Where coronavirus outbreak started in Washington state, officials see hope as cases appear to be leveling off

KIRKLAND, Wash. — The suburban hospital that handled the first onslaught of coronavirus patients weeks ago — a crush of seriously ill and dying nursing home residents that signaled the beginning of the national health crisis — is now offering cautious optimism to people across the United States who are searching for an end to the springtime nightmare: They believe they might have flattened the curve here.

At EvergreenHealth Medical Center, two miles from the shuttered Lifecare nursing home where 35 patient deaths were linked to the virus, officials say their rate of new covid-19 cases has remained steady for two weeks, leveling off at a trickle. On some days, doctors here see just one new case and haven’t seen more than four in a single day since mid-March. Few need admission to the intensive care unit, which is now half full, two weeks after overflow necessitated transfers to nearby hospitals.

“We don’t know if this last two weeks has been a calm before the storm or if the social distancing and all those things that are being practiced are working,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Jeff Tomlin, whose hospital has handled 40 of Washington state’s more than 130 virus-related deaths. He said the hospital is no longer overwhelmed, though it still lacks needed supplies.

Article URL : https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/coronavirus-washington-state-leveling-off/2020/03/26/682790e6-6f6b-11ea-a3ec-70d7479d83f0_story.html

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