70 employees at the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington are showing symptoms of being infected with the coronavirus.
As of February 19, 180 people are employed at the nursing home.
The Life Care Center became the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the US and a total of 26 deaths have occurred in the facility since February 19. 13 of the deceased have been confirmed to have died as a result of being infected with the coronavirus, reports from another two deaths are currently inconclusive, and results from the other 11 are still pending.
All residents isolated
According to the center’s spokesman, Tim Killian, all 63 current residents of the center are currently being kept in their rooms. Anyone showing symptoms of the virus will be taken to the hospital.
“Our experience with this so far has shown that the virus is volatile and unpredictable. We’ve had patients who, within an hour’s time, show no symptoms to going to acute symptoms and being transferred to the hospital. And we’ve had patients die relatively quickly under those circumstances…We know very little about how fast this may act,” Killian said at a press briefing on March 7.
The center provides long-term and short-term care to residents as well as inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.
Killian added that there are only 45 coronavirus test kits available at the nursing home, demonstrating a need for more kits and more staff. Test kits were sent to public health labs around the country last month but those kits were found to be problematic and possibly inaccurate.
Washington state’s health department has said that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received a request for more staff to be sent to the nursing home and had sent 18 CDC workers so far.
US coronavirus death toll rises
As of March 7, the coronavirus death toll in the US is up to 19. New York is up to 89 confirmed cases after 13 people were reported to have contracted the virus on March 7.
New York governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted on the current state of the outbreak.
“Update: There are 13 additional cases of #Coronavirus in NYS since earlier today, bringing total to 89.
There will be more cases as we test more—that’s a good thing bc we can deal with the situation based on more facts,” Cuomo tweeted on March 7.
Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters here!