Editor’s note: This is a live account of updates from Thursday as the events unfolded. Extended coverage of the outbreak of a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2; the illness it causes, COVID-19; and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world can be found here.

New cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by a new coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2, continue to pop up around the Puget Sound region. In total, 70 people in Washington state have been diagnosed, including 11 people who have died.

Throughout Thursday, on this page, we’ll be posting Seattle Times journalists’ updates on the outbreak and its effects on the Seattle area, the Pacific Northwest and the world. Updates from Wednesday can be found here, and all our coronavirus coverage can be found here.

See which schools are closed for coronavirus-related reasons

Live updates:

Family members of Kirkland nursing home residents decry response to coronavirus outbreak

Lori Spencer’s mother, Judy Shape, lives at the Life Care Center of Kirkland. She and other family members of residents gathered Thursday to air concerns with the center, where several people have died after contracting coronavirus infections. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Lori Spencer’s mother, Judy Shape, lives at the Life Care Center of Kirkland. She and other family members of residents gathered Thursday to air concerns with the center, where several people have died after contracting coronavirus infections. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

For nearly a week, the eyes of the nation have been on a nursing home in Kirkland, ground zero of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

Families with loved ones at Life Care Center of Kirkland demanded more information, growing more concerned as the number of deaths from the nursing home rose to 10. Even as their roommates were taken to the hospital, residents at the nursing home were not tested for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, according to their family members. And as staff got sick, workers said they needed reinforcements.

It appears a fuller response is finally coming.

Read the full story here.

—Asia Fields, Daniel Gilbert, Mary Hudetz and Katherine Khashimova Long
Advertising

Microsoft confirms second case of COVID-19

Microsoft announced Thursday evening that a second employee, who works at its LinkedIn business, tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee at LinkedIn had no known contact with anyone affected by the virus, according to an email sent to employees. The first confirmed case among Microsoft employees — someone who works in Redmond and whose husband is a resident at Life Care Center of Kirkland — was announced earlier Thursday.

Both employees live in the Puget Sound area, the email said.

Holy Family Parish in Kirkland closed Friday for cleaning

Kirkland‘s Holy Family church and school will be closed tomorrow for cleaning. A priest learned he anointed a Life Care Center patient who tested positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesperson for the Seattle Archdiocese.

—Katherine Khashimova Long

Amid coronavirus concerns, Seattle homebuying frenzy continues

Even as concern over the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus mounts, the most recent data on area home sales from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) shows the market for Seattle-area residential realty remains hot.

It’s too early to tell just what the impact of the novel coronavirus will be in the coming weeks, but all else being equal, low inventory and price increases are expected to continue into the spring, brokers said.

Read the full story here.

—Katherine Khashimova Long
Advertising

Vice President Mike Pence says Washington has full support of federal government

Vice President Mike Pence and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield speak at a press conference about the coronavirus outbreak with Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee at Camp Murray, Wash. (Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times)

Read the full story here.

—Joe O'Sullivan

What if school closes? Answers to common questions about the coronavirus and schools

Ed Lab's Hannah Furfaro created this FAQ about school and the coronavirus. We'll continue to update it; you can submit your questions here.

Washington’s Ferguson, 16 other state AGs protest 'public charge' changes coronavirus outbreak

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 16 other state attorneys general plan to send a letter Friday citing the coronavirus outbreak as cause for the Trump administration to stop implementing the new version of a rule that allows people to be denied green cards by immigration officials based on having received public benefits.

Ferguson’s letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Citizenship and Immigrant Services officials will argue the new “public charge” rule is undermining efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 by deterring immigrants from using medical benefits, according to the attorney general’s office.

Attorneys general from states such as California, Iowa, Michigan and New York have signed onto the letter, Ferguson’s office said.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman
Advertising

Kirkland's emergency operations center up and running

Officials work in Kirkland’s emergency operations center Thursday afternoon. (Paige Cornwell / The Seattle Times)

Kirkland activated its emergency operations center to coordinate its emergency response to the coronavirus outbreak. In Kirkland, several first responders remain in quarantine after they took patients from Life Care Center.

—Paige Cornwell

Streaming Shabbat, suspending services: How Seattle-area houses of worship are responding to the coronavirus

Since opening the region’s largest mosque 14 years ago, the Muslim Association of Puget Sound has never canceled its traditional Friday prayer service.

