March 10 COVID-19 Special Edition: Updates on First Responders, City Operations and latest from Public Health

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this week in kirkland

March 10

Coronavirus Special Edition 8

city of kirkland washington

Update on First Responders

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

The City of Kirkland currently has twenty-nine firefighters and four police officers in quarantine.  Eleven firefighters have now been released after completing their recommended quarantine period. Most first responders 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 are in the process of being tested. We’ve had eleven tests come back negative, and very recently we have had one positive test for COVID-19. For the tests results that have been negative, first responders will remain in quarantine for the entire 14-day period recommended by Public Health Seattle-King County. The City was notified today that some of the test samples that had been collected earlier may no longer be viable due to the time that has lapsed since the samples were collected. Although it is possible that the City may still receive test results from the state lab, the City wanted to proactively ensure that our firefighters were supported. King County Emergency Medical Services worked with the City to begin collecting secondary tests within an hour of being notified of the possibility that original samples may not be viable. These test results are being expedited and we anticipate receiving results within 24-hours of the tests being completed.

“We appreciate the tremendous support that we have received from King County Emergency Medical Services and Dr. Rea, MD, MPH” said Chief Joe Sanford. “We hope that testing speeds improve and that we are able to have more first responders return to duty as soon as possible.”

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.

Update on City Operations


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

The Kirkland Municipal Court is under the jurisdiction of Presiding Judge John Olson, and the City has been working closely with him and Court Administrator Tracy Jeffries. After carefully reviewing what other local, State and Federal Courts have done in response to the COVID-19 virus, Judge Olson has decided that the Municipal Court will be implementing the following modifications to their current court schedule:

  1. No jury trials will be held in March. Any jury trial currently scheduled for March will be continued to April.
  2. Probation appointments will be conducted by phone instead of in-person.
  3. The Leadership and Community Court meetings scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday will be postponed indefinitely.
  4. The Court will continue to grant continuances to anyone feeling uncomfortable coming to the Court because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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

Updates from County and State Agencies

Today Governor Inslee held a press conference where he highlighted additional requirements for visitations and staffing at nursing homes plus economic assistance to assist small businesses and workers affected by the virus outbreak.  Governor Inslee outlined the new requirements and assistance in press releases issued today.

Seattle & King County Public Health Public Insider:

Access to more testing is showing us that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in King County. Ten long-term care facilities have reported positive COVID-19 cases. This underscores why it is critically important for residents to take seriously the precautions announced previously:

  • Employers should encourage and enable as many employees as possible to telecommute and follow other guidance for businesses.
  • Avoid bringing large groups of people together, and consider postponing events and gatherings.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not go out in public when you are sick. If you are ill in any way call your doctor's office first before going in.

In particular, we all should take steps to help protect those at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. The following recommendations apply to everyone – and are especially important for those at higher risk:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds and other congregate settings.
    • Try to avoid being in large groups of people, especially in poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Clean your hands often.
    • 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.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies. Create a household plan of action (see CDC's home plan checklist).
  • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs.
    • 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.
    • COVID-19 symptoms can include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

People at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are:

  • People older than 60 years
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes
  • People with weakened immune systems
  • Pregnant people

What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19

The Washington Department of Health has published these fact-sheets to help residents decide what steps to take:

Who should get tested?

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.

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.

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

Case updates

Public Health – Seattle & King County is reporting the following confirmed cases and deaths due to COVID-19 through 11:59 p.m. on 3/9/20

  • 190 confirmed cases (up 74 from yesterday)
  • 22 confirmed deaths (up 2 from yesterday)

The two deaths being reported today include:

  • A woman in her 80s, a resident of Issaquah Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, was hospitalized at Swedish Issaquah, and died on 3/8/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/7/20, in an earlier case count.)
  • A male in his 80s, a resident of Ida Culver House, was hospitalized at University of Washington Medical Center, and died on 3/9/20. (This case was previously reported as a positive case on 3/6/20, in an earlier case count.)

Of the 22 deaths reported, 19 are associated with Life Care Center.

Update regarding long-term care facilities in King County

Public Health is working with 10 long-term care facilities where residents and/or employees have tested positive for the virus.

The following facilities have reported residents and/or employees who tested positive for the virus. Public Health is supporting these facilities to test and optimize care for residents, and to prevent further transmission of the virus. Because of the volume of cases, we are not able to provide any additional details about these facilities.

  • Life Care Center of Kirkland
  • Issaquah Nursing & Rehabilitation Center
  • Emerald Heights
  • Aegis Living at Marymoor
  • Redmond Care & Rehabilitation Center
  • Ida Culver House Ravenna
  • Boulevard Park Place Active Retirement Community
  • Madison House Independent & Assisted Living Community
  • The Gardens at Juanita Bay
  • Columbia Lutheran Home

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

Cancelled Community Events

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: