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Coronavirus in Washington state: Updates from March 2-8, 2020

Facts not fear: Find updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from March 2-8, 2020.

Editor’s note: This story shows updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state from March 2-8, 2020.

Click here for real-time updates for March 9-15, 2020.

Coronavirus coverage | Facts not fear

Sunday, March 8

11:35 p.m. 

More schools announce closures. Click here for updates

7:20 p.m.

Kitsap County has reported its first case of coronavirus.

4:10 p.m.

The first death in Grant County has been reported, bringing the statewide total to 19. 

3 p.m.

There are now 136 total cases statewide, according to the Department of Health. 

12:52 p.m.

12 additional cases have been reported in King County, with two more deaths. There are now 18 dead in the state and 123 positive cases of coronavirus statewide. 

11:50 a.m.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $5 million to help public health agencies in the greater Seattle area in testing for coronavirus. The foundation will soon offer at-home testing kits. 

7:00 a.m. 

Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma will transition to distance-learning only Tuesday, March 10 until the end of spring break on March 30, out of an abundance of caution. PLU will be closed on Monday, March 9 as faculty prepare for the transition. As of this writing there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus at PLU. The campus will remain open.

Everett Public Schools will close Woodside Elementary Monday, March 9 and Tuesday, March 10 after a student started exhibiting signs of coronavirus and has a parent who tested positive for the virus. The student did not attend school last week. During the closure on March 9 and 10 the school will receive an additional intense disinfecting, as well as the buses feeding that school. 

Tacoma Public Schools will close Mary Lyon Elementary after the Pierce County Health Department notified the superintendent that a staff member at the school has tested presumptive positive for coronavirus.

For Mary Lyon only, this means no classes or before or after school activities March 9-10.

The district also will use the closure time to clean the school.

Saturday, March 7

7:00 p.m.

Officials with Public Health Seattle & King County tweeted Saturday saying there are "no restrictions" on testing for coronavirus (COVID-19). Health care providers can test any patient they suspect of having COVID-19. However, while testing is more available, limitations exist in healthcare providers' capacity to obtain samples and process lab results rapidly, officials said. 

Health officials also said not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested, particularly those with only mild illness. King County stressed if you're sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath and are in a high-risk group, call your doctor to discuss getting tested. 

More on King County Public Health Department. 

6:00 p.m. 

The Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank announced will be closed the week of March 9-14 to help reduce the risk of exposure. This includes food and clothing donations, shopping, all programs, volunteering, and meetings. Officials said the closure will allow staff time to create an alternative operations and distribution plan.

4:20 p.m.

The Sounders FC match against Columbus Crew SC will go on as planned Saturday evening despite the coronavirus outbreak in the Puget Sound region. There will be expanded sanitation procedures in place, including enhanced cleaning treatments to disinfect all areas of the stadium before and after the game. There will also be more hand sanitizer stations throughout the venue.

At this time, there have been no recommendations from public health officials to change sporting events. The game is at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field. 

2:00 p.m. 

A spokesman for the Life Care Center of Kirkland said Saturday a total of 26 residents have died since February 19. Of those residents, 15 died in hospitals and 13 of them tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Another 11 residents died at the facility and it's unknown if they had the virus. No information on their post-mortem tests were available, officials said. 

Public Health Seattle & King County said on Saturday that of the 15 deaths in the county, 14 are associated with Life Care Center. 

11:00 a.m. 

Sixteen people have died from coronavirus in Washington state as of Saturday morning, according to the Washington Department of Health. There are 87 other active cases. 

10:22 a.m.

Clark and Kittitas Counties have confirmed their first coronavirus cases, according to the local health departments. It brings the total number of cases in the state to 82, and of those cases, 12 people have died.

10:00 a.m.

Seattle Pacific University will finish the winter quarter online starting Monday, March 9. Campus offices and services will remain open and on a normal schedule to accommodate employees and students living on campus. At this time, there have been no individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 on the campus.

9:50 a.m. 

Echo Lake Elementary in the Shoreline Public School District will be closed Monday, March 9 for deep cleaning after a parent was diagnosed with COVID-19, school officials said.

The parent visited the school on March 3 for a parent-teacher conference. The teachers were notified and are staying home to monitor their health as a precaution. 

7:30 a.m.

