CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday updates – new cases, 1st quarantine site, another local school to be cleaned, more

Here’s our nightly roundup of coronavirus (COVID-19) news toplines:

LATEST NUMBERS IN KING COUNTY: Seattle-King County Public Health is now announcing new numbers around 11 am daily. Today, it’s up to 21 cases total, including eight deaths. The newly announced cases:

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

All the cases/deaths in King County so far are listed in today’s SKCPH news release.

AMAZON WORKER ILL: The Seattle Times reports that Amazon has notified its local employees that one of their co-workers, who went home sick February 25th, has tested positive for COVID-19. The Times reports that the company’s message said the employee works in their building at 9th/Republican and is in quarantine. (We don’t know whether this case is one of the 21 that SKCPH counted as of midday today.)

QUARANTINE SITE IN TOP HAT: In the North Highline neighborhood of Top Hat, just east of White Center, a King County-owned property is the first site chosen for portable housing to be set up to quarantine COVID-19 patients if/as needed. We visited the site this afternoon:

This and 13 other portables have been stored on Harbor Island. 34th District State Sen. Joe Nguyen questions the Top Hat site choice; that’s part of our report on White Center Now.

‘CIVIL EMERGENCY’: Mayor Jenny Durkan issued that proclamation today; the announcement explains:

Actions authorized in the Proclamation include the ability to bypass regulations and the steps normally required of City contracting and borrowing; the ability to forgo regulatory permits in order to site or implement facilities needed to address COVID-19, and the ability to immediately adjust the use and closure of City facilities and events as necessary to prevent continued spread of COVID-19.

The mayor’s office also sent out this news release detailing what 10 departments are doing in response so far.

CITY BRIEFING TOMORROW: No public county or city briefings today but at least one is planned tomorrow – the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, chaired by District 1 Councilmember Lisa Herbold, will host two deputy mayors, half a dozen department heads, and the county Public Health director at a special 2 pm meeting. (You should be able to watch it live via Seattle Channel.)

DENNY DEEP CLEANING: Last night, as we reported, Chief Sealth International High School was cleaned after a report that a student, though NOT sick, is being monitored for possible coronavirus exposure. Tonight, adjacent Denny International Middle School is being cleaned, reports Denny principal Jeff Clark, who explains, “FYI: SPS can do a deep clean at a limited number of schools every night. We are on the list tonight simply because they did Sealth last night.” He stresses that there are NO cases or suspected cases at Denny, and added that there’s no new info yet about the Sealth student’s possible exposure.

TRAVELING THROUGH SEA-TAC ANY TIME SOON? The Port of Seattle published this Sea-Tac Airport update today, including new sanitation procedures as well as information from some of its airliines.

KING COUNTY CALL CENTER: The county has a 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.

WSB COVERAGE: If there is specific West Seattle-related news, we will publish it immediately, otherwise we plan to continue nightly roundups like this. We’re also using Twitter for instant short bursts. You can find all our coverage – newest first – archived at

65 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Tuesday updates - new cases, 1st quarantine site, another local school to be cleaned, more"

  • Ethan Murray March 3, 2020 (8:22 pm)

    Thank you so much for doing these, I have found them super helpful for keeping up with the virus as my school won’t tell us much and I don’t like watching the tv so this is a great help. Thank you once again.

  • Robyn March 3, 2020 (8:54 pm)

    Thank you for all the work you do to keep our community informed. 

  • HS March 3, 2020 (9:29 pm)

    Sooooooo… I bought latex gloves to use at the gym. It may be silly or overkill. I certainly got weird looks and my hands were grossly sweaty but all that weight equipment is grooved for better grip so not easy to sanitize properly. I’m healthy but if I’m carrying covid19 and not showing symptoms, I don’t want to get anyone sick. Besides, I successfully did not touch my face while wearing them – great reminders.

    • ice March 3, 2020 (10:34 pm)

      This post made me laugh out loud.  You are the hero the world needs right now.

    • Wild One March 4, 2020 (2:20 am)

      I agree Ice.Thank you HS for considering the safety of others. That is the right attitude to have!

  • Chris Stripinis March 3, 2020 (9:40 pm)

    That quarantine box in the photo looks bleak.  I sure hope I can quarantine at home if I need to.

