CORONAVIRUS: King County leaders’ recommendations for you, as new case numbers are announced at ‘critical moment’ in local fight

(Added: Archived video of today’s briefing)

While we’ve been publishing nightly roundups of each day’s local coronavirus (COVID-19)-related highlights, and will continue to do that, today we’re publishing King County’s daily news release sooner, because it includes recommendations that everyone will want to consider. Here it is:

State and local officials announced today new recommendations to King County residents aimed at reducing their risk of exposure to COVID-19. We understand these actions will have a tremendous impact on the lives of people in our community. We are making these recommendations in consultation with CDC based on the best information we have currently to protect the public’s health.

This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in King County and these measures can potentially impact the spread of the disease.

Public Health is recommending, but not requiring, the following steps:

· People at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups of people as much as possible, including public places with lots of people and large gatherings where there will be close contact with others. People at higher risk include:

o People 60 and older

o People with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes

o People who have weakened immune systems

o People who are pregnant

· Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so. Taking these measures can help reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and help minimize absenteeism due to illness

· If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings.

· Public Health is not recommending closing schools at this time unless there has been a confirmed case in the school. Public Health – Seattle & King County also respects an individual school’s decisions about closures or postponement of activities as each school knows the needs of their community best.

· All people should not go out when they are sick.

· Avoid visiting hospitals, long term care facilities, or nursing homes to the extent possible. If you need to go, limit your time there and keep six feet away from patients.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Because of the “large gatherings” recommendation, we are starting to get word of some cancellations – we have launched a list here that we will continue to update as info comes in. Now back to today’s news release:)

More detail on these measures will be available at

Case update:

COVID-19 test results have come back from the Washington State Public Health Laboratory confirming ten additional cases of COVID-19 in King County residents including one death. With these ten new results, the total number of cases in King County is 31. The total number of deaths is nine.

The ten new cases are in:

· A female in her 60s, Life Care resident, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth

· A male in his 50s, associated with Life Care, not hospitalized

· A male in his 60s, Life Care resident, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth

· A female in her 70s, Life Care resident, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth

· A male in his 60s, Life Care resident, hospitalized at Evergreen

· A female in her 90s, Life Care resident, was hospitalized at Evergreen and died on 3/3/20

· A female in her 70s, Life Care resident, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth

· A male in his 30s, no known exposure, not hospitalized

· A female in her teens, associated with Life Care, not hospitalized

· A male in his 80s, a resident of Life Care, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth

No other details about the 10 cases reported today are available currently.

21 other cases, already reported earlier by Public Health, include:

· A female in her 40s, worked at LifeCare, never hospitalized and is recovering at home

· A female in her 60s, family member of a confirmed case of COVID-19, not hospitalized

· A male in his 70s, a frequent visitor of LifeCare, hospitalization status unknown currently

· A male in his 20s, unknown exposure, hospitalized at Swedish Issaquah

· A male in his 20s, unknown exposure, hospitalized at Swedish Issaquah

· A female in her 80s, resident of LifeCare, never hospitalized, died on 2/26/20

· A male in his 50s, resident of LifeCare, hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center and died on 2/26/20

· A male in his 50s, hospitalized at Highline Hospital. No known exposures. He is in stable but critical condition. He had no underlying health conditions.

· A male in his 70s, a resident of LifeCare, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The man had underlying health conditions, and died 3/1/20

· A female in her 70s, a resident of LifeCare, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The woman had underlying health conditions, and died 3/1/20

· A female in her 80s, a resident of LifeCare, was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth. She is in critical condition.

· A female in her 80s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. This person died on 3/1/20.

· A female in her 90s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland.

· A male in his 70s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The man has underlying health conditions, and is in critical condition

· A male in his 70s was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth. He had underlying health conditions and died on 2/29/20.

· A man in his 60s, hospitalized at Valley Medical Center in Renton.

· A man in 60s, hospitalized at Virginia Mason Medical Center.

