The ability to test a higher number of individuals for COVID-19 is showing that the coronavirus is spreading rapidly throughout King County — including in Redmond.
Public Health — Seattle & King County reported 74 new cases March 10, bringing the official case count total in King County to 190. In addition, two new deaths were reported, bringing the total number of deaths to 22 in the county.
There are a total of 267 cases and 24 deaths in Washington, according to the state Department of Health. Snohomish and Grant counties each had one death related to coronavirus.
In Redmond, three senior living/care facilities have discovered positive cases of COVID-19 in either staff members or residents.
Public Health is supporting these facilities to test and optimize care for residents and to prevent further transmission of the virus, according to a press release from Public Health.
The Emerald Heights Retirement Center has confirmed one positive case of COVID-19 after a staff member tested positive last week.
“At Emerald Heights, the health and well-being of our staff and residents is our top priority. After properly following protocol, the staff member was immediately sent home a week ago,” Jennifer Whittle, a spokesperson for Emerald Heights said March 10. “We have emergency preparedness and infection prevention and control plans in place, which address how our experienced team of professionals prepare for and manage the identification of an infectious illness. We are working closely with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] and the Washington and King County Departments of Health and are communicating regularly with our staff, residents and their families, visitors and vendors.”
The spokesperson stated that Emerald Heights visitors are subject to completing a mandatory visitor questionnaire with screening questions recommended by the Department of Health. Those who answer positively to the screening questions are not allowed on campus.
The Redmond Care and Rehabilitation Center has confirmed that four residents have tested positive for COVID-19, none of which are currently in the facility. The care center started limiting visitation last week and as of March 10, visitation has been restricted.
“[The Redmond Care and Rehabilitation Center] is carefully and consistently following the infection prevention and control guidance issued by the CDC, [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services], and the state of Washington, including the King County Department of Health, the State Department of Social and Health Services, and the rules promulgated by Gov. Inslee [on March 10],” Nathan Holmes, the center’s executive director, said. “We are committed to the health and welfare of the residents, families and staff who comprise the Redmond Care community, and will continuously act in a manner consistent with that commitment.”
Aegis Living at Marymoor was also named as a facility where COVID-19 was discovered. One resident has tested positive for the virus.
According to a press release from Aegis Living the resident was tested as a precautionary measure while at a hospital visit last week for what was believed to be an unrelated condition. Following established company protocols, the resident was placed in isolation upon returning from the hospital March 5, and remained in isolation until returning to the hospital for continued medical care late on March 7.
“Our hearts are with the resident and we are doing anything we can to support this person and their family while they recover,” the release stated.
The city of Redmond is in contact with the adult care facilities, the CDC and Public Health about the confirmed cases and is monitoring the situation closely, according to a city press release.
The city continues to operate the emergency operations center to coordinate the response to COVID-19 within the community.
“We are asking the community to continue to practice social distancing and healthy habits to prevent further spread of COVID-19,” city of Redmond emergency manager Pattijean Hooper said in the release. “Let’s all do our part to stay educated, minimize exposure and protect the most vulnerable populations in our community.”
Anyone who believes they have symptoms of COVID-19 but have not been in contact with a confirmed case is asked to call their health care provider and inform them about their symptoms. Residents are asked to follow their provider’s advice about whether to go to their doctor to get tested or to remain at home.
Anyone in King County who believes they were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 or health care providers with questions about COVID-19 can contact the King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 206-477-3977.
For general concerns and questions about COVID-19, call the Washington State Novel Coronavirus Call Center at 800-525-0127.