Increasing King County COVID-19 case numbers for March 10, 2020 point to importance of social distancing

Summary:

With increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Public Health – Seattle & King County urges King County residents to take very seriously the recommendations to limit social contacts and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

Public Health is reporting 74 new cases today, bringing the official case count total in King County to 190. In addition, two new deaths are reported, bringing the total deaths to 22.

Story:

Access to more testing is showing us that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in King County. Ten long-term care facilities have reported positive COVID-19 cases. This underscores why it is critically important for residents to take seriously the precautions announced previously:

  • Employers should encourage and enable as many employees as possible to telecommute and follow other guidance for businesses. 
  • Avoid bringing large groups of people together, and consider postponing events and gatherings.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go out in public when you are sick. If you are ill in any way call your doctor’s office first before going in.

In particular, we all should take steps to help protect those at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. The following recommendations apply to everyone – and are especially important for those at higher risk:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds and other congregate settings.
    • Try to avoid being in large groups of people, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Clean your hands often.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies. Create a household plan of action (see CDC’s home plan checklist).
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs.
    • Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.
  • Pay attention for potential symptoms.
    • COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are: 

  • People older than 60 years 
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes
  • People with weakened immune systems 
  • Pregnant people 

What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19

The Washington Department of Health has published these fact-sheets to help residents decide what steps to take:

Who should get tested? 

Not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested, particularly if you have mild illness. Healthcare providers determine who should be tested, based on specific symptoms. While testing is becoming more available, there are still limitations in the ability to quickly collect and process tests. 

If you are sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath and are in a high risk group, call your healthcare provider to discuss whether you should be tested for COVID-19. 

For now, if you have mild symptoms (cough, fever), you need to stay home and stay away from people.

Case updates

Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/9/20

  • 190 confirmed cases (up 74 from yesterday)
  • 22 confirmed deaths (up 2 from yesterday)

The two deaths being reported today include:

  • A woman in her 80s, a resident of Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, was hospitalized at Swedish Issaquah, and died on 3/8/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/7/20, in an earlier case count.)
  • A male in his 80s, a resident of Ida Culver House, was hospitalized at University of Washington Medical Center, and died on 3/9/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/6/20, in an earlier case count.) 

Of the 22 deaths reported, 19 are associated with Life Care Center.

Update regarding long-term care facilities in King County

Public Health is working with 10 long-term care facilities where residents and/or employees have tested positive for the virus.

The following facilities have reported residents and/or employees who tested positive for the virus. Public Health is supporting these facilities to test and optimize care for residents, and to prevent further transmission of the virus. Because of the volume of cases, we are not able to provide any additional details about these facilities.

  • Life Care Center of Kirkland
  • Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
  • Emerald Heights
  • Aegis Living at Marymoor
  • Redmond Care & Rehabilitation Center
  • Ida Culver House Ravenna
  • Boulevard Park Place Active Retirement Community
  • Madison House Independent & Assisted Living Community
  • The Gardens at Juanita Bay
  • Columbia Lutheran Home

Note to media:

Daily case counts: Starting tomorrow (Wednesday 3/11/20), we intend to move our daily announcement to approximately 2PM.

Please be aware, as more testing has become available, we are getting increased numbers of reports from laboratories and other facilities. It takes time to reconcile data in order to report numbers accurately.

In addition, we report case numbers, including numbers of deaths, each day that are official through 11:59 p.m. the night before. Many media are hearing directly from healthcare facilities that provide different numbers of deaths than Public Health’s official count, and may be providing it before Public Health has the information and has reconciled the data. Because there are increased numbers of cases and more data flowing into Public Health that needs to be analyzed and reconciled, we are no longer able to provide specific information about all cases as we did earlier in this outbreak. We will continue to provide details on deaths, when available, for the time being. In addition, some details about previously reported cases may be updated as data quality improves.

Leave a Reply