About 30 federal health officials are due to arrive at the Life Care Center in Kirkland today, to assist with treating residents. The nursing facility is the center of the Washington coronavirus outbreak. Ten of the 11 coronavirus deaths in King County are linked to Life Care.

Friday, March 6

7:45 p.m.

Starbucks has confirmed one of its employees was diagnosed with COVID-19. The employee worked at the 1st and University store in downtown Seattle. The store was immediately closed for deep cleaning and is expected to reopen soon once it’s been thoroughly disinfected, officials said. The employee is at home in self-quarantine and recovering, officials said. 

7:30 p.m. 

WATCH: "Facts Not Fear: A Coronavirus Conversation" 

Dr. Teresa Girolami, a primary care doctor in Redmond, answers questions about coronavirus.

6:20 p.m. 

A man in his 50s is the first Pierce County resident to test positive for coronavirus, according to health officials. He is in stable condition and receiving care at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor. 

Watch health officials discuss the case

5:20 p.m. 

Tacoma-Pierce County Health announces first positive case of coronavirus in Pierce County.

5:03 p.m. 

Officials with Public Health Seattle & King County say a total of 11 people have died in King County from COVID-19. Of the 11 deaths reported, 10 are associated with Life Care Center in Kirkland. There are 47 other active cases of coronavirus in King County. 

4:54 p.m.

Lake Washington Institute for Technology, which earlier this week closed its campus after a faculty member had tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus, on Friday announced that the campus would move to remote operations through March 20. Lake Washington Tech joins University of Washington and Seattle University in canceling in-person classes amid the area outbreak of COVID-19.

2:50 p.m.

Kent Mayor Dana Ralph directed the city attorney to file a temporary restraining order against King County, to block county public health officials from opening a coronavirus quarantine site at the Econo Lodge in Kent.

King County announced Thursday it intended to purchase the property and planned to use it to house patients. However, Kent claims King County failed to secure permits and didn't address the city's public safety concerns.

Ralph also declared a state of emergency in the city, allowing her to exercise emergency powers to coordinate resources responding to the public health crisis.

2 p.m.

UW Virology says to date it has processed approximately 400 tests for 2019 novel coronavirus, and of those tests between 5-7% of them came back positive.

UW reiterated it has capacity to process 1,000 tests per day.

1:30 p.m.

Western Washington University canceled its winter commencement, which was scheduled to take place March 21. The winter graduates will instead be included at spring commencement, according to the university.

WWU also plans to begin canceling large-scale events on the Bellingham campus, but classes will continue as normal.

12:52 p.m.

King County Executive Dow Constantine said there are currently 69 residents still at Life Care Center in Kirkland, the center of the COVID-19 outbreak. Fifteen of those residents have been moved to area hospitals for coronavirus treatment. 

A task force of at least 30 medical professionals from the United States Public Health Service will also be arriving at Life Care on Saturday to help the staff contain the outbreak. 

12:22 p.m.

One resident at Ida Culver House Ravenna, a retirement and assisted living home in Seattle, has tested for COVID-19 and is in quarantine off-site. The community's parent company Era Living reported in an email to staff, residents and family members that the affected resident has been in a hospital since Wednesday March 4 and will remain in quarantine there for a minimum of 14 days. 

11:30 a.m.

Seattle University will not hold in-person classes for the rest of winter quarter, which is March 20. However, campus will remain open.

11 a.m.

The number of cases of coronavirus in Washington state rose to 79, including 11 people who have died, according to data from the Washington State Department of Health.

There are now 58 cases in King County, 19 cases in Snohomish County, one case in Grant County and one case in Jefferson County. That includes 10 deaths in King County and one death in Snohomish County.

10:40 a.m. 

The organizers of Emerald City Comic Con announced Friday that the convention, planned for March 12-15, will be rescheduled to this summer. The organizers said all those who have tickets will receive a refund.

9:30 a.m.

Gov. Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine and U.S. representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01) are holding a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday regarding $8.3 billion federal supplemental spending bill passed by Congress to help states combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Washington will immediately receive $11.5 million in federal funding to help combat the local outbreak.

RELATED: Senate passes bill to Trump for $8.3 billion in fighting coronavirus

8:30 a.m.

A University of Washington staff member has tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus.

