This Week in Kirkland Special Edition: Coronavirus Update #1

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

Special Edition: Coronavirus Update #1

city of kirkland washington

Kirkland Fire Department Fully Staffed and Responding to all Calls

Currently twenty-five Kirkland firefighters and two Kirkland police officers have been placed under quarantine out of an abundance of caution due to a COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak at a care facility.

The first responders under quarantine had responded to calls for various medical complaints at the Life Care Center, one of which resulted in a patient being transferred to Evergreen Hospital. Firefighters are either under home quarantine or are utilizing a Kirkland fire station for quarantine. Firefighters that would normally be staffing that station have been relocated. The Kirkland Fire Department is fully staffed and responding to calls for service.

“I would like to specifically acknowledge the outstanding work of our firefighters during these events,” said City Manager Kurt Triplett.  “They have been doing their job and assisting people in this care facility for the past few weeks.  At the recommendation of Public Health, this has meant that any firefighters who responded to a call at the facility is in quarantine due to an abundance of caution.  None of them are presenting any symptoms and we hope they will be tested and cleared soon.  In the meantime, other firefighters are covering through overtime and are continuing to respond to calls throughout the city.”

The City has activated its Emergency Operations Center and is in close communication with Public Health Seattle King County to coordinate the response. For up-to-date information on COVID-19 please visit the Public Health Seattle King County website.

Seattle-King County Public Health Press Release Regarding COVID-19

Public Health – Seattle & King County, Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are reporting today three presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), including one person who died.

Two of the confirmed cases are associated with LifeCare nursing facility in Kirkland, King County, Washington: 

  • One is a health care worker from LifeCare. She is a woman in her 40’s, is currently in satisfactory condition at Overlake Hospital, and she has no known travel outside the United States. 
  • The second case, a woman in her 70’s, is a resident at LifeCare and is in serious condition at EvergreenHealth Hospital. 
  • In addition, over 50 individuals associated with LifeCare are reportedly ill with respiratory symptoms or hospitalized with pneumonia or other respiratory conditions of unknown cause and are being tested for COVID-19. Additional positive cases are expected.

The death occurred in a patient at EvergreenHealth Hospital but was not a resident of the long-term care facility.

Public Health – Seattle & King County is current working with LifeCare to provide care for ill patients while protecting uninfected patients. The CDC is sending a team of epidemiologists to King County to support our efforts to identify, isolate and test all of those who may be at risk because of these new cases.

Public Health is at the very beginning stages of this investigation and new details and information will emerge over the next days and weeks.

“This is a tragic loss of life and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “While the vast majority of cases of COVID-19 are believed to be mild, the virus can be a very serious infection that can lead to death. Protecting the health of our community and supporting the care of health care workers is our top priority.”

“I know this news is alarming, but we are doing everything possible to make sure the public is safe. Earlier today I declared an emergency proclamation directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak. The best thing people can do to help is remain informed and take routine health precautions,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “Our public health officials at the state, local and national levels are working diligently on this, coordinating efforts and keeping the public safe and informed.”

“We are fortunate to have one of the best public health agencies in the nation, and we are pulling all available resources into the fight against COVID-19. King County is reviewing all government operations, and we are standing up an Emergency Operations Center to respond appropriately across all agencies and public services. I urge businesses and families to plan and take precautions, referring to Public Health for best practices,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine.

For more information about COVID-19 in King County visit:

Actions to reduce your risk

We understand that people are concerned about the cases of coronavirus in Kirkland, here are specific actions that you can take to reduce the risk to you and your family:

• More hand washing; less face touching. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Regular use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer covering all surfaces of the hands and rubbing them together until dry will decrease risk that the virus is transmitted to you or other people.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Be prepared at home -
• Have a plan to care for family members should they get sick or schools/offices be closed.
• Know your workplace telecommute options and school/daycare policies.
• Stock up on food supplies and prescription medications now, so you don’t have to leave your home if you or someone in your household becomes infected.

For more information visit the Center for Disease Control website