But that changed late Thursday when, after speaking with King County and public health officials, President Hyder Ali decided — “out of an abundance of caution,” he said — to cancel the Redmond mosque’s congregational prayers amid a rapid spread of the novel coronavirus in Washington.

Across the Puget Sound region, as public health officials cautioned against large gatherings in the hopes of slowing the spread of coronavirus, some religious groups and houses of worship started canceling services — or finding creative ways to pray.

Read the full story here.

—Neal Morton

Microsoft to continue paying hourly employees regular wages even if work hours are reduced

Microsoft said Thursday it will keep paying the wages of hourly service workers in the Puget Sound and in northern California during the coronavirus outbreak even as the company's need for them lessens while many of its employees work from home.

"This will ensure that, in Puget Sound for example, the 4,500 hourly employees who work in our facilities will continue to receive their regular wages even if their work hours are reduced,” Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a blog post Thursday. He referred to "individuals who work for our vendors and staff our cafes, drive our shuttles and support our on-site tech and audio-visual needs."

Smith encouraged other big businesses to do the same.

Read the full story here. 

—Boaz Herzog
Advertising

Seattle City Council approves Mayor Jenny Durkan’s coronavirus emergency, makes some requests

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan acquired broad new powers Thursday as the City Council approved an emergency declaration designed to help address the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Under the temporary emergency proclamation, the mayor will be able to bypass regulations and steps usually required for spending, contracting, borrowing and temporary hiring. She’ll be able to open facilities without the permits and reviews usually required. She could also have the authority to close streets and businesses, cancel events, order curfews and impose price controls, according to city law.

The council made some minor changes to the mayor’s Tuesday proclamation and issued several requests in an accompanying resolution in order to highlight certain priorities.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman

Sounders’ match Saturday to be played despite coronavirus concerns. But could other Seattle-area sporting events soon be affected?

On Sunday, 40,126 fans gathered at CenturyLink Field to watch the Sounders open their MLS season with a come-from-behind, 2-1 victory over the Chicago Fire. They did so a day after Gov. Jay Inslee had declared a state of emergency across Washington — and with additional hand-sanitizer stations installed in key areas of the stadium, and sanitary wipes available at all concession stands.

But though Saturday’s Sounders match appears set to be played, several other Seattle-area sporting events already have been affected by COVID-19.

Read the full story here.

—Mike Vorel

Seattle police ask community to consider donating blood

The Seattle Police Department is encouraging anyone who is symptom-free to donate blood, as the coronavirus outbreak starts to affect the state's blood supply.

Bloodworks Northwest assured community members earlier this week that it’s safe to donate blood amid concerns that fewer people will donate as coronavirus fears heighten.

There have been no reported cases of coronavirus transmitted through transfusion, Bloodworks Northwest said.

—Elise Takahama
Advertising

Vice President Mike Pence thanks Gov. Jay Inslee and local officials for response to outbreak

CAMP MURRAY – In a brief roundtable Thursday evening with Washington’s elected officials, Vice President Mike Pence thanked Gov. Jay Inslee, state health officials, the city of Seattle and others for their work responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The president wanted me to be here today to make it crystal clear that we’re with you,” Pence, who sat next to Inslee, told those gathered.

Pence also praised what he called “swift and bipartisan” efforts of U.S. Congress to approve a federal funding bill for the coronavirus response.

The roundtable included members of Washington's congressional delegation, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier and Metropolitan King County Councilman Reagan Dunn.

After the roundtable, Pence, Inslee and others were scheduled to hold a media briefing on response efforts.

—Joe O'Sullivan

Snohomish County health officials expect new cases to increase as testing expands

EVERETT — The number of new coronavirus cases is expected to grow now that UW Medicine is testing for the virus, in addition to tests being done at the state’s lab, said Snohomish County’s public health officer.

The county and the health district laid out a series of recommendations for county residents to follow, including social distancing. Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District, urged people to reconsider attending any gathering of 50 people or more.

“The larger the group, the higher the risk,” Spitters said. “The closer the contact between individuals the higher the risk.”

Read the full story here.

—Ryan Blethen

Families of nursing-home residents at center of coronavirus outbreak demand answers

Mike Weatherill shows a photo of his mom who died at the Life Care Center in Kirkland. He said he was sad but grateful to the staff at the center.   (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
Mike Weatherill shows a photo of his mom who died at the Life Care Center in Kirkland. He said he was sad but grateful to the staff at the center. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

A group of families associated with the Life Care Center of Kirkland, the long-term care facility at the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak in the United States, decried the response by the center and government officials Thursday afternoon.

