Additional Cases of COVID-19 in Washington State

For immediate release: February 28, 2020    (20-026)

Contact: Lisa Stromme Warren, Washington State Department of Health, 253-512-7100

Contact: Hilary Karasz, Public Health Seattle-King County, 206-423-2542

Contact: Heather Thomas, Snohomish Health District, 425-508-4980

Contact: Kathy Reeves, Everett School District, 425-319-4143

Additional Cases of COVID-19 in Washington State

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Snohomish Health District, are announcing two new cases of COVID-19, currently classified as “presumptive positives.” A presumptive positive is a test that comes back positive at the Public Health Laboratory and is pending confirmation at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

The individuals reside in both King and Snohomish Counties. In King County, a woman in her 50s with confirmed travel to Daegu, South Korea is a presumptive positive. She is currently in home isolation.

In Snohomish County, a person under the age of 18 with no travel history is also a presumptive positive. He is currently in home isolation as well. That patient visited Seattle Children’s North Clinic on Monday, Feb. 24. Snohomish County Health District is working alongside the Everett Public Schools to ensure the safety of students and staff at Jackson High School, where this student attends. Everett Public Schools is taking this very seriously and in an abundance of caution, the superintendent has decided to close Jackson High School on Monday to allow three days for deep cleaning.

While the King County case is believed to be travel-related, we don’t know how or where the new Snohomish County case was infected. We are working hard to find and identify how the patients were exposed as well as tracing people who might have been exposed to this patient.

“Now that we are able to expedite test results here at the Public Health Lab in Shoreline, we’re getting results on suspected local cases a lot faster,” said State Health Officer Dr. Kathy Lofy. “Given the extent of global spread, we expect to identify more individuals with COVID-19 in Washington. We want to emphasize the importance of practicing good health habits.”

COVID-19 has the potential to be a serious health risk in our country. Health departments at the federal, state, and local level are working together and with other partners to prepare.

Healthcare systems are getting ready to potentially see more patients than usual. Schools are receiving updated guidance on what to do to stay safe if they have cases, and what preventative measures they should take if they do not.

How can you prevent the spread of COVID-19?

  • Prevention starts with practicing good personal health habits: Wash your hands often with soap and water,
  • Stay home when you’re sick,
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue,
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects.
  • Getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids, eating healthy foods, and managing your stress can help you prevent getting COVID-19 and recover from it if you do.

DOH has established a call center to address questions from the public. If you have questions about what is happening in Washington state please call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

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