CORONAVIRUS: Monday updates – new numbers; local student being monitored for ‘possible exposure’; more

7:43 PM: We’re continuing daily roundups of coronavirus-related news, with a focus on King County. Here’s what’s happened today/tonight:

14 KING COUNTY CASES, INCLUDING 5 DEATHS: Here’s the list from today’s update by Seattle-King County Public Health:

The four new cases are in:

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.

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

A female in her 80s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. This person has now died
A female in her 90s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The woman has underlying health conditions, and is in critical condition
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
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

WATCH TODAY’S BRIEFING: Here’s the archived video of the King County briefing held at 11 am today:

CHIEF SEALTH STUDENT BEING MONITORED: Tonight, Chief Sealth International High School sent families a message saying that a student – who, it’s stressed, is NOT ILL – is “being monitored … in response to a possible exposure.” The school will remain open and is being cleaned tonight. Here’s the letter, sent to us by principal Aida Fraser-Hammer (or here in PDF):

ALSO ANNOUNCED: Today King County Executive Dow Constantine “immediately ordered the purchase of an area motel to be used to isolate patients in recovery as well as those in active treatment. The acquisition is expected to be finalized in a matter of days and available to Public Health by the end of the week. Location details will be made available when the transaction is complete. In addition, King County will place modular units on public properties in locations throughout King County.” KIRO TV’s Graham Johnson reports those modular units are currently stored on Harbor Island (where the county owns the old flour-mill site).

METRO SANITATION: Metro announced it’s intensifying its sanitation protocols, as explained here.

LOCAL SENIOR FACILITIES: We’ve been checking with West Seattle facilities. Again, NO local cases – but, out of an abundance of caution, at least one facility is closed to outside visitors (Quail Park [WSB sponsor]); another is discouraging them (The Kenney). We’re still waiting to hear back from some and expect more info tomorrow. We also checked with the Senior Center of West Seattle, which says it’s open, business as usual, but it’s posted health reminders.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: From Public Health authorities:

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 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.
Stay informed. Information is changing frequently.

P.S. Gov. Inslee stressed personal cleanliness, and calm, in his briefing today – here it is in full.

ADDED 11:57 AM TUESDAY: The newest King County info has just been released – see it here.

54 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Monday updates - new numbers; local student being monitored for 'possible exposure'; more"

  • HS March 2, 2020 (8:12 pm)

    I really appreciate the clarity and kindnesses toward families in the briefings. Again, thank you WSB for these updates. 

    • T March 2, 2020 (8:50 pm)

      I second your comments and thanks!

    • Following everything March 13, 2020 (6:21 pm)

      A hospital in Seattle area has sent out a note to staff, shared with me, suspending elective surgery and warning that “our local COVID-19 trajectory is likely to be similar to that of Northern Italy.” The hospital is down to a four-day supply of gloves.

      Source Twitter

  • csihs mom March 2, 2020 (8:37 pm)

    Both my kids goes to chief Stealth and I’m not sending them to school tomorrow.

    • Momkat March 2, 2020 (9:53 pm)

      I totally support your decision. I’d do the same if I had children at CSIHS.

      • csihs mom March 3, 2020 (7:13 am)

        Thank you so much Momkat. 

    • Ti johnson March 3, 2020 (2:52 pm)

      I completely am grateful that this parent is taking such great precautions for her children! Good for you I wish we had more parents like you!

      • csihs mom March 3, 2020 (3:27 pm)

        Thank you so much Ti johnson

  • Joey March 2, 2020 (9:42 pm)

    Thank you for the level headed, seemingly fact based updates to this issue I can find here. I’ve had to mute twitter and reddit for rampant sensationalism.  Very greatful I can rely on this to keep track as it develops in our area

  • J Steele March 2, 2020 (9:49 pm)

    Chief Sealth and Denny Middle School share one nurse. Teachers and students cross from one school to the other throughout the day. Is Denny also getting increased custodial care?

    • WSB March 2, 2020 (9:55 pm)

      We went over to look around the periphery (all sides of Sealth/Denny) after publishing this and couldn’t see anything from the outside so I can’t say firsthand but will be asking tomorrow.

    • Nurse Alison March 2, 2020 (10:19 pm)

      Denny and Sealth each have there own nurse on their side of the building.  Some Denny students do go over to Sealth for classes but no teachers go back and forth.  Just to clarify.

      • J Steele March 3, 2020 (8:11 pm)

        The teachers may not cross schools to teach, but they do cross. Otherwise my Middle-schooler would still be lost trying to deliver a message from the office of Denny to the band room in Sealth. One of her teachers was over there and helped her out.

