The Evergreen Health elderly care facility in Kirkland, Washington, where multiple patients with the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) were transported for treatment a few days back has announced that it will no longer test for the novel disease because the government says it has already gone “endemic.”
In a “Community Message” to its staff, the facility explained that new screening protocols are now being put in place due to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) determination that the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) has basically breached containment, and can no longer be controlled.
“As of March 3, 2020, we have halted performing nasopharyngeal testing in our outpatient clinics, including all five urgent care locations,” Evergreen says, noting that the CDC determination is what led to this change.
“The CDC has determined COVID-19 is now endemic, meaning that the virus is now considered to be regularly found in our region amongst our population,” the memo further explains.
While the standard previously was to test only people with known risk factors such as history of travel and exposure to a confirmed case – these being high-risk candidates for acquiring the disease – Evergreen is simply going to stop testing everyone because there’s no real point, the facility has decided.
As a secondary reason for not conducting anymore testing, Evergreen added that there “is an increased risk of transmission when performing any nasopharyngeal testing,” which begs the question: Why was it being performed previously, then?
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Most of the coronavirus patients who were brought in to Evergreen Health came from the nearby Life Care Center, where we have since learned that another three patients have died, raising Washington’s total statewide death count to 22.
According to Seattle & King County Public Health, there were 33 new cases of the Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) reported through Sunday, and 116 total known cases of the disease in King County as of March 9.
Two have since died from these 33 new cases, while the third death occurred in a previously reported case. All three of these latest deaths occurred in elderly people, one in her 70s, one in her 80s, and one in her 90s.
“Of the 20 deaths reported in King County, 19 are associated with Life Care Center,” a local news affiliate has reported. “There is one death in Snohomish County and another death in Grant County.”
The latest test results have arrived for 35 of Life Care’s 55 residents, revealing 31 positives, one negative, and three inconclusive results. The facility is still waiting to receive test results for the remaining 20 residents.
Despite promises by the Trump administration that there would be one million new test kits available by the end of last week, this never actually happened. Consequently, testing remains limited, and is only available to people who meet strict criteria.
“While testing is becoming more available, there are still limitations,” reports explain.
“If you have symptoms and are high risk, call your health care provider and have a conversation with them about whether it makes sense for you to get tested for COVID-19. Public Health does not do testing. You’ll have to get tested through your health care provider.”
The only real prevention advice that the government is offering, anyway, is to wash your hands, avoid people, and constantly disinfect your home. Authorities are also advising the public to pay close attention to any symptoms that might develop.
To keep up with the latest Wuhan coronavirus (CoVid-19) news, be sure to check out Pandemic.news.
Sources for this article include: