Seattle Dragons Stadium Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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A part-time CenturyLink Field employee who worked the XFL's Seattle Dragons game on Feb. 22 tested positive for coronavirus, King County officials said Thursday.

Health officials, however, said the risk of infection to attendees was low.

“County officials advise that no extra precautions are required for those who attended the Feb. 22 game or who will attend upcoming events, but all King County residents should know that the risk for infection with COVID-19 is increasing in our community, should be aware of their symptoms, and call their health care provider if they develop a cough, fever, or other respiratory problems,” officials said in a news release.

The employee, whom public health officials did not identify, worked as a concessions vendor, according to Lewis Kamb of the Seattle Times. Per Kamb, stadium operator First and Goal is now working with local and federal agencies to ensure the safest environment possible for future events. 

“CenturyLink Field has implemented heightened sanitation procedures and processes, including enhanced cleaning treatments to disinfect all areas of the stadium before and after every event, additional hand sanitizing stations, and continued staff training and education,” Dave Pearson, a spokesman First and Goal said in an email to the Seattle Times.

As of Thursday night, The New York Times reported that there were more than 200 confirmed cases across the United States. Fourteen deaths have been linked to the virus in America, with all but one coming in the Seattle area, per The Times.

Sports Illustrated senior writer Greg Bishop lives just outside of Seattle, about a mile from the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, which has emerged as the epicenter of the domestic outbreak. On Thursday, he detailed his experience and the experience of those around him. 

"No exaggeration, 50 or so friends have reached out, but I have yet to feel the same level of alarm I’m hearing expressed from afar," Bishop wrote. 

"My son’s daycare remains open, if not fully attended. Typical Seattle: I still see commuters jammed onto I-405 every morning. In most places, I still see people at restaurants and at the dry cleaners and the post office. I mailed my taxes yesterday, though I did jump when the woman behind the counter sneezed. We both reached for a nearby tub of hand sanitizer. So, yes, we’re all concerned. I shoot sideways glances at coughers. I read all the news reports, anxiety spiking with each breathless paragraph. I’m (mostly) following my wife’s instructions: Don’t eat or shop in Kirkland; stay largely inside our house."

For more on his moving-target dispatch from the middle of a U.S. outbreak, click here.