  • mom March 2, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    Okay, so from what I am hearing, schools are just going to wait until a couple students catch the Corona Virus? There are probably a few students out there who may be exposed to the corona virus, without any symptoms. SPS so said that they have a plan for the students safety, but I haven’t seen that posted. many of us concerned parents have been wondering and commenting…

  • julie March 2, 2020 (10:11 pm)

    Is it safe to bring my kids to school? How do we know when to keep them home? Also thank you WSB for the updates, I appreciate it!

  • Zac March 2, 2020 (10:20 pm)

    It could be up to 2 weeks before someone shows symptoms, and those 2 weeks people are still contagious. Probably better to get used to the idea that this is happening. Best bet is to keep washing hands, and avoid touching your face. Being vigilant about hygiene is going to be a huge factor. Remember this can be killed on surfaces with disinfectant, so disinfect often until this blows over.

    • John Smith March 2, 2020 (11:52 pm)

      It’s not the end of tbe world. Its mortality rate is apparently not high, compared to other “pandemic’ viruses. Genetic analysis of the virus seems to indicate that it has been spreading for six weeks in our area, some people are asymptomatic (no symptoms, so not “sick”), and all the deaths in our area so far have apparently been in senior citizens whose respiratory “health” was already compromised/low/poor.

      • John Smith March 3, 2020 (1:10 am)

        It would not surprise me if smokers have a higher mortality rate than non-smokers.
        I have the impression that smoking cigarettes is still popular in China.

      • Anne March 3, 2020 (7:08 am)

        You know on news last night I saw that while mortality rate is only 2%-that’s a higher mortality rate than the flu. While it may not be” the end of the world” like previous poster said-for normally healthy people-it could be for our older folks, folks with underlying/pre-existing illnesses &  folks with compromised immune systems( there’s more out there than most realize).  No reason to panic-but also no reason to minimize concern . With no vaccine to help prevent-no Tamiflu -or other medicine to help treat like we have for  the flu -it is a legitimate worry especially for the vulnerable in our communities. 

        • sw March 3, 2020 (11:22 am)

          Don’t grasp onto that 2% figure too tightly.  The sample size is still very small compared to any given year of the flu, and once more cases of Covid-19 are reported that mortality percentage will drop considerably.  Wash your hands.  Don’t touch your face.  Disinfect your surfaces, especially phones and keyboards. 

      • J March 3, 2020 (7:21 am)

        In high schools and middle schools I would worry about the vaping students being at increased risk. Especially with the recent acute vaping lung damage that was going around.

        • Mmm March 3, 2020 (10:08 pm)

          I’m more concerned about people with asthma and severe allergies. 

      • newnative March 3, 2020 (8:36 am)

        “and all the deaths in our area so far have apparently been in senior citizens whose respiratory “health” was already compromised/low/poor.”This is false. At least one death of a man in his 50’s and another man of the same age with no underlying health issues is in critical condition. 

  • Bradley March 2, 2020 (11:39 pm)

    Due to Western Washington having not just the only deaths in the U.S., but 6, and the highest number of cases per capita, I think EVERY K-12 school west of the Cascades should be closed for 2 weeks.

  • Sealth Mom March 2, 2020 (11:49 pm)

    I’m sending my kid to Sealth tomorrow. Arriving with their own sanitizer. As a healthy adolescent they are about as likely to get a cold or “regular” flu and be fine as being in contact with a person who was exposed to COVID-19

  • K8 March 3, 2020 (5:55 am)

    The infection rate is much lower amongst kids. I think that the school closures are in an abundance of caution rather and to decrease the risk of them bringing something home and infecting a grandparent.

  • anonyme March 3, 2020 (6:50 am)

    I’m homebound after surgery but have visiting PT.  Worried about the therapist being exposed and bringing the virus into my home.  Where can I get some guidance on this?

    • herongrrrl March 3, 2020 (9:16 am)

      Try the state health department’s coronavirus hotline. It sounds like it takes a long time to actually get through, but they might be able to give you some information about this.

    • WS Mom March 3, 2020 (10:02 am)

      I am a home Health OT.  We are getting daily emails regarding the virus and steps to take to ensure our patient’s safety before going into their homes.  Also, if any of our clinicians show any signs of a cold (even minor), we have to have a thorough assessment from our clinical supervisor before seeing patients.Hope this offers you some reassurance.

  • R March 3, 2020 (7:05 am)

    Dear West Seattle Blog,could you please also monitor how the outbreak is affecting the homeless camps?  Thanks.

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (7:11 am)

      We have one sanctioned encampment in West Seattle. The city says it and others have received a visit with sanitation info. That was mentioned at Sunday’s Community Advisory Committee meeting (report coming up later this am) but not extensively discussed. I am following up.

  • Another Sealth Mom March 3, 2020 (7:16 am)

    I’m sending my teen with Sealth tomorrow. The virus is already out in the community, there is no way to avoid it. Wash hands and use hand sanitizer. Going to the store or the gym is probably more risky than school.

