This Week in Kirkland Special Edition: Coronavirus update #8

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

March 9, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Update on our Firefighters


The City continues to operate its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate our response to the presence of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in our community.

This remains a quickly evolving event. The City of Kirkland currently has thirty-one firefighters and three police officers in quarantine.  Six firefighters have now been released after completing their recommended quarantine period without demonstrating symptoms, and nine additional firefighters have been placed into quarantine. Most are in isolation or quarantine at home. Fire Station 21 continues to be kept offline and is available to firefighters for isolation, a second facility is being used for quarantine.  

All of our first responders that are currently symptomatic have been tested. We’ve had eight tests come back negative, and very recently we have had one positive test for COVID-19. Public health is currently in the process of determining whether the positive test was the result of contact with a patient or with the general public. For the tests results that have been negative, first responders will still be in quarantine for the entire 14-day period recommended by Public Health Seattle-King County. We are still waiting for additional test results. 

“We remain committed to supporting our firefighters in quarantine and isolation, as well as those on duty,” said Chief Joe Sanford. “This is a challenging time for all of our community members, including our first responders. I encourage everyone to exercise patience, kindness and understanding as we make are way through this event.” 

The Kirkland Fire and Police Departments remain fully staffed and responding to calls as normal.  City first responders have CDC recommended personal protection equipment and are following recommended protocols.

While the City appreciates the outpouring of support and concern from the community for our first responders, the City cannot accept donations at this time. 

More information and full list of recommendations are available from Seattle & King County Public Health:

The City will continue to update its website with information on the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Tips to Reduce Risk


Update on City Operations

Following current direction from Seattle King County Public Health, and our ongoing needs to have the capacity to staff our emergency operations center we have concluded that the City will be cancelling all City evening meetings except for City Council meetings until the end of March.

This includes Commissions, Boards, and all Neighborhood Association meetings.

The City of Kirkland Passport Office will be closed from Monday, March 9th through Friday, March 20th. 

The City of Kirkland has also cancelled most recreation programming, classes and volunteer event activities, and closed community centers to the public through Tuesday, March 31. 

Update from King County Public Health

Public Health – Seattle & King County urges King County residents to follow guidance to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our community.

Public Health is reporting 33 new cases today. The official case count total in King County is now 116. In addition, three new deaths are reported, bringing the total deaths to 20.

There are a number of viral respiratory germs circulating in King County right now, including seasonal influenza. We understand the desire of people who are currently sick to be tested for COVID-19, along with those who fear they may be infected with COVID-19 but are currently asymptomatic. 

However, not everybody who feels ill needs to be tested, particularly if you have mild illness. Healthcare providers determine who should be tested, based on specific symptoms. While testing is becoming more available, there are still limitations in the ability to quickly collect and process tests. 

For now, if you have mild symptoms (cough, fever), you need to stay home and stay away from people. 

Public Health – Seattle & King County continues to prioritize our attention where the need is the greatest including addressing urgent issues at Life Care, other long-term care facilities and congregate settings with highly vulnerable people. 

Who should get tested? 
If you are sick with fever, cough or shortness of breath and are in a high risk group, call your healthcare provider to discuss whether you should be tested for COVID-19. 
• People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are: 
• People older than 60 years 
• People with chronic medical conditions 
• People with weakened immune systems 
• Pregnant people 

Other people with mild illness who are concerned about their health can call their healthcare provider to discuss COVID-19 testing and other possible reasons for their illness. 
What has changed about testing availability?  
While testing is becoming more available, there are limitations in providers’ capacity to obtain samples and process lab results rapidly. If you have symptoms and are high risk, we encourage you to call your health care provider and have a conversation with them about whether it makes sense for you to get tested for COVID-19. Your provider will determine whether testing is recommended.  
Where can I get tested? 
Public Health – Seattle & King County does not typically conduct testing. Testing is typically conducted by taking a swab at a health care provider's office. Call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider.  
What those at higher risk should know and do:

As this novel coronavirus gains a foothold in our community, it’s essential that people who are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19 know what they can do to protect themselves and their loved ones. 

• Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies. Create a household plan of action (see CDC’s home plan checklist). 

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid crowds and other congregate settings. 
o Try to avoid being in large groups of people, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.

• Clean your hands often.
o Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 
o If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 

• Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs.
o Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.

• Pay attention for potential symptoms.
o COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

If you develop symptoms:
• Call your healthcare provider and inform them about your symptoms. Follow the advice of your healthcare provider about whether to go to your doctor to get tested or to remain at home.
• As much as possible remain separate from other family members, especially those who are older or have underlying health conditions.  
• Know when to get emergency help
o Get medical attention immediately if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion or dizziness, or persistent vomiting, or if you start to improve but suddenly begin to feel worse. 

Event Cancellations

Out of an abundance of caution and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the following events are canceled:

Kirkland Shamrock Run
Saturday, March 14, 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. 
Downtown Kirkland and Marina Park
For more information, visit:

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
Saturday, March 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
Kirkland Urban 
For more information, visit:

Nowruz Celebration
Sunday, March 15, 12 to 5 p.m.
Marina Park
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Parks and Community Services Job Fair
Wednesday, March 25, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Kirkland Parks Maintenance Facility
For more information, visit: