Harsh coronavirus measures in Seattle area could reach Canada if outbreak worsens: expert

Health officials in the Washington state county where the coronavirus has killed nine people are asking at-risk residents to avoid public areas and large gatherings where possible, marking a harsher language from those looking to limit the spread of the disease.

But one expert says those same measures could soon come to Canada if the outbreak continues north of the border — particularly if the cases here turn fatal.

Seattle and King County public health officials said Wednesday that people 60 years of age or older, people with underlying health conditions like diabetes, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19.

Those people should stay home and away from large groups of people and public places where those other groups gather, and consider postponing events and gatherings that bring large groups together, officials say.

“This is a critical moment in the growing outbreak of COVID-19 in King County and these measures can potentially impact the spread of the disease,” a statement on the county’s public health blog reads.

Officials are also recommending workplaces do what they can to allow people to work from home if possible.

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