Story at a glance
- King County has confirmed five deaths and more than a dozen total cases of novel coronavirus.
- The motel is expected to be made to public health officials by the end of the week.
- Researchers believe the virus may have been spreading undetected for weeks in the state.
A county in Washington state dealing with a coronavirus outbreak intends to buy a motel to isolate and house patients, according to local officials.
KOMO reports King County Executive Dow Constantine immediately ordered the purchase of an area motel so patients in the Seattle suburb can be isolated while in recovery. The county has confirmed more than a dozen cases of novel coronavirus and five of the deaths occurred in King County.
“We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain, mitigate and manage this outbreak,” Constantine said during a news conference Monday.
“The challenge is making sure that the people who are infected are sheltered,” he said.
The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the coming days and will be made available to public health officials by the end of the week.
Health officials Monday confirmed at least six deaths in Washington with 12 others infected. The cases were reported in King and Snohomish counties.
Researchers believe the coronavirus may have been spreading for weeks in the state, potentially infecting hundreds of residents.
Of the six deaths, four had been residents of a nursing home, underscoring the danger the disease poses to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Nationwide, more than 100 cases have been reported, with deaths only being reported out of Washington.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) declared a state of emergency Saturday, directing state agencies to prepare for and respond to an outbreak.