Patient dies after exposure to COVID-19 patient in Auburn hospital

Eight patients and five workers at MultiCare Auburn Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19 after being exposed to a patient who tested positive in the facility. One of the patients who was exposed has died.

According to a statement from MultiCare, a patient on the fourth floor at the Auburn Medical Center tested positive for COVID-19 last week. The hospital tested 40 patients who were in the unit and eight of them were positive.

Both the suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients were moved to a separate unit. MultiCare said one of the exposed patients died on Tuesday.

"We will continue to monitor those patients in the unit who tested negative and last week temporarily paused discharges from this unit to make sure we catch and isolate any additional positive cases," MultiCare wrote in a statement to Q13 News. "MultiCare also temporarily restricted new admissions to the unit. Appropriate environmental cleaning was performed on the impacted unit."


MultiCare said more than 200 staff members had been in the unit in the 2-week period leading up to the first patient's positive test. Five employees have tested positive and are isolating at home.

"We also identified 212 staff members who were in the unit in the 14 days prior to the first patient testing positive and are in the process of testing all of them. As of Tuesday morning, we have the results of 156 employee tests, with five employees returning a positive result. Any employees who tested positive are all recovering at home until they can safely return to work."

If you were impacted, please email Simone Del Rosario at

Officials warn of COVID-19 acceleration ahead of holidays

Health officials in Washington are warning of a continued spike in coronavirus cases across the state, and are pleading with the public to take the pandemic more seriously. If the trajectory of cases does not decrease, they warn, additional restrictions could result.

“Now that people are moving indoors more, I shudder to think about what it’s going to be like the week or two after thanksgiving in urgent care,” said M.C. Nachtigal, an urgent care nurse practitioner. “This year, I’m terrified to think about all those entire families wiped out with COVID.”

State health officer Kathy Lofy said that cases have been steadily increasing since September but that the most dramatic increases have occurred over the past two weeks, and that cases are rising among all age groups, indicating that transmission is widespread.

The state set a daily record for new coronavirus cases on Saturday, with 1,777 new cases announced. As of Tuesday, more than 120,000 cases have been confirmed statewide and there have been 2,482 deaths.