GEE AND URSULA

King County’s ‘excellent’ response in early fight against coronavirus

Mar 31, 2020, 11:08 AM | Updated: 11:50 am

coronavirus, King County...

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer, Public Health – Seattle & King County, addresses a news conference Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

King County started out as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. That being so, there were also benefits the region had in being forced to respond to the crisis early.

Seattle company converts factory to make masks for health workers

“There’s an advantage to being first in line,” Eric Holdeman, the former Director of King County Disaster Management, told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show.

With Seattle-King County Public Health taking early precautions in its bid to slow the spread of the virus, the region was uniquely prepared in the days that followed the start of the outbreak.

“That got time available,” Holdeman pointed out. “Overall, nationally, (we’ve) been too little/too late, but King County has been excellent.”

“The City of Seattle Emergency Operation Center started tracking this very early on when those first cases were detected, and the Health Department and them were connected at the hip all along,” he added.

King County and Seattle have also had other marked advantages over other regions, including the Northwest Healthcare Response Network, which has been working to coordinate resources among local hospitals.

“You don’t find that in other places in the United States,” Holdeman said.

Study: Travel bans good for delaying coronavirus, but not stopping it

Even with all that, though, there’s still a long way to go for both the local and national responses to coronavirus. That was evident in a letter sent out to emergency managers by FEMA National Administrator Peter Gaynor, the first such letter Holdeman’s ever seen in his 31-year career.

The letter warns emergency managers in every corner of the U.S. to gear up in the likely event of a continued surge in cases, while detailing information the federal government needs in order to distribute supplies.

Through all that, King County has managed to make progress in recent days in reducing the spread of the virus. Holdeman hopes that a worst-case scenario can be avoided as a result.

“There’s an indication that maybe all the sheltering in place and doing that early helped bend the curve here, and it might not be as bad,” he said. “And maybe we can avoid what New York is going to experience in the next 10 days to two weeks, which is going to look like Italy and look like Spain.”

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Gee and Ursula Show

Gee and Ursula

zebra...

Frank Sumrall

KIRO exclusive: Owner of recovered zebra describes escape, getting kangaroos

Shug was one of four zebras being taken back to their home at a farm in Anaconda, Montana, operated by owner Kristine Keltgen.

22 days ago

Photo: Seattle Mayor Harrell has decided to conduct an outside investigation of SPD....

Ursula Reutin

Ursula: The outside investigation of SPD can’t come soon enough

An outside investigation of SPD is desperately needed to address what many within the department have described as a "good ol' boys" culture.

27 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Why you shouldn’t hit on the barista: Gee Scott on avoiding awkward situations

Gee Scott has some sound advice for those young men or women who attempt to hit on the barista. Listen to The Gee & Ursula Show weekdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or on-demand wherever you listen to podcasts. More info on The Gee & Ursula Show here: https://mynorthwest.com/category/gee-and-ursula/

28 days ago

Image: A man got beaten and robbed in broad daylight in Seattle at Cal Anderson Park on Sunday, Apr...

Bill Kaczaraba

Video of man getting knocked out, robbed in Seattle goes viral; Gee and Ursula respond

A disturbing video has gone viral of a man getting knocked out and robbed by a small group of people on Capitol Hill Sunday.

1 month ago

Image: A tow truck removes one of the cars blocking the expressway leading to Seattle-Tacoma Intern...

Bill Kaczaraba

Gee and Ursula: Did pro-Palestinian protesters lose supporters by blocking traffic?

46 pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested after blocking the expressway leading to Sea–Tac. Gee Scott says that's when they lost him.

1 month ago

Photo: People watch the sunrise, Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, in Miami Beach, Fla....

Heather Bosch and Julia Dallas

Is living in the moment causing debt? Tips to curb ‘funflation’

Just as Americans are getting into spring break and ready to revel in summer activities comes a warning about going into debt.

2 months ago

King County’s ‘excellent’ response in early fight against coronavirus