Kevin Connolly, whose father-in-law is a Life Care resident who has not showed symptoms of the virus, said one of his main concerns is that residents are being told they have to be symptomatic to be tested. His family has to wait seven to 10 business days before they know if Connolly can be tested at all, he said.

Read the full story here.

—Elise Takahama
Advertising

Microsoft employee tests positive for virus

A Microsoft employee whose husband is a resident at the Life Care Center of Kirkland has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has been in self-quarantine since Saturday, but was at work the previous week.

Microsoft, with nearly 54,000 employees in Washington state, Wednesday urged King County employees to work from home if possible to contain the spread of the virus.

—Katherine Khashimova Long

Seattle Parks and Recreation cancels senior program for at least two weeks

Seattle Parks and Recreation has canceled its Lifelong Recreation senior program classes, trips and drop-in programs for at least the next two weeks due to the coronavirus outbreak, Parks said in a news release Thursday.

That’s because Public Health – Seattle & King County issued new recommendations Wednesday advising people over 60 years old to stay home and away from large groups as much as possible, the release said.

The Lifelong Recreation programs are based out of Parks-operated community centers.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patients during this difficult time,” the release said, asking people with questions or concerns to call Cheryl Brown at 206 615-0619.

—Daniel Beekman

Televangelist Jim Bakker warned to stop peddling unproven coronavirus cures

The Rev. Jim Bakker, a televangelist and salesman, has long promoted “Silver Solution” — a scientifically dubious medication made from the precious metal — to cure all sorts of ailments.

On Feb. 12, as the novel coronavirus was making worldwide headlines, a clip on Bakker's TV show included on-screen text saying people "seeking a cure for coronavirus" should buy tubes of Silver Solution from Bakker's website.

Calling herself “extremely concerned” about the clip from the show, Lisa Landau, the chief of the attorney general’s health care bureau, sternly told Bakker that there is no known medical treatment for the coronavirus disease, which has sickened patients around the world, including in New York.

Landau said any future claims promoting Silver Solution as a cure would violate laws against false advertising.

Read the full story here.

—The Washington Post
Advertising

CenturyLink Field employee who worked Seattle Dragons game represents a low risk of infection for game attendees, public health officials say

A part-time stadium worker at CenturyLink Field who worked the Seattle Dragons XFL game on Feb. 22 recently tested positive for novel coronavirus, but public health officials cautioned that the risk is low that the employee infected any of the more than 22,000 people who attended the game.

The employee, who public health officials did not identify, worked as a concessions vendor, according to a source knowledgeable about the matter.

Read more here.

—Lewis Kamb

Children may be as susceptible to the novel coronavirus as adults, study suggests

Children may be just as likely as adults to get infected with the novel coronavirus, according to new unpublished research released Wednesday.

The study helps clarify prior research findings, which have suggested that children are less likely to develop symptoms. The work also may help explain why schools have been largely immune to large outbreaks. So far, the virus has seemed to spare children from its worst effects; few reported cases in children have been severe.

But until now, as Nature reported, it was unclear whether children aren’t getting infected, or if they are better than adults at combating the infection. The new findings suggest the latter.

The study involved more than 390 COVID-19 cases in Shenzhen, China, and 1,286 of their family members or other close contacts. Children under 10 who were likely exposed to people with the coronavirus were at the same risk of testing positive for the virus as other age groups, the researchers found.

The research was posted to an online repository called medRxiv, which allows researchers to publish results instantly instead of waiting months for the peer review process. Such repositories are thought to make science more transparent and give researchers a venue for feedback from their scientific colleagues.

The study doesn’t offer insight into whether children are more likely to be important for transmitting the virus, as they are for other conditions, such as influenza.

—Hannah Furfaro

Woodland Park Zoo remains open, but closes indoor areas

Woodland Park Zoo remains open, but the zoo's store is closed Thursday for deep-cleaning because an employee attends Lake Washington Institute of Technology, the zoo said in a news release. The employee is not exhibiting any symptoms and has not had any known contact with impacted students.

Indoor, high-traffic areas at the zoo will be closed for the next three weeks, including Zoomazium, Willawong Station, the Tropical Rainforest and the carousel. Programs including animal feedings, school programs and large group gatherings are also canceled. The zoo is also increasing the number of daily restroom cleanings and disinfecting touch points such as knobs and handles during those cleanings.