  • sc March 3, 2020 (7:39 am)

    “In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway. So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good work, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball, and to bounce a baby.”

    ― Alistair Cooke

    • Kadoo March 3, 2020 (6:59 pm)


  • 2 Much Whine March 3, 2020 (8:09 am)


    “Don’t tell me what to do.”

    ― Typhoid Mary

  • Charles F March 3, 2020 (8:56 am)

    Is fare enforcement REALLY more important than our safety with the rising concerns around N-Cov19? I heard two Fare enforcement officers talking about the “call-in sick policy” mandated on them. Apparently they have to have a doctor’s note to stay home more than one day! At a time when everyone is urged to stay home when they have flu symptoms, how many of these officers with symptoms are on the job because they cant afford to see a doctor? They also said that their bosses will not let them wear masks on the job, and only can wear gloves when dealing with a mess. They are putting all of us at risk!

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (11:11 am)

      Many agencies’ policies are rapidly evolving so that may not be the case oh say tomorrow even if it was yesterday. Metro or Sound Transit?

  • Mj March 3, 2020 (8:58 am)

    John Smith – from what I saw in Chinese data the mortality rate for males is much higher than for females.  Smoking is prevalent among males in China, the smoking rate by woman in China is much lower.  The data indicates smokers are at higher risk!

  • WSB March 3, 2020 (11:56 am)

    Newest King County info just released – including two hospitalized patients in their 20s.
    Planning on a daily roundup again this evening, unless there’s anything WS-specific sooner, which so far there is NOT. – TR

  • Janelle March 3, 2020 (1:04 pm)

    Yikes, 2 people in their 20’s hospitalized… Thanks for sharing updates and keeping us informed. I would like to hear more about the details of these cases and how long they have been sick before escalating to serious. Have you seen any of these details?

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (2:07 pm)

      This is all that’s being publicly released.

  • J March 3, 2020 (2:34 pm)

    I worry also for the financial future of those hospitalized. There is no faster way to drain a fortune than through illness in America. 

  • Ti johnson March 3, 2020 (2:47 pm)

    The Seattle school district does not give a crap about their students, teachers, employees that work at schools. If I was a parent my child would not be going to school! It’s bad enough that the school district hides the fact that they still employed a sexual predator as a janitor and now they’re putting the students and the teachers more in Danger, that is not right! I’m praying for those students and their parents and the teachers. Administration you get what you deserve because you have the power to close the school

    • csihs mom March 3, 2020 (3:43 pm)

      I agree with you Ti johnson.

  • Keeping it real March 3, 2020 (3:01 pm)

    2 patients in their 20’s is not that surprising.  They most likely will be fine but because this is an epidemic they are required to be in the hospital in quarantine.  I’m assuming once they are deemed in stable condition, they  can wait it out at home like another patient is.  Assuming they are healthy 20 year olds with no other conditions or smokers, they will most likely make a full recovery.

    • J March 3, 2020 (4:27 pm)

      I don’t think folks are required to be in hospital for quarantine. Looks like there are plenty of people confirmed and at home. I bet they are really quite sick, or homeless, or both.

  • WSB March 3, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    Another note pending our daily roundup in a couple hours:
    Denny IMS is doing a “deep cleaning” tonight per principal Jeff Clark. No illness cases, and no new info about the Sealth student who’s being monitored, but the cleaning starting at 4:30 pm is out of “an abundance of caution.”

  • psps March 3, 2020 (9:13 pm)

    You need to turn off the autoplay on the embedded video.

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (9:24 pm)

      Bad of them to make that the default – and I didn’t know, didn’t autoplay for me, but I think I fixed it.

  • Jessica March 10, 2020 (11:18 am)

    Any updates on the student under observation?

    • WSB March 11, 2020 (12:08 am)

      No update on how they’re doing but this info was added to the SSC website Tuesday night:
      “More Information on the COVID-19 Case at South
      The impacted student was on campus for an evening class on Monday, March 2, entering one classroom in the University Center Building (UNI) for approximately ten minutes to turn in an assignment before leaving. The student reported they did not interact with any other students during their brief time on campus and has not returned since. The student was not experiencing symptoms while on campus, but started to feel poorly later that evening.

      Public Health – Seattle & King County, believes the risk to the campus community is likely low because in this situation, the ill person did not have prolonged close contact with others.

      Other students in the class, students who have had a different class in that building this quarter, and staff who work in the building have all been notified, were asked to be diligent in monitoring their health status and connected with public health resources. A college employee who had a confirmed interaction with the student is in contact with their physician and has been advised to remain at home, following public health guidelines. The UNI building is now closed for cleaning and sanitization.”

Sorry, comment time is over.