Coronavirus Washington

November 04, 2020

Introduction: Timeline of the event in Washington

Washington State announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 pandemic in the United States on January 21, 2020. They announced the first death from the disease in the U.S. on February 29 and later announced two deaths on February 26 due to COVID-19. 

In mid-March, Washington recorded the highest number of confirmed cases and the highest number per capita of any state in the United States. Later, New York State exceeded the number on April 10, 2020.

Most of the deceased were residents of a nursing home in Kirkland, an Eastside suburb of Seattle in King County. 

coronavirus

Coronavirus in Schools!

A high school student at Henry M. Jackson High School in Mill Creek, Washington on February 28 was confirmed as having the virus leading to the immediate shutdown of the school.

Also, Mariner High School in Everett was closed because a student's parent had the virus. On the next day, researchers confirmed the coronavirus strain in the student's case may be associated with the coronavirus strain in the first confirmed U.S. case from January 19, 2020.

Research also stipulated that the virus may have been spreading in the area for up to six weeks. On February 28, a woman in her 50s tested positive on her return from South Korea. She was an employee of the United States Postal Service at its Network Distribution Center facility in Federal Way, King County.

first coronavirus death

First Coronavirus Death

Washington health officials made the first announcement of death from COVID-19 on February 29, in the United States. Later, it was discovered that a COVID-19 death occurred in California as early as February the 6th. 

An old adult with an underlying illness died at Evergreen Health’s hospital in Kirkland. Then it was certain any patients contracted the virus at the hospital. Officials reported there was no single evidence he contracted the virus through travel and they suspected community spread of the disease in King County.  

A laboratory test was not carried out for the virus until February 28, because the lab in Washington was not ready to conduct tests.

Until late February, the CDC had been recommending people with COVID-19 symptoms who had recently traveled to China for a test. 

Public health officials also recorded two confirmed cases in the Life Care Center nursing home, including a woman in her early 40s who was a health care worker at the facility. State public health officials confirmed two new cases on March 1 in King County and both were male in their 60s. 

One of them was hospitalized in critical condition at the virgin Marston Medical center in Seattle while the other was hospitalized in "critical but stable" condition at the Valley Medical Center in Renton. Unfortunately, these two cases were not linked to the cases in the nursing facility that was reported on February 29.  

On the same day, officials recorded four new cases associated with the Life Care long-term care facility. They included an old woman in her 80s, another one in her 90s, a man in his 70s who had recently died, and an old man in his 70s in critical condition. 

More Coronavirus Cases...

Washington reported an additional critical case of a man in his 40s, bringing the state's total new cases to seven.

On March 2, the second death from the coronavirus in the U.S. was recorded at Evergreen Health Kirkland. This was followed by other four deaths in the state, bringing the U.S. death toll to six

Four new cases were also announced, bringing the state's caseload to 18, and the total number of deaths in the state rose to nine on March 3. 

Also, Amazon confirmed that one of its Seattle employees had tested positive for the coronavirus. Officials reported the tenth death in the U.S. associated with the coronavirus on March 4.

King County Public Health Department also reported 10 new cases, including one death. 

Apart from one case, all cases were associated with the Life Care Centers facility.

In the evening, Facebook reported that one of the contractors at its Stadium East office in Seattle was diagnosed with the virus. The office was closed until March 9, and employees were advised to work from home.

On 5th March, the Washington State Department of Health recorded 31 new cases with the first new case reported outside of Snohomish and King Counties.

coronavirus offices

More Cases in Corporate Offices...

On March 6, Microsoft announced that two of its employees residing in Seattle, in addition to one working remotely for a subsidiary LinkedIn, tested positive.

Three new deaths were recorded in King County. All died at the Evergreen Health Medical Center.

Public health officials in Seattle also reported that a part-time concession employee at Century Link tested positive and may have exposed participants of a February 22 Seattle Dragons game. 

The stadium, home to the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Sounders, and Seattle Dragons, can accommodate up to 72,000 people

The University of Washington recorded that one of the staff members in an office away from the main campus tested positive. Classes were held online from March 9, until March 20. 

The classes for suburban North Shore School District confirmed that its 23,000 students were suspended for up to two weeks.

Starbucks shut down one of its downtown Seattle locations after an employee tested positive for Covid-19, the Department of Health confirmed 102 cases and 16 deaths on March 7.

The Rising Death Toll...

Evergreen Health reported its 13th coronavirus death, bringing the total cases in Washington State to 17 deaths.

Clark County recorded its first positive test of the coronavirus in a man who is 70 years old.

On 8th March, the Washington State Department of Health confirmed 136 new cases and 18 deaths, mainly in King County. After the department of health report, an additional death was recorded in Grant County. 

In the Seattle area, one of the staff members of the Aegis Living Marymoor assisted living facility in Redmond tested positive. The staff member has been in isolation since February 28 after reporting symptoms. All Aegis Living communities are limiting unimportant visits. 

