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Seahawks stadium to become field hospital as coronavirus death toll mounts

Last Updated Mar 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm PST

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, joined by other state and county leaders, announces that CenturyLink Field will serve as a field hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. Courtesy Twitter/Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan

CenturyLink Field will be home to patients who are dealing with non-coronavirus issues

King County is cracking down on people who have COVID-19 symptoms and leave the house

Cases are beginning to grow in outlying counties, like Whatcom and Skagit

SEATTLE, Wash. (NEWS 1130) – As the state announces that 195 people in Washington have died from the novel coronavirus, a stadium that played host to some fiery football battles is now housing the sick.

The Army will be assisting in setting up the new temporary hospital at CenturyLink Field, located just south of downtown Seattle. The goal is to treat patients who don’t have the novel coronavirus there, while leaving bed space open at area hospitals to treat the sick.

The Associated Press reports that around 300 soldiers from the 627th Army Field Hospital at Fort Carson, Colorado will be helping to set up the hospital almost a month after the state saw its first coronavirus-related death.

Sick with coronavirus? Stay home, or else, says King County

For weeks, the messaging has been fairly clear from state officials – stay home unless you absolutely must leave. And if you’re sick, stay in your home until you’ve crossed that two week boundary.

But apparently not everyone in King County has heard that message loud and clear.

The King County Health Department recently signed an order demanding that people who are ill with COVID-19 symptoms, or who are waiting for test results, stay home.

And should they not stay home, the county now has the power to force people into isolation. According to an order on the county website, someone who has those symptoms may be involuntarily ordered to isolate, or face other “enforcement actions.”

The entire state has been subject to a “stay home, stay healthy order” to try and flatten the infection curve.

Cases Spreading

There are few corners of Washington state that haven’t seen any positive tests, of yet.

But areas that seemed free of the virulence are now registering more cases and more people dying from the virus.

Whatcom County, home to places like Bellingham and Ferndale, is seeing a daily uptick in cases, with 111 positive results and four deaths. The health authority there will no longer be releasing specific information, such as age or location, when announcing new deaths.

According to data provided Friday by state health officials, there are 4,896 positive cases of COVID-19 in Washington state.

The epicenter of the outbreak in the Evergreen State remains the Seattle/Everett area, where nearly 85% of statewide deaths have been recorded.

-With files from The Associated Press