“It’s pure panic and I can do nothing. I have no control.”

As fatal infections spread through the Life Care Center in suburban Seattle, where her 85-year-old mother lived, Ms. de los Angeles had tried not to worry. Nurses were monitoring her mother’s temperature. They reassured Ms. de los Angeles that her mother had no fever, cough or other signs of infection.

But at 4:15 a.m. on Tuesday, a nurse called with troubling news. Her mother, Twilla Morin, had developed a 104-degree fever. They were giving her Tylenol. Then the nurse confirmed her do-not-resuscitate orders.

“We anticipate that she, too, has the coronavirus,” a voicemail message from a nurse said. “We do not anticipate her fighting this.”…

In the week since the Kirkland nursing facility became the focal point of an unfolding coronavirus outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, daily life has stalled into a sleepless, slow-motion agony. With visits restricted, families now call and call for updates from the overworked nursing staff. The families wonder whether they should demand a visit, risking their own health and wider contamination. Some want their parents moved to the hospital or to a different facility but have no idea who else would care for fragile patients potentially exposed to a deadly disease.