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King County setting up isolation units amid coronavirus outbreak

A motel is being purchased and unused modular units are being prepared to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — King County officials are hoping a motel for coronavirus patients will be available by the end of the week. 

"Final negotiations" to purchase the undisclosed motel were underway Monday morning as health officials announced an uptick in the number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus. The motel, according to King County Executive Dow Constantine, would be used for people in need of isolation and recovery. 

“We have moved to a new stage in the fight to contain and mitigate this outbreak. King County is aligned and organized behind this common mission, with Public Health – Seattle & King County as our lead agency,” Executive Constantine said.  

County officials also plan to utilize unused modular housing units previously purchased to serve the homeless population. Those, according to Constantine, will be set up around the county, including in Seattle. 

Additionally, modular units in Marysville at an undisclosed facility are currently in the permitting process to be used to isolate people with coronavirus. 

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As of midday Monday, six people died and a total of 18 people in King and Snohomish counties have presumptively tested positive for 2019 novel coronavirus, officially called COVID-19, in Washington state. 

So far, there are more than 83,000 confirmed cases across 60 countries, with China accounting for more than 78,000 of them.  

What are coronavirus symptoms?

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or colds. Symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The severity of symptoms ranges significantly. Some cases are very mild with symptoms similar to the common cold, and some cases are more like severe pneumonia that require hospitalization. Most deaths have been reported in older adults who had other health conditions, according to DOH.

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Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after being exposed to the coronavirus or as long as 14 days.

A new Washington call center has been set up to answer your questions about COVID-19. If you have questions about how the virus spreads, what is being done in Washington state, and what you can do if you have symptoms, call 1-800-525-0127 and press #.