The staff member works in the Roosevelt Commons East, which is west of UW's Seattle campus in the 4300 block of 11th Ave. Northeast, according to a letter sent Friday from Geoffrey S. Gottlieb, interim chair of the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases.

The employee was last in the building on February 24, 27 and 28 and is now in self-isolation at home.

The infected person is believed to have had "limited contact" with anyone outside their immediate office floor. Those who were in direct contact with the individual were contacted and asked to stay home for 14 days after their last contact with the person, according to Gottlieb.

The building was closed until further notice for cleaning.

8 a.m.

Beginning Monday, the University of Washington will not have classes in person through the end of the quarter on March 20.

UW President Ana Mari Cauce wrote a letter to faculty and staff Friday asking instructors to hold classes and exams remotely. If classes can't be held remotely, the university will allow grades to be submitted based on work done to this point.

Pending health department guidance, the university plans to resume normal class operations on March 30 when the spring quarter begins.

In the meantime, the campus will remain open, and athletic events will continue as scheduled, according to Cauce.

7:40 a.m.

Washington will “immediately receive” $11.5 million in federal funding for the work public health agencies have done to combat the coronavirus outbreak in the state. The funding is part of an $8.3 billion measure President Trump signed Friday morning to help tackles the virus outbreak in the U.S.

Gov. Jay Inslee, Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06), Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and King County Executive Dow Constantine will hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Friday outlining how the federal funding will be implemented in Washington state.

7 a.m.

Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute seek 45 participants for clinical trials of a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus. The first phase of testing will look at the vaccine’s safety and see how the immune system responds to it.

This vaccine is not made from a weakened or killed version of coronavirus, and cannot cause infection, according to researchers.

If you are interested in participating in the study, click here for more information.

5 a.m.

Two Microsoft employees in the Puget Sound region - one at Microsoft and another at its subsidiary, LinkedIn - have tested positive for coronavirus, according to NBC News.

“We are working closely with local public health authorities to provide the necessary support for our colleagues and their co-workers,” the company said in a statement to NBC.

Thursday, March 5:

10:30 p.m. 

Two more people have died from coronavirus at Kirkland's EvergreenHealth Medical Center, according to the hospital's CEO. That brings Washington's death toll to 13. Another 59 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Washington state, according to the Washington State Department of Health. 

8:15 p.m. 

Mariner High School in Everett will be closed Friday for deep cleaning. Several other schools will also remain closed. 

Check here for the latest school closures

5:45 p.m. 

Vice President Mike Pence speaks about the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state, "All of America's hearts are with you."

Pence said 5.2 million coronavirus testing kits would be rolled out next week. 

RELATED: WATCH: VP Pence speaks about coronavirus in Washington

5 p.m. 

Snohomish County declared a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus outbreak and laid out guidelines for the public on Thursday.

RELATED: Snohomish County declares coronavirus emergency

4:20 p.m.

An emergency order has been issued to Washington state health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any person needing to be tested for coronavirus (COVID-19). The order was made by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Thursday. 

RELATED: Washington waives copays, deductibles for coronavirus testing and treatment

Insurers also must allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs and suspend any prior authorization requirements for treatment or testing of COVID-19. More here. 

3:15 p.m.

A worker at CenturyLink Field who tested positive for coronavirus worked at the Seattle Dragons game on Feb. 22. Health officials said "risk to the public is low." 

RELATED: CenturyLink worker with coronavirus served at Seattle Dragons game on Feb. 22

2 p.m.

Families of residents at the Life Care Center in Kirkland shared frustration state and federal health officials' response to the outbreak at the nursing home. The majority of King County's confirmed coronavirus cases are connected to the Life Care Center.

RELATED: Families upset with coronavirus response at Life Care Center in Kirkland

1 p.m. 

Another person in King County has died from coronavirus, according to Public Health – Seattle & King County. This death appears to be a person who was previously diagnosed with coronavirus, as the county's total number of cases remains at 51.

King County's coronavirus death toll is now at 10, and the statewide death toll is 11.

12:45 p.m.

An increased number of people in the Lake Washington Institute of Technology community were asked to self-quarantine. Public health officials asked 46 people, primarily from the nursing and physical therapy assistant programs, to take those precautionary measures.

The school says it has also heard from additional students who believe they may have been exposed to coronavirus, "a handful" of whom are experiencing mild symptoms, according to a school spokesperson.

