EDM Monday Briefing: US Now Has Two Coronavirus-Related Deaths
Emergency and disaster management briefing for March 2, 2020: Two people test positive for coronavirus at a long-term care facility in Washington; the second coronavirus-related death occurred on Saturday in Washington state; airlines across the globe are reeling from the impacts of reduced travel amid fears of the spreading coronavirus; gale-force winds and high waves encased homes along Hoover Beach in thick ice; a warehouse collapsed and a restaurant was heavily damaged in a four-alarm fire in San Francisco; first responder safety related to COVID-19 is addressed in a webinar training produced by EMS.gov; research shows particulate matter and volatile chemicals found in wildfire smoke are absorbed in the deep lung and bloodstream, causing a higher cancer and cardiovascular disease risk for firefighters; the SCEMA annual workshop takes place this week in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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1) Two people have tested positive for COVID-19 at a long-term care facility in Kirkland, Washington, and one person in his 70s has died, the second U.S. victim of the coronavirus. One person who tested positive is a 40-year-old female healthcare worker who is at a local hospital and is currently listed in satisfactory condition. The other individual who tested positive is a 70-year-old woman who is hospitalized in serious condition. The facility, owned by Life Care Centers of America, has more than 50 patients and staff members who are reportedly sick and experiencing symptoms, which prompted testing and an investigation into a potential coronavirus outbreak at the facility by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Current understanding is #COVID19 spreads mostly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes, similar to how flu spreads. Learn more at https://t.co/VvIzx7O3mM pic.twitter.com/MiHHHyCfTa
— CDC (@CDCgov) March 1, 2020
2) A man who died on Saturday in King County, Washington, was the first coronavirus-related death in the United States. The man, who was in his fifties, was being treated for underlying medical causes at the EvergreenHealth Medical Center in Kirkland and had no history of travel. The governor has since declared a state of emergency, and several other cases of COVID-19 are awaiting confirmation from the CDC.
— American Military University Disaster Crew (@AMUdisastercrew) February 27, 2020
3) The rapid increase in coronavirus cases in Iran, Italy and South Korea is wreaking havoc across the airline industry. The outbreak also has heavily impacted Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific. The reduction in demand for travel, as fears rise in the wake of the coronavirus spread, has prompted the carrier to park half its fleet and cut nearly 75 percent of its flights at least through the end of March. About 25,000 employees of the company are also taking an unpaid leave in an attempt to reduce costs as the demand for air travel continues to decline amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cathay Pacific has parked 120 planes and cut more than three-quarters of its weekly flights…. https://t.co/ijN63XmMtK
— AeroChapter (@AeroChapter) March 2, 2020
4) Homes and trees in Hamburg, New York, a town along the shores of Lake Erie, were completely encased in thick ice following gale-force winds, 18-foot waves, and a winter storm that lasted for two days. Residents noted that the ice was anywhere from one to three feet thick, and in some cases, the ice darkened the interior of their homes because it was so thick. Other towns east of Lake Erie were impacted with heavy lake effect snow, including Carthage, which had received four feet of snow as of Saturday.
ICE HOUSES: Residents of Hoover Beach, New York, are facing a beautiful — and worrying — sight as their homes and cars have become encased in ice following extreme winds. https://t.co/zfrqfASGw9 pic.twitter.com/m8f9ezaIRi
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 1, 2020
5) A warehouse fire in San Francisco's Bay Area caused the building to collapse and seriously damaged a restaurant next door. The four-alarm fire occurred Saturday night around 9:00 p.m. and was fueled by high, gusty winds. The high winds sent thick smoke across Interstate 280, prompting its temporary closure. The winds also knocked down power lines, cutting power in areas around southern San Francisco. There were no reports of injuries, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
A four-alarm fire enveloped an India Basin warehouse last night, according to the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD). The blaze was later contained by 11:35 p.m., but the warehouse collapsed and an adjacent restaurant sustained substantial damage. https://t.co/DJh0sPnU3X
— SFist (@SFist) March 1, 2020
6) At least 25 first responders in Kirkland, Washington, have now been quarantined after potential exposure to the coronavirus at a local long-term care facility, straining response resources in that community. First responder protection from the coronavirus is critical to public health, so EMS.gov has developed an hour-long webinar training to provide pertinent information regarding the virus. Its contents include the basics of COVID-19, the latest guidance for 911 and EMS, along with recommendations for transportation and treatment of those possibly infected.
Some good resources here for mitigating the Corona Virus in a first responder role. Some webinars specifically for us.https://t.co/e1oDtDYmcc
— Five Minutes on Fire (@5minutesonfire) March 2, 2020
7) According to research, wildfire smoke contains particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and volatile chemicals including carcinogens, and is much more dangerous than previously considered. The most concerning factor could be the tiny particulate matter in the smoke that can actually be absorbed into the deep lung and bloodstream of a person. The tiny particulates – solid material of 2.5 microns or less – can cause lung irritation, aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. For wildland firefighters, breathing in these contaminants potentially translates to a higher risk of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
What we don’t know about wildfire smoke is likely hurting us https://t.co/xJZQHegn9x
— Diana R. Johns (@drjohns4msu) February 22, 2020
8) Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is the location for the state's annual Emergency Management Association workshop, which is taking place this week. The conference allows emergency managers from across the state to be together in one room, which facilitates the sharing of best practices since no disaster affects two counties or locations the same way. The conference lasts until Thursday and includes training seminars such as damage assessment and animal assisted crisis response, along with equipment demonstrations, meetings, and vendors.
Emergency management officials from across the state in Myrtle Beach for SCEMA workshop https://t.co/8onahOb28v
— Shawn Cabbagestalk (@CabbageTV) March 2, 2020