9:58 PM: Hours after last night’s announcement of King County’s first coronavirus (COVID-19) case, today brought news of three more, including the nation’s first death from the new virus. Here are the toplines of what’s emerged since:
KING COUNTY CASES: None reported in Seattle so far, though no location has been given for the one reported last night, a woman in her 50s with a “mild” case. The three additional ones reported today include the person who died, described by Seattle-King County Public Health as “a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions … a patient at EvergreenHealth Hospital [in Kirkland] but not a resident of the long-term care facility..” The other two “are associated with LifeCare nursing facility in Kirkland,” a health care worker in her 40s, currently in satisfactory condition at Overlake Hospital, and a woman in her 70s, a resident at LifeCar, now in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital. Health authorities say they’re expecting more cases because “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.”
WHAT’S BEING DONE – KING COUNTY: King County Executive Dow Constantine activated the King County Emergency Operations Center “to coordinate the work of cities across the region.” His news release also announced, “King County Metro has also established an Incident Management Team to develop policy recommendations, operational strategies, and protocols for sustaining Metro operations in all contingencies.” At a media briefing downtown this afternoon, he said buses are being cleaned/vacuumed daily, and that any bus found to have “unsanitary conditions” will be taken out of service to be cleaned again.
WHAT’S BEING DONE – SEATTLE: Mayor Jenny Durkan said her Emergency Executive Board already has been working on the coronavirus response since January, and her news release said “the City will be activating its Emergency Operating Center to ensure continued coordination with our city, local, and state partners.”
WHAT’S BEING DONE – STATE: Gov. Jay Inslee said the state’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated since January; today he issued an emergency proclamation (PDF) “that directs state agencies and departments to utilize state resources and do everything reasonably possible to assist affected communities responding to and recovering from COVID-19 cases.”
WATCH TODAY’S MEDIA BRIEFING: Best archived unedited version we could find:
NATIONAL OVERVIEW: Here’s updated info from the Centers for Disease Control, including recommendations for what you can/should do.
WHICH IS WORSE, CORONAVIRUS OR FLU? The New York Times takes on that question here.
ADDED SUNDAY MORNNG: 2 more King County cases just announced, including one at a downtown Seattle hospital.
ADDED 6 PM SUNDAY: Another update – now 10 cases total, including 2 deaths, in King County. We’ll publish a wrapup of the Sunday developments later this evening. (Note: URL corrected)