Several Lake Washington Institute of Technology faculty and staff visited the Life Care Center of Kirkland last week before the coronavirus outbreak at the facility was detected. 

12:40 p.m.

The city of Arlington declared a citywide emergency to support the regional response to coronavirus.

The city says it doesn't know of any coronavirus cases within Arlington, but wanted to take "a proactive step" if the virus becomes a challenge, according to City Administrator Paul Ellis.

The city also plans to increase cleaning of city facilities.

12:30 p.m.

Microsoft asked Puget Sound and Bay Area employees who were able to work from home to do so until March 25th amid a coronavirus outbreak in King County.

The tech giant sent an email to employees Wednesday explaining the new work from home guidelines.

It also recommended people postpone travel to the Puget Sound or Bay Area unless it was essential for the continuity of Microsoft. All non-essential business travel to areas with the coronavirus is also expected to be canceled.

11:30 a.m.

Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson signed an emergency proclamation in response to the coronavirus outbreak in Washington state. There were no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bellevue as of Thursday morning.

The proclamation will streamline the “the city’s process for procuring equipment, supplies and services that might be needed if large numbers of residents and/or city staff contract the illness.”

Mayor Robinson is urging residents to support individuals who have chosen to self-quarantine. 

11 a.m.

The number of people currently infected with coronavirus in Washington state increased to 60. The number of deaths linked to the virus remains at 10. 

10 a.m.

As of Thursday morning, health officials say there are now 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Snohomish County, two probable cases, and more than 30 cases awaiting test results. 

Chris Spitters, the interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, says they are recommending - not mandating - that people avoid large gatherings if possible. Higher-risk populations, including people who are 60 years or older with underlying medical conditions, people with weakened immune systems, or women who are pregnant should take extra care, Spitters said. 

The health district is encouraging employers to offer telecommuting. If they can't, workers should minimize interacting with large groups. Officials say employers should "maximize" sick leave beenfits. 

The health district is still not encouraging school closures and will work with school leaders, Spitters said.

7:45 a.m.

Boeing's facilities team began cleaning a work area for the 777 production line after an employee went home sick Wednesday with flu-like symptoms.

The employee did not require emergency care and plans to contact his personal doctor Thursday, according to a Boeing spokesperson.

Boeing asked the employee's 10 teammates who were in close contact with him to also go home "out of an abundance of caution."

Boeing says it has not had any confirmed cases of coronavirus, but the company is "being extra cautious" and "proactive," according to the spokesperson.

5:45 a.m.

King County Metro said crews are now cleaning every bus each night using “21 newly acquired backpack sprayers distributed evenly across its seven bases.” Crews started cleaning buses with the sprayers Wednesday night, so all passengers and operators will board “fully disinfected” buses starting Thursday morning.

“This practice will continue for the foreseeable future as part of Metro’s ongoing efforts to support the health and safety of passengers, employees, and community members,” King County Metro said.

Metro said it upgraded cleaning protocols and frequency after coronavirus cases started being reported in the Puget Sound region. Metro said they previously cleaned and vacuumed each bus daily and conducted four-hour deep cleans every 30 days.

4:15 a.m.

The Olympia School District (OSD) said false information about the district relating to coronavirus was shared on a mobile messaging app. The district said an altered photo of one of the school websites was posted on Snapchat, stating that OSD schools will be closed next week for sanitation purposes.

The OSD said that information is not correct, and, as of Thursday morning, schools will be open next week.

“As always, in the event of a school closure or other school schedule change, we will communicate directly to families and staff through our automated communication system. This includes an email, text, and RoboCall sent by OSD Communications. We will also post school schedule information as a drop-down alert on our website and post on our official OSD social media platforms,” the district posted on their website.

Wednesday, March 4:

11:00 p.m.

Amazon is recommending that employees in Seattle/Bellevue who are able to work from home should do so until the end of the month.

8:03 p.m.

A contractor with Facebook based in Seattle's SODO neighborhood has tested positive for coronavirus. They were last at work on Friday, Feb. 21. The office will be closed immediately until March 9. Facebook is encouraging employees at all Seattle sites to work from home until Tuesday, March 31.

6:50 p.m.

The Washington State Department of Health said it's still safe to donate blood. Those who are symptom-free are encouraged to donate to help with the Washington state blood supply. 