· 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 and died on 3/2/20

· 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 2/28/20 at EvergreenHealth

What Public Health is doing:

This is a massive undertaking and we have a talented, dedicated team digging in to learn everything we can to protect the health of our community. What we have seen with the level of community spread has raised the level of concern about the immediate threat of COVID-19, particularly for vulnerable populations such as people over 60, those with underlying health conditions or who are immune compromised.

King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center:

· If you are in King County and believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, or if you’re a healthcare provider with questions about COVID-19, contact our novel coronavirus call center: 206-477-3977.

· The call center will be open daily from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM PT.

· For general concerns and questions about COVID-19, please call the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.

When to seek medical evaluation and advice:

· If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call your healthcare provider. Do not go to the emergency room. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.

· If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

In addition to the recommendations listed above, the public can help:

1) 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.

2) Stay home when sick.

3) Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.

4) Stay away from people who are ill, especially if you are 60 and older or have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or a weakened immune system.

4) Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website ( or blog (

Remember to take every day preventive action such as watching hands, and if you are sick stay home. During an outbreak with a new virus there is a lot of uncertainty. Our guidance and advice is subject to change as we learn more. We will continue to keep you updated.

At the news conference, County Executive Dow Constantine announced that in addition to the Top Hat modular-housing quuarantine site announced yesterday (here’s our coverage on White Center Now), they’ve chosen sites in Interbay and North Seattle, and a motel in Kent.

(This will be part of today’s toplines in our nightly roundup.around mid-evening, and whatever else of note happens today, unless something West Seattle-specific emerges sooner.)

52 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: King County leaders' recommendations for you, as new case numbers are announced at 'critical moment' in local fight"

  • WSB March 4, 2020 (2:02 pm)

    This was all part of the county briefing that just concluded; we’ll add the archived video when available. (Update: video added)

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (2:10 pm)

      Briefing video added – it’s the raw turnaround so you have to pull the playback bar to 21 minutes to get to the start.

      • WSB March 4, 2020 (5:26 pm)

        Update – they’ve cleaned up the archived version so the video above starts right at the briefing’s beginning, no more 21 minutes of visual “dead air.”

  • Sue Eng March 4, 2020 (2:39 pm)

    Thank you so much for reporting the facts in an easy to read format and in a timely manner. 

  • Mr J March 4, 2020 (2:42 pm)

    I heard Belle Mente in Seaview closed today because several kids and a few teachers had fevers. Can anyone confirm this and if it’s true they should let their neighbors and community know. 

  • Grant March 4, 2020 (2:47 pm)

    Your efforts with these details are very impressive, and are seldom matched by other media outlets who just want to fan the flames.One thing worth clarifying in some of your posts is that there has not been a death in Snohomish County (despite vast media reports to the contrary).   That death occurred at the same hospital in Kirkland in a person who was initially counted as one of Snohomish County’s original cases.So now, the only death in all of The Americas to occur outside of King County, WA, was the one just newly announced in Placer County, California, in an 80+ year-old woman who had recently been on a cruise ship (not thee cruise ship).

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (2:56 pm)

      There HAS been a death in Snohomish County – that was mentioned again today at the King County briefing – 9 deaths in King Co., 10 statewide including the Sno. Co. death. I am just focusing on the local (King County) numbers though maybe it would be helpful to start including in the nightly roundups the state and national totals.

      • Grant March 4, 2020 (3:19 pm)

        C’mon,  you as a media source can do better than this.(although you are STILL doing much better than nearly all others)You do so much fact-checking, but yet not this ‘fact’.Here is the coronavirus link  right from SnoCo health dept. SnoCo is perfectly appropriate in citing all cases to have been ID’d there, and then listing one as having died (***rather than pretending he disappeared) …   even they freely spell-out that the person  “was hospitalized in King County with underlying conditions”.  (yesterday that same website stated that the SnoCo deceased person had been AT Evergreen Health)So please, this nation needs you to keep sharing accurate details which, at this point, would help to curb the mass hysteria which may indeed transpire as the result of rampant misinformation.  (the point of significance being that the hospital where so many died is less than 2 miles from the LifeCare retirement home that so very many have in common)  (statistically, far better than if the SnoCo death had been in Marysville or the like)This isn’t a Little League game at Alki field.  It’s more important.(and I admit to assuming this gravely ill person did not just break free of the hospital in Kirkland and hitchhike 4 miles to succumb in SnoCo)  (the wording on their website should have been precise)

        • A March 4, 2020 (3:50 pm)

          You just want them to say the person was *from* Snohomish County and *died* in King County?Ok. Remember though that it is extremely relevant to know where a person lived in the case of an epidemic, because that’s where they exposed people before they were hospitalized.

