SEATTLE -- A ninth person has died in King County after contracting COVID-19, bringing the statewide total of coronavirus deaths to ten as of Wednesday. The tenth death was a woman in her 90s, health officials said Wednesday.
The state Department of Health released updated numbers, noting that there are now 39 confirmed cases (up from 27 on Tuesday) statewide.
There are nine deaths in King County and one death in Snohomish County. So far, King and Snohomish counties are the only counties with confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state. Washington was the first state in America where people died from the virus.
Washington state is at the center of the U.S. coronavirus response largely because of an outbreak at LifeCare Center, a nursing home in Kirkland. Eight of the ten deaths were linked to the nursing home, officials said.
The ten new cases are:
Click here to read what Seattle & King County Public Health said about the new cases on Tuesday.
Vice President Mike Pence, who's heading the Trump administration's coronavirus response, will travel to Olympia Thursday to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee.
Pence said on Tuesday evening said that "any American can be tested" for the novel coronavirus, though here in Washington state, that hasn't been the case. Health care providers in western Washington have said there are not nearly enough kits to test everyone who wants or needs to be tested.
Among the confirmed cases of coronavirus is an Amazon employee who worked at the company's Seattle headquarters before becoming ill last week, as well as two high school students, one in Mill Creek and one in Renton.
The number of coronavirus cases in western Washington is expected to rise daily as more tests are processed.
Public Health issued the following information:
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 (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or blog (www.publichealthinsider.com).
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.