5:51 p.m.

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology closed the campus out of an abundance of caution this evening to clean and disinfect after a faculty member tested positive for COVID-19. The campus will remain closed through the weekend, said Dr. Amy Morrison, president of the school. 

Several Lake Washington Institute of Technology faculty and staff visited the Life Care Center of Kirkland last week before the coronavirus outbreak at the facility was detected. 

5:20 p.m.

Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson has signed a proclamation of emergency for the city. Although there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bellevue, the mayor signed the proclamation in order to get equipment, supplies and services quickly in the event it spreads. 

3:27 p.m.

Via Associated Press: Missouri-Kansas City has joined Chicago State in not traveling to Seattle for regularly scheduled Western Athletic Conference men's basketball games over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

UMKC was scheduled to play Seattle University on Saturday but the conference says the school has canceled that trip. Chicago State announced previously it was canceling its men's basketball road trip to Seattle and Utah Valley and said its women's team would not host two games against the same schools. 

The cancellations are believed to be the first by a major sport in the United States due to the virus. 

3:00 p.m. 

Seattle-based cancer research center Fred Hutch has activated its mandatory remote work policy in response to King County's recommendations to have employees work from home to help decrease the spread of coronavirus. 

“It's important to know there's a difference between preparedness and panic,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch, president and director at Fred Hutch. “With technological advances, we have the ability to remotely conduct and collaborate on research projects. By limiting in-person contact, our goal is to safeguard our employees, research participants and visitors, while continuing our lifesaving research on cancer, HIV and other diseases, including COVID-19.”

The policy will be in effect March 5 through March 31. The policy excludes essential, on-campus staff such as security and facilities management.

2:00 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared for Snohomish County and the city of Everett due to the coronavirus. Snohomish County's Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters has also declared a public health emergency for the county. 

“We know people are concerned, and this declaration will help us work together to keep people safe,” said Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers. “These declarations formalize the work we’ve been doing together since the first COVID-19 coronavirus case was confirmed on January 21, 2020. Collaboration with all of our partners is what makes Snohomish County resilient. The public can be assured we are responding as quickly and decisively as possible.”

1:45 p.m.

Officials with Public Health Seattle & King County, The Washington State Department of Health, and King County Executive Dow Constantine provided multiple updates about coronavirus on Wednesday, here’s the latest:

  • Public Health Seattle & King County has deployed two physicians to the Life Care Center of Kirkland to assist the facility with giving its residents and employees care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has a team on-site at Life Care and is helping the staff contain the outbreak. Public health officials are planning to develop a team to make sure everyone in the facility can be tested for COVID-19.
  • King County Executive Dow Constantine said officials are recommending people who are over 60 years of age and have underlying health conditions, as well as people who are pregnant, avoid large crowds until further notice to limit potential exposure to coronavirus.
  • King County is recommending companies who can allow employees to telecommute should do so and postpone any large meetings or gatherings of 10 people or more until further notice, or find a way to do it virtually.
  • King County Government is following those recommendations. Constantine said any non-essential large group meetings will be canceled through the end of March. Employees who can telecommute will be encouraged to do so through the end of the month. That decision will be reassessed each week, according to Constantine.
  • Health officials are not currently recommending schools close unless a student or employee in the school has tested positive for the virus because they said children are not considered a high-risk group.
  • King County has solidified two additional locations for modular units to house people with coronavirus. One is in the Interbay neighborhood and another is in North Seattle, but the specific locations were not provided. King County has also purchased a motel in Kent that should be operational in the next few days.
  • Health officials reiterated people who are sick should stay home, and people should continue washing their hands with soap and water often.

RELATED: King County to buy Kent motel to house coronavirus patients

12:40 p.m.

Woodmoor Elementary School in the Northshore School District announced it will be closed on Thursday, March 5 for deep cleaning and disinfecting after a parent and volunteer at the school tested presumptively positive for coronavirus. 

The person was at the school Art Walk on Friday and volunteered in the classroom on Monday. 

12:25 p.m. 

UW Medicine says it can now test for the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19. Experts at UW Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratories started working on developing the test at the beginning of the year to help address the national shortage of tests.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it would allow certain laboratories to develop a diagnostic test for the virus under expedited approval, officials said.

