The Washington Examiner’s Kimberly Leonard reports:
A skilled nursing facility in Washington state reported that at least two people have the coronavirus, and state officials say other residents are reporting similar respiratory symptoms.
The development, reported on Saturday, is particularly worrisome because scientists say that coronavirus can be far worse in people who are older and who have underlying health problems. Nursing homes, in particular, face the prospect of widespread illness because people are in close quarters and regularly receive visitors and require the help of healthcare staff.
One health worker at the nursing home, who is in her 40s, was found to have the virus. The other infected person is a 70-year-old resident. State officials said another 27 residents of the nursing home and 25 staff are reporting symptoms similar to COVID-19, which involve fever, cough, and difficulty of breathing.
A third person died from the illness, known as COVID-19, in the state, but was not connected to the facility. The patient who died was a male in his 50s who had severe underlying health issues, officials said. He was a patient at EvergreenHealth Hospital, and while it’s not clear where the patient became infected, officials said it did not appear he got the virus while he was at the hospital or that the man had a connection to Life Care.
“At the present time, we do not see a connection between the two, but there are some evolving threats that are being investigated,” said Dr. Frank Riedo, medical director of Infection Control at EvergreenHealth. The man’s family was informed that they risked getting infected, and healthcare workers are following up with them, Riedo said.