    • dot March 4, 2020 (8:56 am)

      totally, no one is going to willingly quarantine in a windowless box in white center…

      • ARPigeonPoint March 4, 2020 (10:33 am)

        I saw more pictures elsewhere and they have bunk beds in them and no restrooms, so you don’t even get the windowless box to yourself. 

        • WSB March 4, 2020 (11:10 am)

          Follow the link above to our story on White Center Now and we have an interior photo too. Yes, they DO have bathrooms, as our WCN story notes (that’s what we were told at the scene by King County’s Barbara Ramey), but they need to hook up to water etc. before that’s all operable.

      • J March 4, 2020 (4:20 pm)

        You might choose to quarantine there if you had vulnerable family at home, and it was free. Hopefully they have WiFi.

  • GHO March 3, 2020 (9:48 pm)

    I don’t generally consider 112th Top Hat, what is the cross street? Is this off of 1st? 

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (10:04 pm)

      It’s only a block west of 1st.

  • Out for A Walk March 3, 2020 (9:48 pm)

    Totally agree. Thank you so much. You make our community the special place it is.  Love your  local news coverage.  

  • Debbie March 3, 2020 (10:02 pm)

    Thank you for your consistent reporting and updates. 

  • Alki resident March 3, 2020 (10:36 pm)

    Just found out, 10 mobile trailers will be moved to 2nd ave SW and 112th to house corona virus patients. This was kept mum. A protest will be held Friday at 3 pm at the location. Please spread the word. This is next to apartment complexes. 

    • WSB March 3, 2020 (11:51 pm)

      No, it was not “kept mum.” In fact, it’s in the story above (and on our WC site as linked(, photo and all. We were at the site today. The county announced it this afternoon and regional media outlets were all there (all the way down to a Stranger reporter who was wandering around the Southside parking lot across the street). Hadn’t heard about the protest, tell the organizers to send us a note. – TR

      • Alki resident March 4, 2020 (7:57 am)

        I asked the “ organizer “ to message you about the protest. Many neighbors directly across the street from the site were not aware of this until it was posted on the white center page. Just because media sources know of a plan doesn’t mean the neighbors are aware or informed. 

        • A March 4, 2020 (9:18 am)

          It was literally *just* decided yesterday. And reported publicly yesterday. That’s transparency not “keeping mum.”

        • Jethro Marx March 4, 2020 (10:11 am)

          If you’re serious about protesting, don’t half-ass it; fly to Wuhan!  

          • notatroll March 4, 2020 (10:57 am)

            White Center issue is not in Wuhan. 

      • MJ March 4, 2020 (10:57 pm)

        I just came across a petition being circulated on FB to try to stop them from being placed there. Quite a few people have signed it.  

        • WSB March 5, 2020 (12:23 am)

          An online petition was linked in comments on our White Center Now story. If people are truly concerned, they should be contacting their county reps directly – Councilmember Joe McDermott, for one, who directly represents unincorporated North Highline (as well as West Seattle and Vashon Island). I don’t know whether anything in this requires County Council signoff, though.

    • A March 4, 2020 (1:06 am)

      As long as the quarantine trailers are more than 6 feet from the apartment complexes or either the trailers or the apartments have a wall, then this is a fine quarantine site for this virus.Please read about how this is transmitted before making rash decisions or stigmatizing people who are homeless and have nowhere else to safely recover. quarantine sites is tantamount to condemning more local people to die from this than necessary and will accelerate the spread of the disease. I understand that you are scared to live next door to this site, that’s natural. It isn’t logical though.If you want coronavirus to spread further and infect more people, then by all means, protest the quarantine site.

    • KBear March 4, 2020 (8:34 am)

      Protest the quarantine site? What a selfish and disgraceful thing to do.

      • wscommuter March 4, 2020 (8:52 am)

        Agreed.  For godsakes people, let’s control the hysteria and deal in facts.  Protesting this would be the most vile and ignorant of NIMBYism.  

      • notatroll March 4, 2020 (9:29 am)

        OKbear until they build it across the street from your house maybe let people express themselves freely when they feel threatened. Do you know the outcome of all this? Pretty sure you don’t. Let people be. 

