Mike Weatherill, whose mother died a day earlier, speaks during a news conference Thursday in Kirkland. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

Mike Weatherill, whose mother died a day earlier, speaks during a news conference Thursday in Kirkland. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times via AP)

Washington reaches 18 coronavirus deaths and cases grow

As of Sunday, 35 people, including one who died, were confirmed to have the illness in Snohomish County.

KIRKLAND — More people died and tested positive for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and a host of events were canceled and school closures announced over the weekend.

The men and women who tested for the disease COVID-19 ranged from their 30s to their 80s.

The latest deaths were King County residents, a woman in her 80s and a man in his 90s. He was hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and died Thursday. She was hospitalized at EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland and died Friday.

Both were residents at Life Care Center in Kirkland, the site of an outbreak and most of the deaths so far.

Of the new Snohomish County people with the illness, four women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are connected to Life Care Center as well. A man in his 40s with the disease also is suspected to be connected to Life Care Center. The woman in her 50s and the man were isolating at home, according to the Snohomish Health District.

The other new Snohomish County cases are two men in their 40s and 60s, and a woman in her 80s. Those investigations were ongoing.

One of the cases likely is the parent of a student at Woodside Elementary School. The parent tested positive for the disease, and the student exhibited symptoms of coronavirus but did not attend school the past week, the Everett School District said. The student’s test results were pending.

The Everett School District announced it would close the school Monday and Tuesday for “additional intense disinfecting” of the facilities and buses that serve the campus south of Mill Creek.

It’s the second campus in the district to close because of coronavirus concerns. Henry M. Jackson High School shut it doors earlier this month. Parents took to online petitions to urge closing schools in the district, as well as those in Edmonds and Mukilteo.

The district also canceled in-school assemblies, field trips, and non-academic events after school and during weekends.

The Department of Health said there are now 136 COVID-19 cases across the state. Seven counties have at least one person who has the disease, exhibited through symptoms such as a cough, fever and shortness of breath.

Most of the cases are in King County, where 17 of the deaths have been reported in what remains the nation’s worst outbreak. But Clark, Grant, Jefferson and Pierce counties also announced their first cases.

Snohomish County has 26 confirmed cases and another nine that are probable, meaning a preliminary positive test from the University of Washington lab awaiting confirmation from the State Public Health Lab.

A team of 30 medical professionals from the U.S. Public Health Service was due to arrive at Life Care over the weekend to relieve exhausted staff.

“We are grateful the cavalry is coming,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said Friday.

People in senior housing are considered especially susceptible because the disease caused by the new coronavirus is especially dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

Two senior communities — the Ida Culver House Ravenna, a retirement home in northeast Seattle, and the Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in suburban Issaquah, reported one case each.

The Ida Culver House resident has been hospitalized since Wednesday, said the retirement community’s operator, Era Living. The facility has since doubled its disinfection and cleaning practices for common areas, canceled events, asked staff who were in contact with the patient to stay home, and canceled dining room meals — instead delivering food to its approximately 90 residents.

The Issaquah nursing home resident was hospitalized on Tuesday. Three firefighters who responded there have been quarantined but haven’t shown any symptoms, according to Issaquah Mayor Mary Lou Pauly.

Precautions and preparations continued on a number of other fronts, with the University of Washington, Seattle University and Seattle Pacific University announcing that classes will be taught online for the rest of the winter quarter. Starbucks closed a downtown Seattle store after a worker tested positive, and a number of large events, including Emerald City Comic Con, have been canceled.

King County was setting up trailers at several sites to care for quarantined patients and purchased an 84-room motel in Kent for $4 million for that purpose. Kent sued on Friday to temporarily block the county from placing patients there, saying officials had not addressed the city’s public health concerns. A Superior Court judge rejected that request with conditions, saying the county could move 15 people into the motel for now.

Associated Press reporter Gene Johnson contributed to this report.

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