First death due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in a resident of King County

Public Health – Seattle & King County, Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting today three presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including one person who died.

Two of the confirmed cases are associated with LifeCare nursing facility in Kirkland, King County, Washington: 

  • One is a health care worker from LifeCare. She is a woman in her 40’s, is currently in satisfactory condition at Overlake Hospital, and she has no known travel outside the United States. 
  • The second case, a woman in her 70’s, is a resident at LifeCare and is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital. 
  • In addition, over 50 individuals associated with LifeCare are reportedly ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia or other respiratory conditions of unknown cause and are being tested for COVID-19. Additional positive cases are expected.

The death occurred in a patient at EvergreenHealth Hospital but was not a resident of the long-term care facility.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is current working with LifeCare to provide care for ill patients while protecting uninfected patients. The CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to support our efforts to identify, isolate and test all of those who may be at risk because of these new cases.

Public Health is at the very beginning stages of this investigation and new details and information will emerge over the next days and weeks.

“This is a tragic loss of life and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “While the vast majority of cases of COVID-19 are believed to be mild, the virus can be a very serious infection that can lead to death. Protecting the health of our community and supporting the care of health care workers is our top priority.”

“I know this news is alarming, but we are doing everything possible to make sure the public is safe. Earlier today I declared an emergency proclamation directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak. The best thing people can do to help is remain informed and take routine health precautions,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Our public health officials at the state, local and national levels are working diligently on this, coordinating efforts and keeping the public safe and informed.”

“We are fortunate to have one of the best public health agencies in the nation, and we are pulling all available resources into the fight against COVID-19. King County is reviewing all government operations, and we are standing up an Emergency Operations Center to respond appropriately across all agencies and public services. I urge businesses and families to plan and take precautions, referring to Public Health for best practices,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

For more information about COVID-19 in King County visit:

Originally posted 2/29/20