Deadly Seattle-area coronavirus outbreak spurs shift in public health response

Friday, 06 Mar, 2020

Seattle and King County public health officials said Wednesday that people 60 years of age or older, people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

"You don't really need to be tested, we don't have medications, and medical management will be the same", Lofy said in a press conference on Thursday. So far the deaths have been around the Seattle and Kirkland areas of Washington.

Regarding the new cases, Ferrer said three of those who tested positive were travelers together in northern Italy, two were family members who had close contact with another family member who previously tested positive for the virus and the sixth patient had a job that exposed that person to travelers.

"Much of the authority runs with OSHA, which is not on the panel here, and we are in discussions with OSHA on developing these standards", said Joel Szagat, who handles federal policy at the Dept. of Transportation. "The risk for all of us of becoming infected will be increasing".

Federal health authorities have launched an investigation of the nursing home at the epicenter of the nation's worst outbreak, the Life Care Center in Kirkland, to determine whether it followed guidelines for preventing infections. The second, announced Sunday, was a man in his 70s who was a resident of the nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, where several cases have been identified. They both died on February 26.

The neighbour's wife and three of his children have also contracted the virus, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. Earlier in the day, following a tour at a health clinic, Inslee urged people to wash hands frequently and practice other measures of health hygiene, and to stay home from work and public events if they don't feel well or have any symptoms of illness.

Canada Border Services said though they have not implemented additional screening at the Canada-U.S. border, border service agents do have regular duties through the Quarantine Act to recommend a person be subject to quarantine if they appear to have symptoms of infectious diseases.

It marked the first coronavirus fatality in the United States outside of Washington state, where 10 people have died in a cluster of at least 39 infections that have emerged through community transmission of the virus in two Seattle-area counties.

He announced a state of emergency in the county Monday, allowing overtime for employees and the purchase of supplies.

Scientists say that genetic analysis of the virus in Washington State suggests the coronavirus may have been spreading within the community for as long as six weeks before the first case was detected, the Times reported.

Microsoft said it has asked its Seattle-area workers who can do their jobs at home to work from home until March 25. State and local health workers deserve the state's full support, he said.

Lawmakers are expressing skepticism about USA health officials' claims that long-overdue testing for the new coronavirus would be widely available by the end of the week.

The outbreak began in China in December and is now present in almost 80 countries and territories and has killed more than 3,000 people.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, meanwhile, issued an emergency order to Washington state health insurers, requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring coronavirus testing.

Patty Hayes, director of public health for Seattle and King County, pointed out that "the vast majority of people who are infected by this virus will not have serious illness". Until Tuesday, she couldn't get in touch with her mother at all. Are you a healthcare worker who's on the front lines of the response?

Amid concerns about disruptions to supply chains, airlines and other business impacts of the coronavirus, the US Federal Reserve on Tuesday cut interest rates in an emergency move created to shield the world's largest economy.

Another 1,859 people in the city were declared cured and released from hospitals into a further two-week quarantine.