          • WSB March 4, 2020 (3:57 pm)

            People, this is how the STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH lists deaths

            Today’s update
            2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Washington
            Positive (confirmed) * † 39
            Deaths 10
            * Positive

            Snohomish County – 8, including 1 death
            King – 31, including 9 deaths

          • Grant March 4, 2020 (4:25 pm)

            First of all, to WSB:   “how they lists deaths” is not relevant to the reality before your eyes.”how they list deaths” is only to avoid double-counting, or missed counts.The factual reality remains that the only person in all of The Americas to have died outside of King County, WA  from the 2020 coronavirus is the newly announced 80+-year-old woman from Placer County, CA..This is statistically important for the implication that the one SnoCo reported deceased was likely more near to Kirkland than he was to Stanwood or Mukilteo, thus reassuring the surviving masses that the threat is still far more localized than the international media would have Americans believe at this point.Just saw this:“The New York Times reported, “The two people live in the same county, but are not known to have had contact with one another, and the second case occurred well after the first would no longer be expected to be contagious. So the genetic findings suggest that the virus has been spreading through other people in the community for close to six weeks, according to one of the scientists who compared the sequences.”   (referencing our area)which is more relatively good news, for reiterating that the virus has had a lengthy chance to affect far more people, but that it has only managed a significant stronghold on a small area in Kirkland and surrounds.Now c’mon, WSB…    you are on the way toward making your positive mark in all of this, but the whole picture is important to spell-out in detail rather than just parrot the crap we keep hearing from larger media outlets.And no matter your size,  reporting “facts” remains the international standard for free media.and to  A:   I am entirely with you…  that’s why it is important to discern that the SnoCo resident(?) who died (resided?) much more near to Kirkland than he was to Stanwood.   Everyone everywhere will be (less discouraged) to learn that all of the area deaths happened very near to one another, vs. having been arbitrarily scattered all around the state.If right now you told the world that coronavirus will be randomly mailed to households all across Washington it would cause a frenzy because of the seeming randomness.  So far, this has not mirrored a random distribution, so perhaps by underscoring that, people will be less panicked about hand sanitizer and face masks and TP.

          • sw March 5, 2020 (8:38 pm)

            Where is Grant?  C’mon, Grant…  drop some more of that wisdom you’re attempting to push. You seem to have all the answers. 

        • Michelle March 4, 2020 (4:22 pm)

          So cool that you took the time to lecture an award winning journalist on her duty. I mean where would she and the other reporters be without you? The accuracy and fact checking behind WSB is phenomenal as you, yourself, point out. WSB comes with receipts for everything they post but keep doing you with your “but he died in KingCo” argument. 

        • Get yo facts str8 March 4, 2020 (7:18 pm)

          Grant – Life care center of Kirkland is a “skilled nursing facility”, not a retirement home. Not everyone that resides there is retired. Get your facts straight.

        • JR March 4, 2020 (7:47 pm)

          What an odd critique to push so assertively. The facts are from government sourced information and presented clearly. GRANT has clearly chosen this hill to die on for some reason. My only question is which county is the hill located in?

          • Michelle March 4, 2020 (7:57 pm)

            JR…wish there was a way to upvote this comment. I literally started cackling. Thanks for the levity!

          • KM March 4, 2020 (9:25 pm)


  • Kera March 4, 2020 (2:49 pm)

    NO CAPTIONS – I cant read lips :( 

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (2:54 pm)

      I’m sorry, this one I have no control over, the video is from King County TV/Livestream.

