Woman fears coronavirus exposure after visiting Kirkland nursing facility

KIRKLAND, Wash. – Five of the seven people who have died from the flu-like virus COVID-19 in Washington state had ties to Life Care Center in Kirkland.

The Eastside nursing facility has been the epicenter as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

For people who have loved ones still inside the facility, some worry about visitors being potentially exposed to the virus.

Karen Goheen says her mother is being cared for at the facility. She said her mother is in good health, but now she herself is feeling ill and has locked herself indoors at home to keep others from getting sick.

“There have been people that I have observed that were sick, employees,” said Goheen. “So, that was kind of concerning.”

Goheen spoke to us Q13 News from home via Facetime because she has quarantined herself after she believes she could have been exposed to COVID-19 while at Life Care Center.

“There were a lot of employees were wearing masks. And I’m a nurse, so I would ask, ‘Why are you wearing a mask, are you sick?’ said Goheen. “They would say, ‘No there is a respiratory illness going around.”

Goheen had been taking her father to visit her mom throughout the week until they were both turned away Saturday. While she says Life Care had been sharing information, she did not get the impression she was at risk.

“We’ve really got some updates kind of generalized updates that, ‘Hey we’re doing everything we can,’ but no individualized updates,” she said. “We haven’t gotten any updates from the facility that say how many people have tested positive.”

Four of the six coronavirus fatalities in our state have ties to the facility. Around mid-day, first responders donning protective gear transported more residents from Life Care to local hospitals. The facility is no longer allowing visitors.

Goheen says she’s now feeling under the weather after repeated visits with her mom and worries her elderly father may also have been exposed. Now she is waiting for lab results to confirm if she’s contracted the virus.

“Sitting here waiting for my results,” she said. “My brother got sick and he’s been self-quarantined a week.”

Goheen says she is confident about what she needs to do to keep whatever she has from spreading but worries others might not have the knowledge to stay healthy.