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.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

courtesy of Studio East
Studio East presents “Shakespeare in the Park,” as first in-person performance in 16 months

Twelfth Night – Shakespeare in the Park, Performing at Juanita Beach Park June 18-20, 2021

Artist rendering of the park (courtesy of City of Kirkland)
132nd Square Park improvements to begin construction in July

The $8.35 million project will add new park amenities and surface water improvements.

Graphic rendering of ADU design used for Renton’s Permit Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit program (courtesy of City of Renton)
Backyard cottages might offer a partial solution to King County’s housing problem

Some cities are embracing the solution better than others.

Flames attack the hillside in Bonney Lake on Sept. 8, 2020. (East Pierce Fire & Rescue photo)
WA firefighters brace for potentially busy weekend

Washington state Department of Natural Resources firefighters were preparing for what could… Continue reading

Kathy Lambert (courtesy of kathylambert.com)
King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert announces campaign for re-election

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Jeff Duchin, Seattle - King County Public Health officer, said when considering whether to wear a mask indoors in public spaces, people should understand their risk based on local coronavirus activity and make decisions based on their own risk tolerance. (Getty images)
Should you keep masking up if you’re vaccinated?

Think about it, says King County’s top doctor.

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
Inslee sets June 30 target for Washington to fully reopen

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places, the federal CDC said.

Matt Marshall, leader of the Washington Three Percenters gun rights group, addresses a crowd rallying for Second Amendment rights Jan. 17, 2020, at the state Capitol in Olympia. File photo
Open-carry of weapons now illegal at state Capitol, rallies

A new law bars people from carrying guns within 250 feet of a permitted demonstration.

(Pixabay.com)
As rates of stoned drivers increase, law enforcement face challenges

WSP trooper said a THC breathalyzer would be a “game changer” for law enforcement and courts.

E. coli. Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration
Seven King County children sickened with E. coli

Seven children in King County have been infected with E. coli, a… Continue reading