    • Alice Enevoldsen March 4, 2020 (3:39 pm)

      Thank you for mentioning this accessibility issue.WSB – if you can find a link anyone has posted to YouTube, autocaptions (which aren’t great, but better than nothing) will be generated eventually.

  • DR March 4, 2020 (3:09 pm)

    Re: my earlier comment. Hand sanitzer, wipes etc have NOT been tested on this new strain. There’s NO current evidence on their effectivity. They may be great, they may be inefective. My comment stems from the blind panic to empty the shelves thinking these are cure alls. GOOD HYGENE should be done 365 day’s a year! Yes, USE these product’s but my point is don’t ASSUME they’re you’re best and only defence. These products should simply be a part of a good hygene habit-not your only one.

    • A March 4, 2020 (3:46 pm)

      Read the actual data, this type of virus is easier to kill than others.

    • Km March 4, 2020 (4:12 pm)

      No offense, DR, but I’m sticking with the WHO and the CDC rather than “DR on the neighborhood blog” as my trusted source.

    • Ice March 5, 2020 (2:34 am)

      This is just backpedaling on your previous quackery. Please take a microbiology class.

  • coffeedude March 4, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    As a person who was contacted today (around noon) that I was exposed to a person who tested positive,  I called to the health department number that I was given, waited on hold for 1.25 hours, and was told by a really nice lady, who is a nurse, that I don’t even begin to hit the testing requirements.  She stated that everyone needs to wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds (time yourself you would be amazed how long 20 seconds really is) and do this frequently, if you are out and about in the public.  Also, she said that use common sense when out in the public.  And don’t freak out.  If we all keep our areas clean and ourselves clean we can easily combat this.

    • DH March 4, 2020 (5:42 pm)

      I know most cases are mild but I’m wishing you the best. Take Care! 

      Also, thanks WSB your reporting is awesome and appreciated!

  • Cindi Barker March 4, 2020 (4:01 pm)

    Thank you, thank you! best consolidated reporting anywhere. So helpful to be able to come to your one “day of date” and find all the relevant links for the day..

  • Anon March 4, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    Maybe don’t worry about having any supplies… It sounded like king County just said go back to work a few days after your fever breaks, to hell with a quarantine period, or testing the community, or closing schools/events. I guess he meant “containment phase” as a euphemism for something else. If you’re sick enough to be hospitalized they will provide toilet paper, hopefully.  Please correct me if I missed something. Only 91 tested!? They should drop the “containment” if they really mean, slowing impact, those are 2 very different things.

    • DH March 4, 2020 (5:48 pm)

      What exactly do you want them to do? They have told their employees to telecommute if they can. They have cancelled all nonessential meetings. They are encouraging the private sector to do the same. This thing may last months. Do you think people should not work for months? How about the people living paycheck to paycheck? What do you expect them to do? Enforce marshal law and shut everything down? For how long? This thing CANNOT be stopped. It can only be slowed down.  

  • HS March 4, 2020 (4:20 pm)

    Phew. Rough crowd today. 

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (5:10 pm)

      On the hotline too. But we’re always happy to answer phones and texts. Even the guy who was trying to find someone, anyone, in Seattle news media who would be interested in his coronavirus song. (?) Invited him to email it … still waiting.

      • HS March 4, 2020 (5:17 pm)

        Haha! There have been a few circulating on Twitter. Mostly hand washing songs for kids.

        • Janelle March 4, 2020 (9:25 pm)

          Thanks for this lightness, needed it ;) People are stressed, understandably, and I think some humor, and kindness, can help us all get through this weird time. I would also really love to hear about any TWST sightings, WSB. Thank you for all you do!

  • Lola March 4, 2020 (4:22 pm)

    DrWhy then is everyone swabbing everything down with the wipes and hand sanitizer? I would think someone would know if it can keeps things at bay or at least keep everyone else from getting it if we use these products.  I have even heard that Zinc Lozenges are supposed to help. 

  • dftl March 4, 2020 (4:23 pm)

    It’s flu season without immunity. This too shall pass.        

