Seattle & King County Public Health Official Dr. Jeff Duchin speaking at the press conference. Screenshot from press conference livestream

Seattle & King County Public Health Official Dr. Jeff Duchin speaking at the press conference. Screenshot from press conference livestream

14 coronavirus cases, including five deaths, in King County

County is in process of purchasing a motel intended for quarantine.

Seattle and King County officials announced at a press conference Monday (March 2) that there are now a total of 14 cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in King County.

Five King County patients have died. One patient from Snohomish County has died.

“This is such a tragic and difficult time for these families and communities,” said Seattle and King County Public Health Director Patty Hayes.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said the county is currently in the process of purchasing a motel intended to be used for quarantine and is also working on setting up isolating modular units around the county, including Seattle. Constantine said specifics about location are not yet available, as transactions have yet to be finalized and feasibility is being determined, as of the time of publication. Confirmation likely will be made at the end of the week.

On Sunday, March 1, Constantine signed a proclamation of emergency regarding the outbreak.

He added that the county is working closely with its 39 cities to ensure an adequate local response.

State health officer Dr. Kathy Lofy also announced that the University of Washington (UW) will start testing for the virus either today (March 2) or tomorrow. That will help add to testing capacity in the state, which is limited to hundreds of tests at a site per day, Lofy said. Lofy said the state is working hard to increase testing capacity at public health labs.

Hayes clarified that the vast majority of people who will be infected with the virus will not have a severe illness. Those who are most susceptible to COVID-19 are those who are elderly and/or have preexisting conditions that have made their immune systems vulnerable.

Hayes encouraged those who are currently healthy to refrain from buying face masks to ensure that health care workers and those who have been infected have access to the devices.

Officials at the conference reiterated hygienic precautions to take, including thoroughly washing hands and avoiding crowded areas. As of the time of publication, officials are not recommending school, event and other mass closures but said that could change depending on how conditions evolve.

At the conference Lofy shared that a state call center — i.e., a coronavirus hotline — had been set up for 1-800-525-0127. The public health website, http://www.kingcounty.gov/COVID, will be updated as new information is made available.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent School Board bans fellow member from labor contract talks

Controversial 3-2 vote singles out Donald Cook because his wife teaches in the district

Ex-Seattle Seahawks lineman Chad Wheeler received a prison sentence of six years and nine months for assaulting his girlfriend in 2021 at their Kent apartment. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Seattle Seahawks
Judge sentences ex-Seahawks lineman Chad Wheeler to prison

Receives sentence of six years and nine months for 2021 Kent assault of his girlfriend

t
Vehicle strikes, injures two juvenile pedestrians in Kent

Police say the juveniles ran across SE 256th Street on Feb. 28 while traffic had the green light

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administer a COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Kent COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic to close at end of March

Still time to get free shots before federal funding for clinic expires

t
Kent Police catch Soos Creek Elementary School burglary suspect

Officers arrest 23-year-old Kent woman after foot pursuit in Feb. 26 incident

t
Kent Police Blotter: Feb. 14-22

Incidents include vehicle robbery, machete threat, teen shot and injured

t
Medical examiner identifies pedestrian, 56, killed on Kent’s West Hill

Bruce Brooks died from multiple blunt force injuries in collision with vehicle on Pacific Highway S.

t
Kent Salary Commission proposes $9,132 pay hike for mayor this year

Annual pay to jump to $212,088; residents can offer input about increase at March 14 meeting

t
Trooper shot in Kent ‘lucky to be alive,’ according to sources

Tourniquet had to be applied to his leg to save his life

Donald Cook. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District
Kent School Board member Cook focus of proposed resolution | Update

Measure would form Labor Policy Committee that excludes Cook due to potential conflict

t
Seattle male pedestrian killed in Kent after collision with vehicle

Reportedly stepped into lanes Feb. 26 in 24400 block of Pacific Highway South

t
Kent Police make robbery arrests after West Hill carjacking

Vehicle reportedly taken near Pacific Highway South; pursuit ends in Auburn