State virus deaths hit 18 with 2 more from nursing home

Washington infections up to 123

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The Associated Press

SEATTLE — Two more residents at a nursing home at the center of the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Kirkland have died, bringing the statewide total to 18, officials said Sunday.

A woman in her 80s and a man in his 90s died in the last several days, according to a press release Sunday from health officials for Seattle and King County. They were both residents of the Life Care Center of Kirkland. They both died in area hospitals.

Officials said the number of reported deaths in King County is now 17. Of the 17 deaths, 16 are associated with Life Care Center.

King County is reporting 12 new confirmed cases bringing the total there to 83.

State officials also updated the overall number of cases in Washington on Sunday to 123, an increase of 21 from the previous day. Officials also on Sunday added Kittitas County in central Washington and Spokane County in eastern Washington as each now having one confirmed case.

Other counties with confirmed cases are Snohomish with 31, Pierce with four, and Grant, Jefferson and Clark with one each.

Gov. Jay Inslee told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that people are responding well to warnings by voluntarily working from home or staying home when sick, and that communities are canceling events where the virus might be spread. But he said that might not be enough to prevent the virus from continuing to move through the population.

“We are looking to determine whether mandatory measures are required,” he said, but didn’t elaborate.

Officials say the at-risk population appears to be older adults and those with preexisting medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease.

A team of 30 medical professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service began arriving at Life Care over the weekend to relieve exhausted — and ill — staff.

In its statement Saturday, Life Care said 70 of its 180 employees have shown COVID-19 symptoms and are no longer working. The facility spokesman said Sunday that it has 55 residents remaining — down from 120 before the outbreak — and that six of them have symptoms.

People in senior housing are considered especially susceptible because the disease caused by the new coronavirus is especially dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

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