Health announced Sunday two more confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in King County residents.
The additional cases bring the total number of cases in King County to six. Public Health expects that number to rise as more people are tested and results come back. Local testing for the virus began Friday. (There are eight cases statewide as of midday Sunday.)
The two new cases are:
- A man in his 60s, hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton. The man has underlying health conditions, and is in critical but stable condition.
- A man in 60s, hospitalized at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. The man has underlying health conditions, and his status is critical.
Four other cases, already reported earlier by Public Health, include:
- A woman in her 50s, who had traveled to South Korea, recovering at home
- A woman in her 70s, who was a resident of LifeCare in Kirkland, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth
- A woman in her 40s, employed by LifeCare, who is hospitalized at Overlake Medical Center
- A man in his 50s, who was hospitalized and died at EvergreenHealth
Possible outbreak at Kirkland nursing home
The LifeCare nursing home with two confirmed cases - an employee and a resident - now has more than 50 people being tested for the virus and showing signs of respiratory illness. The facility is closed, with no visitors being allowed inside.
Nursing students from the Lake Washington Institute of Technology were at the LifeCare nursing facility last week. They're being closely monitored, along with the 110 residents and 180 LifeCare employees -- and people they're associated with.
The city of Kirkland says 25 firefighters and two officers are being quarantined because they've responded to various medical calls at LifeCare center over the past few weeks.
Some of the firefighters are under home quarantine, while others are quarantined at a Kirkland fire station.
The city says the fire department is still fully staffed.
Virus may have been spreading for weeks
In a release, Public Health says it is aware that the U.S. Postal Service is reporting that one of its employees was diagnosed with COVID-19. This person was already included in the six total cases.
According to a report in The New York Times, it's possible the virus has been unknowingly spreading in Washington state for about six weeks, since mid-January. That would mean up to 1,500 more people may have contracted the virus, and anywhere from 300-500 people would fall in the "most likely" to have it range.
Public Health also said it is quickly trying to identify close contacts of the six confirmed cases. These close contacts may include family members, co-workers, emergency responders and other contacts.
A team of CDC officials is currently working with Public Health.
How to protect yourself
- Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first.
- Stay home when sick
- Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website.
Public Health says the symptoms for COVID-19 are similar to the flu and the common cold. That's why it's important for you to call your primary care doctor first.
The CDC recommends that Americans avoid all non essential travel to South Korea, Italy and China, where the outbreak numbers are highest. Click here for travel updates from the CDC.