The zoo is taking precautions to ensure the health of its animals, but the CDC has not received any reports of animals becoming sick with COVID-19, the release said. The zoo has a surplus of food and medical supplies for animals.

—Taylor Blatchford
Advertising

UW professor pens NYT op-ed on coronavirus

Margaret O’Mara, a history professor at the University of Washington and the author of “The Code: Silicon Valley and the Remaking of America,” wrote a guest column for The New York Times about how the COVID-19 crisis is "forcing a tech boomtown to hit pause" as it adjusts to being "the nation's coronavirus capital."

"Classes continue on the University of Washington’s campus, some half-empty, others completely full," she wrote. "I have been teaching here 13 years, and faculty members have been getting detailed, palpably anxious instructions from administrators on how to teach online and on hand-washing and social distance, and reminders that no one on our 46,000-student campus has tested positive for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. For now."

You can read the full op-ed here.

NHL Seattle delays season-ticket pricing and seat selection out of coronavirus concerns

NHL Seattle has postponed the release of season-ticket prices and its seat selection process for this week and possibly next week, saying it’s out of respect for concerns the teams fans may have over COVID-19.

Read the full story here.

—Geoff Baker

Jewish Shabbat services and other gatherings affected

Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood will stream its Shabbat services Friday night and Saturday morning, rather than having congregants come in person.

Saturday morning Torah study will be held via Zoom, a video conferencing platform, "if enough participants wish to do so," according to an email sent to congregants.

"While we cannot gather in community physically to celebrate Shabbat together, we encourage you to celebrate at home," the email said.

Jennifer Rosen Meade Preschool will remain open until further notice but with no group "Tot Shabbat." Hebrew School classes are still taking place this week.

Capitol Hill Minyan, a Jewish Orthodox prayer group that meets at a nursing home, announced on its website that it was suspending services as of March 4.

—Gina Cole
Advertising

Health-care workers worry about their own protection from coronavirus

In widespread outbreaks of infectious disease, health-care workers are almost always hit hard. And the U.S. health-care system already has shortages of some critical personnel. As caregivers become infected or face isolation at home, maintaining the labor pool is one of the most important tasks that hospitals and nursing homes will confront in coming weeks, experts said, along with having the face masks, moon suits and other gear needed to protect them.

Some health-care worker advocates say hospital administrators are not adequately protecting their staff members, although some medical centers are taking extra measures to protect current employees’ health and ensure that they will have sufficient staff to handle the outbreak.

Read the full story here.

—The Washington Post

Seattle mayor to expand shelter space available for homeless as a result of coronavirus outbreak

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced Thursday that she would quickly use her public health emergency authority to expand shelter capacity for homeless people amid the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

Within the next two to three weeks, the city will add enough units to house up to an additional 100 people at three sites, including at two tiny house villages, one an existing tiny house village site in South Lake Union, and another, new village on a church-owned property at 22nd Ave and East Union Street.

The city will also be adding shelter space at a former Evergreen treatment facility in Bitter Lake, owned by the Low Income Housing Institute.

Read the full story here.

—Sydney Brownstone

Everett Community College closed for the weekend

Everett Community College closed at noon Thursday and will remain closed through Sunday for deep cleaning, according to an announcement from President Daria J. Wills. All classes are canceled, including online classes, and all offices are closed at all EvCC locations.

"We hope to resume regular operations on Monday. I will provide an update on Sunday about the status of operations for Monday," Wills wrote at 12:15 p.m. Thursday.

Just over two hours later, Wills posted another announcement saying an EvCC student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Public Health - Seattle & King County.

"EvCC is working closely with local and state public health officials and following guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Snohomish Health District," Wills wrote. "Due to federal healthcare laws and student privacy laws, we are restricted from being able to share the name of the student."

—Gina Cole
Advertising

King County exec asks for more than $27 million for COVID-19 response

Calling the outbreak of COVID-19 in the area a “genuine emergency,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said he was asking for emergency funding of more than $27 million to aid the county’s response.

The funds, Constantine said, include more than $6 million to address added costs taken on by Public Health – Seattle & King County, $19.5 million for new quarantine facilities and $1.6 million for the Human Services Department to prepare existing homeless shelters to handle the outbreak.

