After another spike in 2019 novel coronavirus cases in Seattle and King County, public health officials on Wednesday recommended—but are not requiring or mandating—that high-risk individuals stay home and avoid large groups, including public places. Officials said the recommendations apply to people 60 and older; those with underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes; people who have weakened immune systems; and people who are pregnant. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were nine deaths in King County, most of which were connected to a long-term care facility in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland, and one additional death in Snohomish County. “As this outbreak progresses, public health leaders and policymakers must adapt to new sets of recommendations,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are determined to slow the spread of this virus in the community. We are determined to protect those who are most vulnerable. We also want to protect our economy to make sure we have people able to work.” Health officials also used a Wednesday press conference to encourage all businesses in the area to allow telecommuting to as many employees as possible.
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