This is the fourth senior living facility in the Seattle area to announce staff members who tested positive.

On March 16th, two died in Clark County, a husband, and wife that lived in separate elder care facilities.

Seattle residents were the first U.S. volunteer to receive a vaccine for the virus that causes COVID -19.

On March 17, Mason County recorded its first case of an individual who was being quarantined at home. 

The state Department of Health made known on an "interim" COVID vaccine distribution plan in October 21.

Currently, Washington has 109,354 confirmed cases and a total of 2,378 confirmed deaths as of November 2, 2020. Public health experts believe that the true number of cases in the state is greater than the number that has been confirmed by laboratory tests. 

It is very hard to know the true number since most people experience mild illness and testing is common.

Washington state reported more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, November 2, as health officials worry that cases could increase as people are gathering indoors for the winter. 

On Monday, November 2, the state health officials reported 109,354 COVID-19 cases, 8,634 hospitalizations, and 2,378 deaths since the pandemic began.

washington coronavirus

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease. Most people infected with this disease experience mild to moderate respiratory illness. Old adults, and people with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to be affected severely. 

The COVID-19 virus spreads through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and the incubation period is said to be within 14 days of exposure to the virus.

COVID-19 symptoms include cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, runny nose. 

In most cases, COVID-19 complications can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure, and death.

Coronavirus spread in Washington: statistics, death, survivors, critically ill and rate of infection

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) discovered that people 65 years of age and older represented 8 out of 10 deaths reported in the US, with individuals living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities also at elevated risk (CDC, 2020).

Statistics as of 2nd November:

Confirmed cases: 109,35

Death: 2,378

Survivors: 52,063

Critical cases: 158 

Government Intervention in Controlling the Spread in Washington.

After the first US death of COVID-19 occurred, Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency. A testing facility was opened by the University Of Washington Medical Center in North Seattle, which as of March 10 was only open to students and employees. On March 3, Jenny Durkan declared a civil emergency in Seattle. Seattle and King County began establishing the White Center COVID-19 quarantine site. 

In mid-March, Washington state took some measures to limit the spread of coronavirus infection such as closing educational facilities, non-essential services, and declaring a stay at home order(SAHO). These have been associated with the percent increase in cases and fatalities decreasing. 

Mike Kreidler ordered state health insurers requiring them to waive cost and deductibles for any consumer requiring coronavirus testing effective until May 4. Governor Inslee made new rules which included mandatory screening for visitors and staff of nursing homes to slow the spread of the virus. 

Vice President Pence announced that Air Force Two delivered 100,000 air-filtering N95 respirators, 100,000 surgical masks, and 2,500 face shields to Washington.

On March 11, social, spiritual, and recreational gatherings of over 250 people in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties were banned. The order was enforced by the Washington Military Department.

Washington state created a program to provide 6,250 families $800 each with vouchers for Safeway stores.

The Washington State Parks system was shut down on March 25, and access to the Department of Natural Resources land closed on March 26.

Most roads into Olympic National Park were also shut down, as well as facilities. Roads in Mount Rainier National Park were closed on March 24 as well. 

The United States Army Corps of Engineers and Federal Emergency Management Agency deployed a military field hospital at CenturyLink Field. The field hospital created not less than 150 hospital beds for non-COVID-19 patients and was staffed by 300 soldiers from the 627th Hospital Center from Fort Carson, Colorado. 

The Port of Seattle and the Northwest Seaport Alliance made sections of Terminal 46 available for trailers, container equipment, and storage needs in support of the 10th Field Hospital being set up at CenturyLink Field.

On April 2, Governor extended stay at home order through May 4. Washington state returned 400 of the ventilators it received from the Strategic National Stockpile, so as to help harder-hit states.

washington coronavirus safety measures

Safety guidelines:

To prevent infection and to slow transmission of COVID-19, the following measures have to be observed:

  • Regularly wash hands with soap and water, or clean with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain at least 1-meter physical distance.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a hanky when coughing or sneezing or sneeze at the left elbow joint.
  • Refrain from smoking and activities that weaken the lungs.
  • Practice physical distancing and avoiding unnecessary travel
  • Stay away from large groups of people
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you have serious symptoms of Covid-19

Conclusion:

The total confirmed cases of Covid-19 Globally have reached over 46,639,000 with over 1,202,000 deaths and 31,113,000 recoveries. The US records the highest cases as the most heavily affected country worldwide, making up 20% of the total confirmed cases. 

Across Europe, many regions are experiencing a sporadic increase in cases of Covid-19. England plans to introduce a second national lockdown this week in an effort to limit the spread of infection.

There is no endorsed coronavirus vaccine yet. Prevention includes frequent hand-washing, coughing into the bend of your elbow joint, wearing a facemask, and practicing physical distancing. Wearing a face mask in public spaces to help cube transmission was recommended since early in the pandemic.