Experts say this test will help speed up and expand testing of local cases. The UW Medicine Virology Lab started testing samples on Tuesday and it’s now operating 24 hours per day. Officials anticipate the lab being able to test 1,000 to 1,500 samples per day by the end of the week.

12:00 p.m.

Six Kitsap County residents are being tested for coronavirus through the state public health lab in Shoreline, according to the Kitsap Public Health District. There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kitsap County. The test results are expected in 48 to 72 hours.

“We know the spread of COVID-19 in our region is concerning for community members, especially those who are at higher risk for serious illness,” Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Susan Turner said. “We are asking the public to stay calm, stay informed and take steps to protect their health and the health of those around them. It's important to know that most people who have COVID-19 experience mild illness."

11:50 a.m. 

The Life Care Center of Kirkland announced it's stopping new admissions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak at the facility. Officials want to fully focus on their current residents and associates. Any family members who have questions about their loved ones at Life Care Center should call the facility directly. 

11:05 a.m.

One more person was reported dead from the coronavirus in King County, bringing the death toll in Washington state up to 10, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

King County also reported 10 new cases of coronavirus, and Snohomish County reported two new cases.

There are now 39 total cases of coronavirus in Washington state.

11 a.m.

Gov. Jay Inslee addressed the state's response to coronavirus in a news conference with reporters. Inslee said the federal government removed restrictions Tuesday that previously prevented people with mild symptoms who weren’t hospitalized to be tested.

“We now have been given a green light to increase the frequency and protocol under which people can be tested,” Inslee said. “I know people have been frustrated by that.”

The state plans to increase testing “significantly” in the next couple days. 

The Governor also said the state anticipates the scale of testing to increase, and it may require help from the private sector. The federal government is in talks with private labs to increase testing capacity, according to Inslee.

“We need to have the private labs to come to the front lines on this,” Inslee said.

10:45 a.m.

"A handful" of the 22 Lake Washington Institute of Technology students and faculty who are self-quarantined have exhibited some coronavirus symptoms, according to message sent to the school community. 

All of those students and staff reported they are "doing well."

Lake Washington Institute of Technology was closed Monday and Tuesday for cleaning and disinfecting after a group of nursing students visited Life Care Center in Kirkland, which is connected to at least 10 coronavirus cases.

10:25 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence announced he will visit Washington state on Thursday to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee. Press Secretary Katie Miller said Pence will travel to Olympia.

“We are here for every American and will continue to work with state and local leaders as we protect their health and well-being,” Pence said in a tweet.

10:20 a.m.

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (District 3) sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence urging the Trump Administration to work with “Congress, drug makers and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that there is as little impact as possible on the supply of PPE, medical devices, and prescription drugs in order to protect the safety and health of the American people.”

In the letter, Beutler also asked what steps the Administration is taking to ensure patients can access medication if there is a shortage of generic options, and what is being done to improve the accuracy and access to coronavirus tests.

9:30 a.m.

The Port of Seattle announced changes and new protocols at Sea-Tac International Airport to “maintain the safety, health, and well-being of passengers and employees.”

The Port said more than 45 new hand sanitizers have already been installed throughout Sea-Tac airport with another 90 expected to be installed soon. An additional 100 hand sanitizers will be installed as they become available. The hand sanitizers are being installed at security checkpoints, jet bridges, boarding gates, and transportation centers.

Sea-Tac has also increased cleaning at all “high touch point areas” like escalator handrails, elevator buttons, ticketing kiosks, stairwell handrails, restrooms, and gate hold room seating armrests and areas.

The Port also said shuttle buses at Sea-Tac airport will be cleaned multiple times a day and is in the process of installing hand sanitizer dispensers by bus driver stations or doors.

7 a.m.

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) said it was informed on March 3 that a student who attended classes at the Olympia campus was exposed to coronavirus at a social gathering. The student nor their spouse have shown any symptoms. SPSCC said the student is in contact with their health care provider and will be tested for the virus in the coming days.

SPSCC proactively did “concentrated disinfecting” Tuesday night in buildings 32 and 35 where the student attended classes. No campus closures are planned at this time.

6:40 a.m.

“Whether healthy or sick, please don’t lick!” The Washington State Department of Health and the Washington Secretary of State’s Office is recommending that voters use a wet sponge or cloth to seal your ballot return envelopes. Washington's presidential primary is March 10.

