SEATTLE -- A resident of the LifeCare Center in Kirkland that's been at the center of a novel coronavirus outbreak in western Washington died at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle last week before testing positive for COVID-19.
The New York Times first reported the fatality, which brings the total number of deaths in Washington state to nine, according to King County & Seattle Public Health.
Washington state is the only state in America to report deaths from novel coronavirus. Most of them are linked to the nursing home in Kirkland. There have been eight deaths in King County and one in Snohomish County.
There are also seven additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the King County total to 21 cases as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (March 3). There are 27 confirmed cases statewide and 231 people under public health supervision.
"What we have seen with the level of community spread has raised the level of concern about the immediate threat of COVID-19," public health officials said in their daily update. "The coming days and weeks are likely to bring more confirmed cases of COVID-19, but if we can all follow health recommendations now, we can blunt the impact of COVID-19 in our community. "
The seven new cases are:
The previous cases already reported are:
Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg confirmed to Q13 News that the nursing home resident was brought to Harborview Feb. 24 and died two days later. The outbreak at the Kirkland nursing home wasn't discovered for another few days.
The number of cases is expected to rise daily as more tests are processed, health officials said.
Several schools closed Tuesday in response to coronavirus fears, and a growing number of businesses and agencies are closing their doors and asking employees to work from home.
How 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 or blog.
Remember to take everyday preventive action such as washing hands, and if you are sick stay home. During an outbreak with a new virus, there is a lot of uncertainty.