A nursing home in Washington, DC, which is at the center of the Coronavirus outbreak on Saturday, reported an increased number of deaths in people related to their facility, and has reported that the authorities have been unsuccessful asked for further tests.
During the Life Care Center’s first official press conference since the outbreak began, Tim Killian, the facility’s public information officer, said that since February 19, 13 people associated with the center have been diagnosed with coronavirus and have died.
The center in Kirkland, Washington, on the outskirts of Seattle, is an acute care facility and typically records three to seven deaths per month.
Killian said there are still 63 residents in the center, and they’re confined to their rooms. Two weeks ago there were 120 residents.
By Saturday, Washington state health officials reported 102 cases of the virus, with 16 deaths in the state.
Killian called the virus “volatile” and “unpredictable” and said they saw patients who had gone from no symptoms to acute symptoms within an hour and who needed to be taken to a hospital.
“We saw some results that frankly made us concerned about how quickly symptoms showed up, became acute, and in some cases even led to the death of our residents,” he said.
Killian also reported that 70 of their 180 employees showed symptoms of coronavirus and are not coming to work.
He said the facility had received 45 test kits for internal testing, but needed a lot more.
When asked why the facility had not asked for help earlier, he said that they have asked the local and federal government for help “every five minutes of every day since it became apparent here at the facility.”
A request for comment has been submitted to the state health authorities.