        • KBear March 4, 2020 (11:02 am)

          Bringing a crowd to a quarantine site is not a legitimate way to protest. Deliberately impeding emergency precautions ought to be treated as the criminal act that it is. And I would be fine with having a quarantine site across the street from my house, but that doesn’t happen to be an option.

          • notatroll March 4, 2020 (11:14 am)

            How do you know it’s their intention to deliberately impede emergency precautions? What if it’s just a demonstration to be heard? What’s a legitimate way to protest? 

    • KM March 4, 2020 (9:35 am)

      Yes, let’s gather people in a group protest care for our community when we are instructed to keep safe social distances from one another. Genius.

    • MMM March 4, 2020 (11:56 pm)

      With all this discussion about organizing a group of people to get together to protest, in the context of a community outbreak of a communicable illness, someone here must appreciate the irony.  If we are trying to protect our communities from the spread of a communicable illness, organizing mass gathering seems exactly counter productive right now.  SARS-CoV2 doesn’t jump across building walls to infect neighbors.   They came from the communities these people lived in.  Its better that they have a place to stay safe and warm, for the sake of all of us.

      • AMD March 5, 2020 (6:09 am)

        After so many years of petitions every time a homeless person gets close to someone, I’m sure King County will just add “they’re gonna give me Coronavirus!” to the pile of “they’re gonna steal my lawn gnomes!, they’re gonna go after the kids!, they’re gonna take up all the street parking!, they don’t wash their recyclables!” and move forward with their plans.  Really, how do you even tell one overreaction to homeless people from another?   Some day, there will be a legitimate concern regarding placement of services for the homeless (this is not that day), but years of pearl-clutching and hyperbole will give you an uphill battle convincing anyone it’s not just another instance of “I don’t want to see poor people.”

  • Lynn March 3, 2020 (11:16 pm)

    Death toll is nine, not eight.

  • old timer March 3, 2020 (11:53 pm)

    Something  seems odd to me.  We have had a “Homeless Crisis” for years, thru 2 mayors, “Emergency” declared, millions and millions of dollars spent with minimal impact.  This “virus crisis” turns up not only sites, but completely equipped housing in just a week or two. Where did that come from?

    • WSB March 4, 2020 (12:35 am)

      The county had 14 of these trailers – aach of which could hold up to eight people – in storage on Harbor Island. I believe somehow related to all this work announced two years ago
      As for the property, the PIO we met on site wasn’t sure of its background. It also holds a water tower and a big communications tower. The county has already put some unused property into service for shelter – most notably the Mary’s Place family shelter in what was a county health clinic at 8th SW/SW 108th – that whole site, including the WC Food Bank building next door, is slowly proceeding toward redevelopment as low-income housing plus nonprofit HQs.- TR

  • Melinda March 4, 2020 (12:37 am)

    Thank you for your continued updates.

  • Nicole March 4, 2020 (6:16 am)

    Providing quarantine housing is the right thing to do for people who don’t have housing on their own.   It is safer to have people there than roaming the community, spreading it around.  Why protest!?  Seriously, it keeps you and all of us safer.    

    • Anne March 4, 2020 (10:08 am)

      Fine with quarantine-whatever is necessary to help-but lack of working indoor toilets & hot water for hand washing-not fine with that at all-are you!

      • Jen March 4, 2020 (4:08 pm)

        Please read WSB’s comment above. They *do* have working plumbing, they just need to be hooked up once at the location.

  • Gene March 4, 2020 (7:16 am)

    These portable living units not being hooked up to sewer & hot water is a bit concerning”Overall, the units could provide potential housing for 40 people. The units will not initially have water or sewer, so there will be portable restroom units at the site.’ ( how long to hook them up to sewer & hot water?)just guessing here-but that probably means porta potties-with cold water washing station & maybe hand sanitizer dispenser?Might be better than nothing at all-but these units are for folks with C Virus in quarantine/recovery-not healthy folks. How can that be in any way considered sanitary

  • SickOfSeattle March 4, 2020 (7:28 am)

    Yesterday a woman from my office,  who has presumptive symptoms of Covid-19 tried going to a clinic to get assessed.
    They went out to her car and took her fever in full medical gear and then turned her away asking she go to the nearest ER but to call first.
    When she got to the ER and called first they told her they would not allow entry and to go home?
    Why I guess because she could drive herself there and was not needing assistance to breathe even though she has every symptom? WTF?