“Right now we’re using general fund money, which is not plentiful, and we’re going to have to sort it out later," Constantine said. "We don’t have the luxury of waiting to ensure that we’re going to be reimbursed by the federal or state government. We just need to move.”

Read the full story here.

—David Gutman

KEXP stopping public tours, advising volunteers to stay home if sick

KEXP sent the following guidance to its volunteers Thursday via email:

If you are sick or someone in your household is sick, please stay home and take care. Again, just inform your respective volunteer team and request someone covers that shift. In regards to the Spring Drive, please contact us right away if you can’t come in and unconfirm yourself from your shift.

If you are in a household or in direct contact with a vulnerable person, we would strongly encourage you stay home.

We are limiting large gatherings where we have other options. For example:

  • We’ll be discontinuing public tours.
  • During the Spring Drive, we have chosen to reduce the number of phone shifts to 10 people max for shifts tomorrow through Wednesday, 3/11 (we’ll reassess 3/12 and 3/13 next week). We are reviewing our continuing to review options.

Louvre bans cash over coronavirus fears

The world’s most-visited museum is shifting to card-only payments as part of new measures that helped persuade employees worried about getting sick to return to work Wednesday.

Louvre workers who guard Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and other masterpieces walked off the job on Sunday, fearful of being contaminated by the museum’s flow of tourists from around the world.

The Louvre’s move could bring it into conflict with the Bank of France, which said refusing cash is illegal and unnecessary.

—The Associated Press
Advertising

How to talk to kids about the novel coronavirus

Children across Washington have been asking their teachers, parents and caregivers tough questions about COVID-19. Kids have been told their schools are closed "out of an abundance of caution" or due to concern that someone at the school had been exposed to someone infected with the virus.

That can be scary. Here are some tips we've compiled on how to have frank conversations about the coronavirus with children and teens.

—Hannah Furfaro

Starbucks tells staff to clean U.S. stores every 8-30 minutes

In a sign of just how seriously the restaurant industry is taking the spread of the new coronavirus in America, Seattle-based Starbucks said staff across its 14,000 U.S. sites are being told to wipe down busy areas of the store ideally every eight minutes.

If that can’t be achieved, stores shouldn’t go more than 30 minutes without being cleaned, Rossann Williams, the chain’s executive vice president of the U.S. company-operated business and Canada, said in a statement Thursday.

—Bloomberg News

Allen Institute for Brain Science tells 'non-essential employees' to stay home

In addition to the guidance from Public Health - Seattle & King County, the institute cited a similar announcement by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in its decision to tell "non-essential employees" to work from home beginning Friday.

"We will continue this policy through March 31, and will evaluate it on a weekly basis," the institute's administrative leadership team wrote in a Wednesday email to employees. "We emphasize that the Allen Institute remains OPEN for business."

The institute's leadership wants to have about 10% of the workforce come to the building, "a minimal crew keeping vital experiments and critical business operations going," the email said.

—Gina Cole

Sweeping Senate vote sends Trump $8.3B bill to fight virus

WASHINGTON — The Senate passed an $8.3 billion measure Thursday to help tackle the coronavirus outbreak in hopes of reassuring a fearful public and accelerating the government’s response to the virus, whose rapid spread is threatening to upend everyday life in the U.S. and across the globe.

The money would pay for a multifaceted attack on a virus that is spreading more widely every day, sending financial markets spiraling again Thursday, disrupting travel and potentially threatening the U.S. economy’s decade-long expansion.

Thursday’s sweeping 96-1 vote sends the bill to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., cast the sole “no” vote. The House passed the bill Wednesday by a 415-2 vote.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

Public health officials confirm 11th death in Washington

Public health officials confirmed that a woman in her 90s died Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths in Washington to 11.

It had been previously announced that she tested positive for COVID-19 and was being hospitalized at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland.

The woman was a resident at Life Care of Kirkland.

Public Health — Seattle & King County confirmed that the death was separate from that of another woman in her 90s announced Wednesday.

—Asia Fields

Cruise ship is held off California coast for virus testing

FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered the cruise ship to hold off the California coast Thursday, March 5, to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File) CAFRA450 CAFRA450
FILE – In this Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, the Grand Princess cruise ship passes the Golden Gate Bridge as it arrives from Hawaii in San Francisco. Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered the cruise ship to hold off the California coast Thursday, March 5, to await testing of those aboard, after a passenger on an earlier voyage died and at least one other became infected. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, File) CAFRA450 CAFRA450

SAN FRANCISCO — Scrambling to keep the coronavirus at bay, officials ordered a cruise ship with about 3,500 people aboard to hold off the California coast Thursday until passengers and crew could be tested, after a traveler from its previous voyage died and at least one other became infected.

