Coronavirus: Why Us?
There are 17 states with confirmed cases of coronavirus. There are a handful of states with more than 10 cases. Many more have two or less. Washington, however, has had 10 deaths already. California has more confirmed cases, but only one death.
Why does it seem like the coronavirus has "chosen" Washington State?
Coronavirus poses a bigger risk to older people, and most of Washington's cases have been at one single nursing home; Life Care Center in Kirkland. Even the first coronavirus patient in North Carolina is believed to have been infected at Life Care. This has prompted the facility to temporarily close new admissions. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be sending officials to investigate the facility. They will be joined by personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the people afflicted with the illness are elderly patients, but it was announced this week that an employee of Life Care had been diagnosed with the coronavirus. Reports say she is home and recuperating.
It's pretty likely that the disease was unknowingly brought to China a few weeks ago. Seattle has the 8th-busiest airport in the country and 28th-busiest internationally. 270,322 passengers took flights to and from China through Sea-Tac in 2018. Beijing is the 6th-busiest international destination at the airport.
Another reason why Washington has so many more confirmed cases of coronavirus than most states is the amount of testing it does. Testing hasn't been readily available until recently, and Washington had a headstart.
The good news is that many people have recovered. In fact, some of the very first people diagnosed with coronavirus have returned to their normal lives! The first person to test positive for COVID-19 in Washington has made a full recovery.