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Washington state is buying a motel to isolate coronavirus patients

Rosie Perper , Business Insider US
 Mar 03, 2020, 02:16 PM
Coronavirus
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  • Officials in King County, Washington, are moving to purchase a local motel in order to isolate coronavirus patients undergoing treatment.
  • Officials have not revealed the location or name of the motel and said they will disclose more information once the purchase is finalized in the coming days.
  • The US has reported more than 100 cases of coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, in total. As of Monday, Washington state has confirmed 18 cases of the virus, including the six deaths.
  • For more, go to Business Insider's home page. 

Officials in Washington state - where six patients at a local hospital have already died from coronavirus - are moving to buy a motel in order to house and isolate patients infected with the disease.

The US has reported nearly 100 cases of coronavirus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, in total. As of Monday, Washington state has confirmed 18 cases of the virus, including the six deaths.

Officials have recorded several cases of community spread in California, Washington, and Oregon - people who had no known exposure to the coronavirus or an infected patient, and had no history of travel to a country where the virus has spread.

All of the deaths in Washington state occurred at EvergreenHealth, a hospital in the Seattle area. On Monday, King County public health officials reported three deaths: a man and woman in their 70s with underlying health conditions, and a woman in her 80s who was previously listed in critical condition.

King County Executive Dow Constantine on Sunday initiated emergency response measures to combat the spread of the disease, including buying a local motel to isolate patients recovering from COVID-19 as well as those actively undergoing treatment.

"We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain and mitigate this outbreak," Constantine said at a press briefing.

Officials have not released the location or name of the motel but are expected to disclose more information once the purchase is finalized in the coming days.

Modular housing units throughout King County, including in Seattle, will also be used to house patients, according to MyNorthwest.

"We will direct all available resources to help cities, health-care facilities, businesses, and families continue life as normally as possible," Constantine said. "But our best strategies depend on millions of residents actively following established disease prevention guidelines."

Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 89,000 people, and killed more than 3,000, about 90% of whom are in China. Cases have been reported in at least 69 countries.

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