A Coast Guard helicopter was expected to deliver test kits to the Grand Princess once it reached the waters off San Francisco later in the day. Princess Cruise Lines said fewer than 100 of those aboard had been identified for testing,

“The ship will not come on shore until we appropriately assess the passengers,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Read the full story here.

—Associated Press

No deductibles, co-pays for coronavirus visits, tests

Washington’s insurance commissioner issued an emergency order Thursday directing health insurance carriers with state-regulated plans, through May 4, to provide health care provider visits and novel coronavirus testing without co-payments and deductible payments to enrollees and who meet criteria for testing.

Questions about coronavirus testing and treatment costs have stirred some concern about people without insurance, as well as insured people without extra money for surprise medical bills. People worried about costs may delay care and thereby contribute to the spread of the virus, public health experts have said.

Read the full story here.

—Daniel Beekman & Joseph O'Sullivan

Boeing facilities team cleaning Everett work area after worker sent home with flu-like symptoms

Boeing notified employees late Wednesday that an employee on the 777 production line in Everett went home with flu-like symptoms and about 10 co-workers who were in close contact on the second shift were asked to also go home “out of an abundance of caution.”

Spokesman Bernard Choi said the company has not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

The message to employees said the ill worker did not need emergency care and was planning to contact his doctor Thursday.

“The facilities team has begun cleaning the work area, again just to be safe,” the message from Everett site leader Jeff Klemann continued.

“I know this is a stressful time for many given the coronavirus outbreak in Washington State. Let me be clear: So far, we have not had any confirmed cases of coronavirus at Boeing. That said, we are being extra cautious, proactive and keeping you informed with the latest guidance. We have a medical team that is actively monitoring the situation at our sites.”

Boeing said its health services director in Everett, a doctor, is monitoring the situation inside the factory. She advised employees that “this is cold and flu season so we should expect that others may feel ill for many reasons other than the coronavirus. As a reminder, if you are sick, please stay home. I ask everyone to be patient as we work through this dynamic situation.”

Boeing said Thursday it is telling managers that "employees who are able to perform work offsite should telecommute from home."

—Dominic Gates

State now has 70 confirmed coronavirus cases

Washington now has 70 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Washington state Department of Health Secretary John Wiesman.

Of those 70 cases, 51 are in King County (including nine deaths), 18 are in Snohomish County (including one death) and one is in Grant County.

—Joseph O'Sullivan

VP Mike Pence to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Washington state this afternoon to meet with Gov. Jay Inslee amid rising anxiety over the coronavirus outbreak and political criticism over the Trump administration’s response.

Pence plans to fly into Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Air Force Two at about 3 p.m., according to the White House.

Pence is scheduled to meet with Inslee at 4 p.m. at the state emergency operations center at Camp Murray, and the two will hold a joint news conference after 5 p.m.

Members of Washington’s congressional delegation will join Pence and Inslee, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, and Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.

Read the full story here.

—Jim Brunner

UW law student might have been exposed to virus

A first-year University of Washington law student has been asked by health care professionals to self-isolate out of concern he or she might have contracted the novel coronavirus, according to an email to the UW Law community from Mario L. Barnes, the law school’s dean.

“The student’s health care team reports that according to CDC guidelines, the student currently does not warrant testing. As a result, we do not know with certainty whether the student has coronavirus,” Barnes wrote. “The student's professors are working to make accommodations for coursework.”

—Evan Bush

Catch up on major developments over the past 24 hours

In Washington state:

Elsewhere in the world:

—Gina Cole & Kris Higginson

Coronavirus resources

How is this outbreak affecting you?

What has changed about your daily life? What kinds of discussions are you having with family members and friends? Are you a health care worker who's on the front lines of the response? Are you a COVID-19 patient or do you know one? Whoever you are, we want to hear from you so our news coverage is as complete, accurate and useful as possible. If you're using a mobile device and can't see the form on this page, click here.

Do you have questions about the novel coronavirus?

Ask your question in the form below and we'll dig for answers. If you're using a mobile device and can't see the form on this page, ask your question here. You can see questions we've already answered on this FAQ. If you have specific medical questions, please contact your doctor.