A nursing home in the Seattle area is at the center of the US coronavirus outbreak

Medics prepare to transfer a patient on a stretcher to an ambulance at the Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Kirkland, Washington (CNN)A nursing care and rehabilitation facility in the Seattle suburbs is now the epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with four deaths tied to the site and relatives and friends of its 108 patients barred from visiting.

It's still not clear how the virus spread to the Life Care Center in Kirkland, where more than 50 residents and staff have been experiencing symptoms and will be tested for coronavirus, King County health officer Jeffrey Duchin said. Some 180 people work there.
A patient was taken Monday night by ambulance from the facility to a hospital, a first responder with knowledge of the situation said, adding that all emergency calls to the facility are being treated as coronavirus.
    Life Care Center officials did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment about the patient.
    Meantime, 27 firefighters and two police officers in Kirkland are in quarantine, city spokeswoman Kellie Stickney said.
    "We have also been notified that some of our firefighters in quarantine are demonstrating flu like symptoms," the city said in a news release. One firefighter was released Monday