3:30 a.m.

Hazen High School in Renton will be closed for the rest of the week after a student tested positive for coronavirus.

Public Health – Seattle & King County recommended that the Renton School District close the school for the remainder of the week while health officials determine if anyone came in contact with the student. All other Renton schools are open and on a regular schedule.

Check school closures here 

What's open and closed due to coronavirus around Puget Sound

Tuesday, March 3:

10:30 p.m. 

More schools announce closures for Wednesday due to coronavirus, including Frank Love Elementary in Bothell and Clover Park Technical College in Puyallup.

6:45 p.m. 

Lake Washington Institute of Technology in Kirkland will reopen Wednesday, March 4 after closing several days for a deep cleaning. Nursing students had contact with patients at Life Care Center, where several residents tested positive for coronavirus. 

5:33 p.m.

Amazon announced an employee at Seattle headquarters tested positive for coronavirus. It is not known if this is a new case or a previously reported case. 

RELATED: Amazon employee at Seattle HQ tests positive for coronavirus

5:25 p.m. 

Emerald City Comic Con is still scheduled in Seattle March 12-15 amid coronavirus concerns. Last year's event brought nearly 100,000 people to the Washington State Convention Center over a four-day span. 

4:45 p.m. 

The House unanimously voted to increase funding around coronavirus from $10 million to $100 million. The proposal now moves to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. 

RELATED: House approves $100 million proposal to fight coronavirus in Washington

12 p.m.

North Carolina gets its first case of coronavirus. The person who tested positive visited the Life Care Center in Kirkland, a nursing home at the center of a possible outbreak in Washington State.

RELATED: North Carolina's first coronavirus case linked to Washington outbreak

11:50 a.m.

The Washington State Department of Health says six people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Snohomish County. One person had died.

Another 21 tested positive in King County. Eight have died. 

That brings the total number of deaths in Washington to nine.

11 a.m.

Public Health - Seattle & King County says a patient admitted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Feb. 24, died on Feb. 26. The patient tested positive for coronavirus. 

The patient had underlying medical conditions and was transferred from Life Care Center of Kirkland. 

8 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (District 3) and three other representatives introduced legislation to "encourage the rapid innovation and approval of a treatment to prevent or cure the 2019 Coronavirus." 

“My home state of Washington has recently seen an outbreak of the novel coronavirus that’s resulted in six confirmed deaths so far, which is why we must act quickly to stop the spread of the virus and pursue a cure,” Herrera Beutler said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in offering this bipartisan bill that prioritizes the review of newly developed treatment for COVID-19; if bureaucratic red tape gets in the way of viable treatments, we’re unnecessarily putting lives at risk. We will be infinitely more effective in containing and preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus in this nation if we work in a cooperative, bipartisan fashion and focus on solutions.”

7:30 a.m.

Kirkland Seventh-day Adventist School and Puget Sound Adventist Academy announced just before 7:30 a.m. class was canceled for "extensive cleaning." 

4 a.m.

Classes will be held online Tuesday at Bellevue Children's Academy in Bellevue and Willows Preparatory School in Redmond.

Click here for the latest school closures

Monday, March 2:

11 p.m. 

Several more schools announced closures for Tuesday, March 3 and beyond. 

8:20 p.m. 

Coronavirus may have been in Washington state a week earlier than any known U.S. cases. A Snohomish County man traveled through Sea-Tac Airport on Jan. 15 after visiting China. His illness was not confirmed until Jan. 21. The man has since fully recovered. 

RELATED: Coronavirus could have been in Washington state undetected for a week

RELATED: This interactive map shows all reported coronavirus cases in the world

5:08 p.m.

Redmond Mayor Angela Birney has declared a proclamation of local emergency. She said, "the City may require supplemental assistance if the severity of the event goes beyond the capabilities of local resources."

5:00 p.m.

Snohomish County health officials held a press conference on their response to the coronavirus. 

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said, "I intend to sign a declaration of emergency. I am taking this step to ensure we are nimble and can respond should the progression of the disease have more widespread impacts." 

3:30 p.m.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee announced that the state has increased the capacity to get coronavirus tests back faster from a facility in Shoreline. The facility should be able to test 100 (or 200 tests) a day. 