  • pegsrags March 4, 2020 (5:19 pm)

    TIME TO CLOSE SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!! Please do not wait until this has spread through the entire city.. Yes, we are being told  it is not as severe for the younger populations, but they go home to parents and grandparents. What are these leaders waiting for? 

    • Anon March 4, 2020 (5:34 pm)

      Maybe for a drop in retiree benefit obligations.

    • KM March 4, 2020 (6:07 pm)

      They will then spend more time with parents and grandparents, many who work. I understand the concern, but it is far more complex than just closing the schools, many of these children have to be cared for while they are out of school.

    • ej March 4, 2020 (6:39 pm)

      They are waiting for direction from Public Health and/or CDC. Currently, the recommendation is to clean and/or close schools where a case is suspected or confirmed.  I’m good with letting the experts guide the decisions. If you or a family member fall into the high risk category then make a choice that is best for your family. 

    • LR March 4, 2020 (11:49 pm)

      It’s paranoid and panicked reactions like this that make these situations worse. Closing all schools immediately could make things much worse and certainly will not help. I hope cooler heads are making decisions that are intelligent and logical.  Not the meaningless panicked disruption like instantly shutting down all of the schools. 

    • Concerned Neighbor March 5, 2020 (7:51 am)

      Exactly what about the single parent homes of those with underlying health issues or the all the homes of the grandparents raising grandkids? What happens to all these kids if the parents die off or all the grandparents die. Some people are truly alone and only have each other and don’t have other family who can step in and take over. I know a lady in West Seattle who has health problems and is in an only parent home of 3 younger kids, the dad died a few years ago and this mom is an only child with no family left except her 3 kids. This is not being taken seriously at all and in fact so many people it seems have an I don’t care attitude of it’s just killing older or people with health problems.i guess they are waiting until this hits closer to home or sickens several more and perhaps killing a a bunch more people. I’ve talked to many worried parents in the area who think the online schooling option through Seattle schools should be available for all students and families who wish. A school district up north of Seattle is offering that. 

    • Stickerbush March 5, 2020 (8:02 am)

      Go to 42:15 on the video here for an answer to the question of why public schools are not being closed at this time.

  • zephyr March 4, 2020 (5:23 pm)

    Quote:  “Phew. Rough crowd today.


    Really.  Good gosh, such unappreciative readers up there.  


    Hey, WSB, you all are hometown heroes.  We are unbelievably lucky to have your dedication and hard work.  Thank you so much for all you do–constantly.

  • Mj March 4, 2020 (5:55 pm)

    It’s time for news on how the Admiral Turkey is doing!

    • FW March 4, 2020 (8:39 pm)

      Sighted today!

      • rme March 4, 2020 (9:55 pm)

        Oh thank god. He’s the hero we need, not the hero we deserve. 

    • Hoku March 4, 2020 (10:59 pm)

      I think I saw the West Seattle turkey in Arbor Heights today. Is that likely? What neighborhood(s) has the turkey been seen in recently?

  • Anon March 4, 2020 (6:12 pm)

    There are still events going on at the West Seattle Senior Center? My friend’s mom is going to a dance there with her retirement community tonight. @WSB Is this for real?

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (7:08 pm)

      Yes, there are. I’m here now covering a meeting. Dance Time is on in the big room.

      P.S. I don’t know how many people are at Dance Time but the meeting barely breaks the “10 people” that the county cited for whether something’s a “large gathering” or not … 11 people counting me.

  • Jen March 4, 2020 (10:38 pm)

    Northshore school district just closed for two weeks, apparently. 

  • Greg March 5, 2020 (5:03 am)

    How many cases there are is totally unknown. The CDC has not been testing people other than in small numbers. We have no idea if there are 30 cases or 2,000 cases in King county. If it’s been circulating here for weeks, as evidence suggests, the number of cases— I suspect— is being vastly underreported. Until they are testing thousands of people a day we will have no idea how large or small this public health risk is.  The CDC is not doing a good job. 

Sorry, comment time is over.