Urgent need for people to limit contact, and other COVID-19 updates from Public Health – Seattle & King County for March 23, 2020

Summary:

Staying home is vitally important to King County’s ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 illnesses. Public Health announced 130 new cases today, bringing the official case count in King County to 1170. In addition, twelve new deaths are reported, bringing the total of confirmed deaths in King County to 87. A new local system launched to learn how COVID-19 virus is spreading.

Story: Avoid all non-essential contact

Staying home is vitally important to King County’s ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 illnesses. Individual actions to limit the spread of the new coronavirus will benefit the health of our entire community

“Young and old, sick or well, we all need to work together now to slow the spread of COVID-19 in King County and decrease the number of illnesses, hospitalizations and strain on our healthcare system,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County. “With no treatment or vaccine, the single most important thing all of us must do is to stay home and avoid all non-essential contact with others.”

While staying home is challenging, we all can assume that we might be carrying the virus, and we could be spreading the infection any time we have close contact with someone. Everyone should:

  • Stay at home as much as you can.
  • Limit trips for groceries, gas, and other essentials.
  • If you must go out, stay at least 6 feet away from others at all times.

New local system launched to learn how COVID-19 virus is spreading

Today, Public Health—Seattle & King County officially partners with the team behind the Seattle Flu Study to launch the greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network—or SCAN for short. SCAN is an innovative disease surveillance platform that will allow Public Health to gain a clearer picture of how the COVID-19 virus is spreading through our community. By conducting focused, representative testing from a sample of people across greater Seattle and King County—ensuring we have participation from people in a cross-section of neighborhoods, including adults and children, whether they are showing symptoms or not—we will gain important information that allows us to better respond to the epidemic.

SCAN can’t test every individual. However, by using innovative research methods and data modeling, SCAN can help us better predict the number of people who may be infected but unrecognized. Understanding how COVID-19 is being transmitted, even among those who have not yet sought medical care and would not otherwise be tested, will help us determine if community measures such as social distancing are working, and whether we need to adapt our guidance. Interested community members may visit scanpublichealth.org to sign up.

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 3/22/20.

  • 1170 confirmed cases (up 130 from yesterday)
  • 87 confirmed deaths  (up 12 from yesterday)

These additional deaths include:

  • A woman in his 70s, who died on 3/21
  • A man in his 70s, who died on 3/21 at EvergreenHealth
  • A man in his 80s who died on 3/22 at EvergreenHealth
  • A man in his 80s, who died on 3/22 at Swedish Issaquah
  • A woman in her 70s, who died on 3/22
  • A woman in her 90s. who died on 3/22
  • A man in his 70s, who died on 3/22
  • A woman in her 90s, who died on 3/22
  • A woman in her 60s, who died on 3/22 at Swedish Cherry Hill
  • A man in his 60s, who died on 3/21 at Swedish Cherry Hill
  • A man in his 60s who died on 3/22 at University of Washington Medical Center
  • A man in his 60s who died on 3/22 at Virginia Mason

Of the 87 deaths reported, 37 are confirmed to be associated with Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

Isolation and quarantine is a proven public health practice for reducing the spread of disease. Examples of people who may need this assistance include people who cannot safely isolate from a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Individuals can only be placed into the King County sites after a health professional with Public Health—Seattle & King County has determined that they need isolation or quarantine.

Four people are currently staying in a King County isolation and quarantine facility.  

The number of people in King County’s isolation and quarantine sites are included in regular updates provided by Public Health—Seattle & King County. No other identifying or personal information will be provided.

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