Coronavirus concerns and impacts grow in Western Washington

SEATTLE -- From empty commuter rail trains to being told not to lick your presidential primary ballots, life is changing since we started having a coronavirus outbreak in Western Washington.

The federal immigration office in Tukwila shut down Tuesday over concerns of the coronavirus.

On Twitter, Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said an employee, "Started exhibiting flu-like symptoms four days after visiting the nursing home in Kirkland, Washington that has seen numerous Covid-19 cases."

Tony Juico is heading to the Philippines. He has been waiting almost a year for a citizenship interview, only to be turned away.

"I'm so sad about this virus that really affecting us all here in America, all over the world right now," Juico said.

Due to the virus, state elections officials are asking voters not to lick their envelopes when they mail in their presidential primary ballots, saying you should use a wet sponge or cloth instead.  They make the request knowing similar viruses can remain infectious on surfaces for up to nine days at room temperature.

Some large gatherings are being postponed. First responders rescheduled the 50th Anniversary Dinner celebrating Medic one that had been set for this weekend. An awards ceremony and dinner for Washington State Democrats has also been rescheduled.

Tacoma's Mayor Victoria Woodards will now stream her state of the city address online instead of delivering it to a crowd in public.

Local transportation is also being affected. King County Metro busses, typically scrubbed once a month, are being sanitized more often. A commuter posted a photo this morning showing a Sound Transit Link light rail train car, that`s normally standing room only -- now empty.

International flights in and out of Sea-Tac Airport are down, with trips to mainland China and South Korea suspended.

Fighting coronavirus is creating an opportunity for some. Companies that specialize in sanitizing and deep cleaning can hardly keep up with demand. One owner told us, "Business is skyrocketing!"

The response to Coronavirus is also creating jobs. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation posted new positions to help manage and assist in the response. The foundation announced last month it's dedicating $100 million to improve detection, isolation, and treatment efforts.

The virus even impacting how locals worship. St. James Cathedral in Seattle changing how it participates in communion and telling parishioners during mass, simply say "Peace be with you," instead of offering your hand.