KIRKLAND, WA — At least 20 people have died from the new coronavirus in King County, according to an update released Monday afternoon. Seattle and King County Public Health said the three most recent deaths were all residents of the Life Care Center in Kirkland, a nursing home that has been called the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington.

Three deaths announced Monday:

  • A woman in her 80s, a resident at Life Care Caenter and hospitalized at EvergreenHealth, died March 4.
  • A woman in her 70s, a resident of Life Care Center and hospitalized at EvergreenHealth, died March 8.
  • A woman in her 80s, a resident of Life Care Center and hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center, died March 8.

According to public health officials, 116 cases of COVID-19 are now confirmed in King County alone, and 33 of those cases were added to the count since Sunday.

Nineteen of the 20 deaths linked to the virus in King County were among residents of the Life Care Center. Seventeen patients have died at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland and two have died at Harborview Medical Center.

A team of federal and state health officials arrived at the Kirkland senior home over the weekend, to begin investigating how the virus was able to spread through the facility and whether proper protocols were followed.

At least 54 of Life Care Center’s 120 residents have been taken to hospitals since the outbreak began, and 70 Life Care employees have shown potential symptoms of the virus. The Seattle Times said 31 of the 35 residents tested so far have returned positive results for COVID-19. At least 20 others are still awaiting results.

Bellevue’s Overlake Medical Center announced Monday afternoon that a patient in his 80s, also a resident of Life Care Center, died from complications related to the virus sometime overnight.

One Kirkland first responder tests positive for COVID-19

Kirkland city officials said one of the city’s first responders recently tested positive for the coronavirus.

According to an update Monday morning, 31 firefighers and three police officers remain in quarantine, either at home or a secondary facility. Six firefighters were released after completing their quarantine period, and nine more were placed in isolation.

In a news release, the city said eight tests for firefighters who showed potential symptoms came back negative for the virus.

The city said its fire and police departments remain fully staffed and functioning normally, but Fire Station 21 is “offline” and available for firefighters who require isolation.

“We remain committed to supporting our firefighters in quarantine and isolation, as well as those on duty,” said Joseph Sanford, the Kirkland fire chief. “This is a challenging time for all of our community memebers, including our first responders. I encourage everyone to exercise patience, kindness and understanding as we make [our] way through this event.”

Other recent developments:

  • Pearl Jam is postponing the first leg of their North American tour amid growing concerns in Washington and across the nation.
  • The Port of Seattle said Monday it was “actively reviewing multiple options” for the beginning of this year’s cruise season, which typically starts April 1.
  • During an interview with “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Gov. Jay Inslee said he would meet with state leaders and local mayors to discuss scenarios where “mandatory measures” might be necessary.
  • The Gates Foundation plans to distribute home-testing kits in the weeks ahead, with plans to deliver them to people with symptoms within hours and get results from a UW testing lab in a few days.
  • On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an $8.3 billion coronavirus spending bill to help fund resources on the federal, state and local levels.

Quick stats about COVID-19 from EvergreenHealth and the CDC:

  • 1 person out of 200 people who are exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, will become COVID-19 positive (0.5% transmission rate in the general public)
  • If you are in close contact with a person who is COVID-19 positive (such as living with a person who has tested positive), your likelihood of contracting the infection is 10%
  • 80% of the population may experience mild symptoms, such as fever or flu-like symptoms that they treat at home
  • 15% may seek medical care, such as visiting an Urgent Care or Emergency Department
  • 5% may require critical care, meaning being admitted as an inpatient
  • 1.6% of confirmed cases (confirmed cases representing between 5-10% of all infections in the community) will die
  • There is an incubation period of 2-14 days, meaning the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms, the average case being 2-8 days
  • A vaccine is estimated to be developed in about 9-12 months

Find more answers to frequently asked questions via the Washington Department of Health.

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