Public Health Seattle & King County along with Washington State Public Health officials held a press conference this afternoon announcing 4 new COVID-19 cases, and 4 new death deaths (1 in Snohomish County, 3 in King County).
Between the two counties, Washington state has now confirmed 18 cases, and 6 deaths. There are dozens of symptomatic people being tested, and in all likelihood many more positive cases will be announced in the hours and days ahead.
The full 50 minute press conference is well worth watching, and other municipalities should take note of some of the preparedness steps that Seattle/King County are taking - including securing housing to isolate hundreds of cases if necessary.
Dr. Duchin also provides some straight talk about surge capacity, and the challenges that large numbers of cases could present local health care providers.
|Conference begins at 15 Minute Mark|
The press release that accompanied the press conference:
March 2, 2020
Public Health – Seattle & King County announced on Monday four additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in King County residents, bringing the total of confirmed cases to fourteen. King County Executive Dow Constantine signed an Emergency Declaration, enabling county government to take extra steps to fight COVID-19. Among the first actions: purchasing a motel and setting up modular housing units on publicly-owned parking lots and other available land.
On Sunday, March 1, Executive Constantine signed a Proclamation of Emergency in response to COVID-19, enabling "extraordinary measures" to fight the outbreak, including waiving some procurement protocols, and authoring overtime for King County employees, among other powers.
Executive 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.
We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain and mitigate this outbreak. King County is aligned and organized behind this common mission, with Public Health – Seattle & King County as our lead agency," said Executive Constantine. "We will direct all available resources to help cities, health-care facilities, businesses, and families continue life as normally as possible. But our best strategies depend on millions of residents actively following established disease prevention guidelines."
As we learn more about this outbreak, it's now more important than ever that we look out for one another and stand strong as a community," King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci said. "In King County, we are fortunate to have a network of highly skilled public health professionals who are working round-the-clock to assess and respond to the situation, while making sure we are informed with up-to-date information."
COVID-19 case updates
COVID-19 test results have come back from the Washington State Public Health Laboratory confirming four additional cases of COVID-19 in King County residents. With these four new results, the total number of cases in King County is 14. Today's results include 2 additional deaths, along with an individual who was previously reported as ill but who has now died. This brings the total number of deaths in King County from COVID-19 to five.
We have the best people in the world right here in King County responding to this crisis," said Patty Hayes, RN, MN, Director of Public Health – Seattle & King County. "We will get through this by staying informed and united. There are things each one of us can do to take control and reduce the impact of this disease in our community."
The four new cases are in:
In addition, a woman in her 80s, who was already reported as in critical condition at Evergreen, has died. She died on 3/1/20
- 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.
10 other cases, already reported earlier by Public Health, include:
Public Health is working hard to identify close contacts of these confirmed cases. These close contacts may include family members, co-workers, emergency responders and other contacts. A team of CDC officials is on-the-ground working with Public Health, along with the Washington State Department of Health, our healthcare system partners and many others.
- A female in her 80s, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. This person has now died, and is reported as such above.
- 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
The public can help:
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. Check and subscribe
to Public Health's website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.publichealthinsider.com).