    She was not offered any test or any information about potential spread. She wasn’t even told to call the hotline. She literally has a fever, shortness of breath, cold like symptoms. The doctors were too  uncomfortable with her symptoms to treat her in the clinic or ER but they don’t test her? 

    So how is she supposed to know if it’s just a bad cold/flu or worse. How is anyone at our work supposed to know if they should be self quarantining out of concern, or not allowing her back into the office for 2 weeks if her fever goes away in a couple of days but she could be a carrier? 

    I had to write our HR department, as did others in the office and insist they follow up and ensure that proper steps are being taken because our office manager is one of the people(idiots) that thinks the coronavirus is nothing to worry about and is just a “bad flu” and anyone concerned is just being “too paranoid”. 

    The fact that both places turned her away is ridiculous.

    Now today I woke up with an email from my kids aftercare. . .They are shut down for the day to deep clean because yesterday they had to send home 8 kids and 3 teachers with fevers.
    After they contacted King County Health and the CDC the only recommendation is to close for a day and clean. Not how to clean or what to clean with or where to send anyone for an evaluation. The director said it’s highly unusual to get that many people at once needing to be sent home.

    I had already pulled my kid out for the month anyways as a family member has a compromised immune system, so she wasn’t there in mix but our own health department is pretty much ensuring this thing is going to keep spreading.

    Makes me sick.

    • also sick March 4, 2020 (9:07 am)

      WOW!   Your story is truly frightening and I appreciate you addressing the inadequate response by the people who are supposed to have the answers. If this is the best they can do we’re all in trouble!

  • Wsres March 4, 2020 (9:28 am)

    please text your co-worker and ask which dr’s office and ER they went to and then contact those health establishments and email the office managers this story.  Also, tell your co-worker to contact the King County health dept if they can. This type of response to these situations is not okay.

  • Fulana March 4, 2020 (9:58 am)

    It’s sad that it takes the coronavirus for SPS to actually clean schools.  The district is filthy!

  • Dr March 4, 2020 (10:57 am)

    Fact check. As this virus is NEW all the wipes/gels etc. that people are panic buying have NOT been tested on this virus!!! They may work great…THEY MAY NOT WORK AT ALL.

    • KBear March 4, 2020 (12:03 pm)

      Fact check. It’s still a great idea to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitizer when washing isn’t possible. It’s been proven to prevent transmission of all sorts of other diseases, so having sanitizer available is prudent. However, overbuying due to panic is not helpful, because it prevents others from getting  the supplies they need.

    • SEC March 4, 2020 (12:39 pm)

      There is absolutely no reason to believe that hand sanitizer, soap and water, and disinfectants would be ineffective against this coronavirus. Fearmongering and spreading misinformation are not helpful in this situation. 

      • KBear March 4, 2020 (1:37 pm)

        Promoting good hygiene is not “fearmongering”, SEC. If you’re telling people not to bother washing their hands, YOU are the one spreading misinformation.

        • KBear March 4, 2020 (1:44 pm)

          Sorry, SEC, I mis-read your comment. It is DR, not you, who is spreading misinformation. Safe to say, DR is no doctor, and I’m thinking NOT A TROLL may have misnamed themselves, too.

      • Ice March 5, 2020 (1:47 am)

        Piggybacking off of your message SEC, I want to point out that Dr’s message is dangerous, fear-mongering pseudo-intellectual quackery designed to appear as neutral and unbiased. We have tons of data demonstrating the efficacy of various disinfectants against a host of other Corona Viruses. Remember, the Corona Virus strain includes the common cold, SARS and other illnesses. COVID-19 is just a particularly dangerous strain of it. While, yes, our data on exactly how effective different disinfectants are against specifically the COVID-19 is limited, we have no reason to believe that it has some kind of (unprecedented, magical, nonexistent) resistance to disinfectants that it’s relatives don’t have. Dr also said that they are trying to promote ‘good hygiene,’ but then never defines it. Please wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, that’s good hygiene.  Simply smelling like rotting garbage (bad hygiene) isn’t going to spread COVID-19, but partially washed hands might.

  • Lisa March 4, 2020 (11:45 am)

    I can’t believe they chose White Center of all places. As if the poor neighborhood doesn’t have enough problems and homeless people at high risk. Wonder why they didn’t choose Mercer Island or Kirkland….

    • neighbor March 4, 2020 (2:59 pm)

      I’m guessing because they don’t own any surplus land there.

  • WSB March 4, 2020 (11:51 am)

    It’s just been annoounced that today’s updates will come in a 1 pm King County briefing.
    It’ll be livestreamed here:

  • Question Authority March 4, 2020 (11:58 am)

    It seems a better location would have been to just set the trailers up where they were stored on Harbor Island, away from everybody and this justified neighborhoods concern.

  • Johnsgi March 4, 2020 (12:05 pm)

    Why are Seattle schools waiting until a student is confirmed to be sick to close schools? If they wait until then that student may have already infected half the school if you can be contagious for weeks before showing symptoms

    • SL March 4, 2020 (1:32 pm)

      I see your point, but then again, if all the schools were cleaned today, that doesn’t mean a student won’t get the virus tomorrow and expose the school again.  Frequent, thorough hand washing and staying home when sick seem like the best preventative measures.

    • AMD March 4, 2020 (1:49 pm)

      They’re following the recommendations of the CDC and other government officials.  If you think stronger response to individual cases is mandated, bark higher up the food chain.

    • Tsurly March 4, 2020 (3:33 pm)

      The WA DOH has confirmed 74 deaths from flu already this season, why are you demanding they close schools over that?

    • MMM March 4, 2020 (11:41 pm)

      “that student may have already infected half the school” – based on what we know SARS-CoV2 it isn’t that infectious. Outside of the rare person who may be a supershedder, an infected individual is expected to infect another two. This is how peoples lack of precise knowledge or exaggeration lead to un-necessary panic.  In children, from everything we know, symptoms are mild.  If the infection is endemic in the area already, then shutting down schools will delay, but not stop community spread.  If you shut everything down, you realize that all the public health officials, nurses, respiratory therapists, medical aids, physicians, and public health officials that have kids in school all of a sudden can’t do their job anymore of taking care of the people that need it already.  Finally, making a clear diagnosis of COVID-19 in someone in mild disease does nothing for the person who is diagnosed. As with the flu, if they have fever and cough, they should be responsible and stay home till they are recovered.  You don’t need a viral PCR test to tell you that you are severely ill and need medical care rather than some TLC at home. The health department needs that result if they are trying to contain an illness.  They don’t need it, if they already know its endemic.  The data that has come out of UWMC sequencing the SARS-CoV2 from the index Everett patient and linking that to the Lifecare Center cluster and the teen in Snohomish, suggests that the virus has been disseminating for 6 weeks.  

  • J March 4, 2020 (1:08 pm)

    Do you think the media releases keep getting pushed back to preserve the stock trading?

    • MMM March 4, 2020 (11:46 pm)

      Um, no…  The stock market crashing tends to be blamed on the head of the executive branch.  Historically, whether justified or not.  Those that choose public health, community health, and infection control lean left.  If one goes the cynical route and thinks that stocks figure into their media releases when working their rears off to contain this outbreak and educate a frightened public, then you have the bias going in the wrong direction.

  • WSB March 4, 2020 (2:04 pm)

    Today’s county briefing just ended. As it included some recommendations, we’ve gone ahead and published the full news release.

    Lots of elaboration at the briefing about why they are NOT recommending closing schools. Also, though it’s not in the news release, they have two more locations for modular quarantine housing – Interbay and North Seattle – and the motel they’ll also be using is in Kent.

  • courtney March 9, 2020 (3:26 pm)

    people are so scared to live by the site…so lets gather a large group to protest said site.  that’s doing the exact opposite of what is recommended.  Social distancing, and avoiding crowds…”lets get as many people together to protest the site.”  sounds like the smart thing to do! I would be more afraid of the protestors then the people being held there.   At least they are monitored and being quarantined and made sure they are  not running around all over the city infecting people.  I mean come on.

    • WSB March 9, 2020 (4:38 pm)

      Just to clarify (I will have a followup soon), NO ONE is there yet.

Sorry, comment time is over.