More than 50 residents and staff from the Life Care Center in Kirkland are experiencing symptoms, and will be tested for coronavirus, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, health officer for Seattle and King County.
The news comes the same day the first US death from coronavirus was reported in Washington state, health officials said Saturday. The man in his 50s, who had underlying health conditions, was not a resident at the care facility.
The two positive tests associated with the nursing facility include a 40-year-old female health care worker who has no known travel outside the US and is in satisfactory condition at a local hospital, officials said. The second one, a woman in her 70s, is hospitalized in serious condition.
“In addition, we’re aware of a number of individuals associated with the long-term care facility who are reportedly ill with respiratory symptoms or pneumonia, and we’re in the process of investigating this situation as an outbreak,” Duchin said. “We’re in the beginning stages of our investigation and new details.”
In a statement, the facility said it’s not allowing visits from families, volunteers or vendors, and is also placing admissions on hold for the time being.
“We are now in the process of working with the long-term care facility, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Duchin said. “And we’re in a process of providing support to that facility to care for the infected patients, to protect the uninfected patients, and to provide infection control.”
There are now 71 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of coronavirus in the United States. They include 44 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, three people repatriated from China and 24 cases that occurred in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The two dozen cases across the US are in Arizona, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington state and Wisconsin.
A presumptive case is a patient who has tested positive at a state, county or city lab, but whose results have not yet been confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency Saturday, directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to respond to the outbreak.
“This will allow us to get the resources we need,” Inslee said. “This is a time to take common-sense, proactive measures to ensure the health and safety of those who live in Washington state.”