Mar 9, 2020 - Health

Nursing homes prepare for coronavirus

Life Care Center of Kirkland, Washington, a center of the state's coronavirus outbreak. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Nursing homes are uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus, and they — along with other elderly care facilities — are taking action to protect their residents, AP reports.

Between the lines: Older people and those who have other health complications are particularly susceptible to the virus, early evidence suggests, and the majority of U.S. deaths so far have been linked to a Seattle-area nursing home.

The big picture: About 2.5 million Americans live in long-term care facilities.

  • These facilities are stockpiling medical supplies, preparing for staff shortages and screening visitors, while the federal government is focusing all of its nursing home inspections on infection control.

Go deeper: Hospitals have been preparing for coronavirus uptick

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Washington schools shut as Gov. Inslee seeks $100M to fight coronavirus

A health care worker prepares to transport a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance at Life Care Center of Kirkland, Feb. 29, Kirkland, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) told a news conference Monday he directed officials to ask the state legislature to designate $100 million from this year's budget to help fight the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: The state is at the center of the U.S. outbreak. All six of the deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have occurred in Washington state. Four of those who died were residents of the Life Care Center in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland in King County. Several of the 18 coronavirus infections in the state are residents of the nursing home.

Go deeperArrowMar 3, 2020 - Health

Washington state officials confirm second coronavirus death in U.S.

Coronavirus contained within the endoplasmatic reticulum of a vero E6 cell. Photo: BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images

A second person has died in the U.S. from the novel coronavirus — and just like the first one, it's in Washington state, King County Public Health confirmed in a statement Sunday night.

The big picture: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) declared a state of emergency Sunday in response to new infections in the state. Washington now has 13 cases. Several of those infected are from the Life Care Center of Kirkland nursing home. Unlike the first coronavirus death in the U.S., the man in his 70s with underlying health conditions who died on Saturday was a resident of the home. Both patients died in EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland.

Go deeper: Washington state officials confirm first coronavirus death in U.S.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details, including Washington case numbers.

America's grimmest month

Trump gives his Sunday press briefing in the Rose Garden. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump asked Americans to continue social distancing until April 30, officials warned that tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans could die — and that's the least depressing scenario.

Why it matters: April is going to be very hard. But public health officials are in agreement that hunkering down — in our own homes — and weathering one of the darkest months in American history is the only way to prevent millions of American deaths.

Go deeperArrowMar 30, 2020 - Health