Governor Jay Inslee instructed state agencies to use “all the necessary resources” to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The statement also allows the use of the Washington National Guard if necessary.
“We will continue to work towards a day when nobody dies from this virus,” swore the governor.
Health officials from California, Oregon and Washington state are concerned about the new coronavirus that is spreading across communities on the West Coast because an increasing number of people have been infected despite not having visited an area where they have an outbreak occurred, nor was he apparently in contact with someone he had.
The man who died was over 50 years old, had underlying health conditions and no travel history or contact with a known COVID-19 case, Washington state health officials said at a press conference. An EvergreenHealth Medical Center spokesman, Kayse Dahl, said the person died in the facility in the Kirkland suburb of Seattle.
Dr. Frank Riedo, Evergreen’s infection control medical director, said that local hospitals are seeing people with severe coronavirus symptoms, but there are likely to be more cases in the community.
“This is the tip of the iceberg,” he said.
Health officials reported two cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) viruses linked to a long-term care facility in the same suburb, the Kirkland care center. One is a Life Care operator, a 40-year-old woman who is in a satisfactory condition in a hospital, and the other is a 70-year-old woman and resident of Life Care who is hospitalized in serious condition. Neither had traveled abroad.
“In addition, over 50 people associated with Life Care are feeling bad for respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia or other respiratory conditions of unknown cause and are being tested for coronavirus (COVID-19),” officials said. Seattle and King County. “positive cases are expected”.
Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington, said that a Life Care healthcare professional is a hospital patient. The 40-year-old woman was hospitalized on Thursday and is in stable condition, the center said.
Amy Reynolds of the Washington state health department said in a short telephone interview: “We are facing an evolving emergency situation.”
Nobody answered Life Care’s phone, but Ellie Basham, her executive director, said in a statement that residents and employees are being monitored and those with symptoms or potentially exposed are being quarantined. Basham said the facility has banned families, volunteers and vendors.
An increasing number of cases in California, Washington state and Oregon are confusing because infected people have not recently traveled abroad or have had close contact with an infected traveler or person.
The Santa Clara County Public Health Department announced on Saturday the case of a fourth person in the county infected with coronavirus. The case is of a woman who is a “family contact” of a person hospitalized with the virus, a press release.
The woman has not been hospitalized and is not ill, the department said.
The United States has around 60 confirmed cases. Worldwide, the number of people suffering from the virus hovered around 83,000 on Friday, and there were more than 2,800 deaths, most of them in China. A 60-year-old American citizen died in Wuhan in early February.
Most infections cause mild symptoms, including cough and fever, although some can become more severe and lead to pneumonia. Older people, especially those with chronic diseases such as heart or lung disease, are particularly vulnerable. Health officials think it mainly spreads from the droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to the spread of the flu.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is considered small. But convinced that they will grow, health agencies are stepping up efforts to identify those who may be sick.
To achieve faster test capability, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an accelerated policy on Saturday that allows labs to use the tests they develop. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said his agency “responds quickly and adapts to this dynamic and evolving situation.”
The California Department of Public Health said Friday that the state will receive enough kits from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to test up to 1,200 people per day for the COVID-19 virus – a day after Governor Gavin Newsom Federal health officials complained that the state had already run out of its initial 200 test kits.
Oregon was able to identify a case more quickly: an elementary school employee in Lake Oswego near Portland because he was able to test a sample locally. School district officials said Saturday that the employee had been visited by several people in the hospital before he was diagnosed. These people were asked to observe a two-week quarantine and are carefully monitored.
Concerned customers crowded a Costco box store near Lake Oswego, emptying shelves of items including toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, frozen berries and black beans.
“Toilet paper is golden in an apocalypse,” said a Costco employee.
Employees said the store ran out of toilet paper for the first time in its history and that it was the busiest they have ever seen, even during Christmas Eve.
The district is thoroughly cleaning all its schools and school buses with the aim of bringing students back to class on Monday, said Superintendent Lora de la Cruz. But Forest Hills Elementary, where the man worked, is closed until Wednesday, marking two weeks since he was last at school.
Previous cases in the United States include three people who were evacuated from the city of Wuhan in central China, the epicenter of the epidemic; 14 people who have returned from China or their spouses; and 42 American passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, who were flown to the U.S. military bases in California and Texas to be quarantined.
The United States government has examined the dispatch of dozens of Californians, many of whom tested positive for the virus, who had been on board the cruise ship at a state facility in Costa Mesa, California. Local officials objected, saying that they were not included in the planning and that they wanted to know what the security measures would be to prevent the virus from spreading. After all, the U.S. government said it didn’t need to use the facility.
At UC Davis Medical Center in California, at least 124 registered nurses and other health care workers were sent home for “self-quarantine” after the admission of a Solano county woman with the virus, according to National Nurses United, a national union representing registered nurses Friday.
The case “highlights the vulnerability of national hospitals to this virus,” said the union.
Washington state health officials announced two more new coronavirus cases on Friday evening, including a high school student attending Everett’s Jackson High School, said Dr. Chris Spitters of Snohomish County Health District.
The other case in Washington was a woman in King County in her 50s who had recently traveled to South Korea, authorities said. Neither patient was seriously ill.