10:07 PM: Tonight health authorities announced two new presumed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our state, including the first one in King County. So it’s time for us to start reporting on it. First, here’s what’s new. From the Public Health/Seattle-King County announcement:
Today the Washington State Department of Health announced a positive test result for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a King County resident. The individual, a woman in her fifties, had recent travel to Daegu, South Korea. The resident is in home isolation and has mild illness.
Public Health – Seattle & King County is working to identify and contact those who may have come in contact with the confirmed case.
This is the first known case of novel coronavirus in King County.
Authorities did not say where in King County the patient lives. Also announced at tonight’s briefing, a new presumed case in Snohomish County, described as a juvenile patient whose school, Jackson High School in Everett, is closing for three days for cleaning. They don’t know how the teen was exposed to the virus.
The two cases announced tonight are the second and third in our state.
QUESTIONS? The state Health Department has set up “a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state, please call 800-525-0127 and press #.
The state’s news release includes this advice:
How can you prevent the spread of COVID-19? Prevention starts with practicing good personal health habits:
-Wash your hands often with soap and water,
-Stay home when you’re sick,
-Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue,
-Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
-Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing your stress can help you prevent getting COVID-19 and recover from it if you do.
Authorities stress that so far, risk is low, and – as with the aforementioned King County case – most cases are mild. Common questions are answered hee; The main Public Health-Seattle/King County infopage about the coronavirus situation is here. Lots of info from the state Health Department can be found here.
P.S. We’re creating a new coverage category, so any coronavirus (COVID-19)-related story we publish will be findable here.
11:25 AM: More King County cases are being announced today, including a death (on the Eastside, according to The Times).
1:25 PM: From today’s news release (we’ll likely publish a daily update later):
Public Health – Seattle & King County, Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting today four presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including one person who died.
Two of the confirmed cases are associated with LifeCare nursing facility in Kirkland, King County, Washington:
– One is a health care worker from LifeCare. She is a woman in her 40s, is currently in satisfactory condition at Overlake Hospital, and she has no known travel outside the United States.
– The second case, a woman in her 70’s, is a resident at LifeCare and is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital.
In addition, over 50 individuals associated with LifeCare are reportedly ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia or other respiratory conditions of unknown cause and are being tested for COVID-19. Additional positive cases are expected.
The death occurred in a patient at EvergreenHealth Hospital but was not a resident of the long-term care facility.
Public Health – Seattle & King County is current working with LifeCare to provide care for ill patients while protecting uninfected patients. The CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to support our efforts to identify, isolate and test all of those who may be at risk because of these new cases.