The state has also asked people to consider avoiding large crowds. While the state has not banned or canceled large events, but people should be prepared for that possibility.

The state has also asked the federal government for its stockpile of medicine, masks, and hospital gowns. 

3 p.m.

Gov. Inslee is giving an update on the state's response to the coronavirus. 

2:35 p.m.
Seattle Public Schools crews deep cleaned Kimball Elementary School over the weekend due to coronavirus concerns, according to spokesperson Tim Robinson.

The mother of a Kimball student is friends with a co-worker who isn’t feeling well, and the mother decided to keep her child home as a precaution.

There are no plans to close the school, but the principal sent a letter to parents advising them of the situation.

2:31 p.m.

Seattle University announces one student was in close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus. The student has been deemed at medium risk for contracting the virus-- right now, they are not showing signs or symptoms but they will self-quarantine for 14 days. 

Out of an abundance of caution, the university will clean and disinfect the areas where the student was present during a two-hour window on Friday, including a classroom in Pigott Hall and the atrium common area of Pigott Hall. 

12:45 p.m.

The City of Kirkland says there are 27 firefighters and two police officer in quarantine due to the coronavirus. 

"We anticipate that this could continue to happen as the situation evolves. We have also been notified that some of our firefighters in quarantine are demonstrating flu like symptoms," a statement from the city reads. "We are working closely with Public Health – Seattle & King County and adhering to their testing protocols."

The city's fire and police departments remain fully staffed.


Four additional coronavirus cases in King County brought the total number of known cases up to 14, including three more deaths. 

The four new cases involve:

  • A male in his 50s, hospitalized at Highline Hospital. No known exposures. He is in stable but critical condition. He had no underlying health conditions.
  • A male in his 70s, a resident of LifeCare, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The man had underlying health conditions, and died 3/1/20.
  • A female in her 70s, a resident of LifeCare, hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland. The woman had underlying health conditions, and died 3/1/20.
  • A female in her 80s, a resident of LifeCare, was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth. She is in critical condition.
  • In addition, a woman in her 80s, who was already reported as in critical condition at Evergreen, died. She died on 3/1/20.

11:30 a.m.

The Washington State Department of Health says the coronavirus hotline (1-800-525-0127) is reportedly working again. Previously, people who called were prompted to press # and then promptly disconnected. 

11:10 a.m.

Washington state health officials announced six people have died and at least 18 people in King and Snohomish counties presumptively have tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus.

King County Executive Dow Constantine says officials are in "final negotiations" to purchase a motel for people diagnosed with coronavirus who need to be isolated and recover. That should be made available by the end of the week, according to Constantine.

Additionally, officials are working to provide modular housing on public properties throughout the county.

“We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain and mitigate this outbreak. King County is aligned and organized behind this common mission, with Public Health – Seattle & King County as our lead agency,” Executive Constantine said. “We will direct all available resources to help cities, health-care facilities, businesses, and families continue life as normally as possible. But our best strategies depend on millions of residents actively following established disease prevention guidelines.”

10:30 a.m.

State and local leaders are providing an update on coronavirus in Washington state at 11 a.m. King County Executive Dow Constantine is expected to announce an emergency declaration in response to the virus. 

10 a.m.

The Washington State Department of Health says the coronavirus hotline (1-800-525-0127) is currently down. People who call are prompted to press # and then promptly disconnected.

A spokesperson says the department is working to fix the issue.  

9 a.m. 

Puyallup School District closed Ferrucci Junior High and Wildwood Elementary for deep cleaning after a family reported having flu-like symptoms. Students en route to the schools were transported to the Karshner Center. 

8:45 a.m. 
A skyscraper in downtown Seattle will be closed Monday so crews can sanitize offices. 

An F5 employee at the Seattle headquarters was in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, prompting the company close the tower.

The employee tested negative for coronavirus, according to a company spokesperson.

F5 says it will encourage employees to work remotely, convert large in-person events to virtual meetings and postpone all non-essential business travel.

Monday, March 2, 8 a.m. 
Kingston High School was the ninth school in western Washington to close Monday due to coronavirus concerns.

A student who attends the high school is being tested for coronavirus, according to the North Kitsap School District.

Follow more school closures here.

What are coronavirus symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization. Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.

Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.

A new Washington call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

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