March 19 COVID-19 Special Edition: City Suspends Parking Time Limits, Girl Scouts Visit Station 27, COVID-19 Update and More!

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this week in kirkland

March 19, 2020

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City of Kirkland Suspends Parking Time Limits and Fees During COVID-19 Pandemic

Parking fees pic

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and to help downtown businesses, the City of Kirkland will suspend parking enforcement of time limitations for parking downtown and will not charge fees for parking in any of the City-owned downtown parking lots.

Recent social distancing measures enacted by the state include a restriction of in-person dining for food establishments.  Under the new rule, restaurants, coffee shops, and similar businesses are still allowed to serve customers through take-out, delivery, and drive-through options.

“The social distancing directives from the state and county are having a negative impact on our local Kirkland business,” said City Manager Kurt Triplett. “While we all know that adhering to those directives is the right thing to do to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19, the City is exploring all possible ways to help our businesses survive this difficult time. We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to pick up their take-out without feeling nervous about getting a ticket.”

Parking enforcement will still be in effect for vehicles parked in designated disabled parking spaces without disabled permits, as well as vehicles illegally parked in front of fire hydrants or blocking driveways or crosswalks. 

“This is a very challenging time, and we all need to be thinking creatively about how can get through this together,” said Mayor Penny Sweet.  “The City is evaluating all possible strategies – big and small – to help our businesses navigate this challenging time. This is one of the small ways we’re signaling to our business community that the City is here to help.”

The City also published an informational website for businesses, which is accessible at  The website includes resources such as workplace health recommendations, business continuity guidance, unemployment information, insurance information, and financial assistance.  Additionally, the City of Kirkland mailed a COVID-19 resource packet to all Kirkland businesses, which included helpful tools and checklists, ideas for customer messaging, an example of a business impact analysis tracker, and a key contact list.

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

Girl Scouts Visit Firefighters at Station 27

Another day, another demonstration of gratitude for our firefighters at Station 27. These two little ladies wanted to show their community’s support for our firefighters during this challenging event. They were joined by Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold, Councilmember Jon Pascal, and Councilmember Amy Falcone. What better way to show some love than to share some thin mints (with appropriate social distancing of course). Thank you Girl Scouts!

Station 27 Scouts Delivering Cookies

City Parks Open for Business

Juanita Beach lifeguard chair

There is nothing quite like a walk in the park to boost your mood and lift your spirits. And don’t just take our word for it, research consistently shows that getting outside and experiencing nature can have a dramatically positive impact on mental health and physical wellness.

As the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 continue to influence our daily lives, many residents are faced with school closures, job loss, cancelled sports, reduced options for shopping and dining, issues with childcare and the closure of public spaces. As we seek ways to keep kids occupied and stave off the inevitable sense of cabin fever, we want to remind you that the City’s parks remain open for business! Even though the Parks and Community Services Department has closely adhered to state and federal recommendations and cancelled its recreational programs through April 24, the parks are open, and they are as lovely and refreshing as ever.

While social distancing continues to be of paramount importance as we strive to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in our community, a balance between being safe and healthy and enjoying the outdoors can be successfully struck. With mindfulness and care, we can continue to enjoy the lush outdoor spaces that Kirkland is known for.   

A quick stroll through Juanita Bay, Juanita Beach, Watershed or Edith Moulton Park allows you to enjoy our beautifully treed parklands, while giving you and your kids the chance to run off a little steam. And there is the added benefit of sunshine, which boosts the absorption of vitamin D.

We encourage the informal use of our parks but strongly advise that community members remain mindful of the recommended social distancing practices. These include staying at least six feet from other individuals, avoiding groups of 10 or more people and being diligent about handwashing and proper hygiene. Social distancing is key to flattening the curve of the COVID-19 epidemic, and we must all do our part to reduce the transmission of the virus.

For more information on cleaning and disinfection recommendations, visit: For more from Public Health – Seattle & King County, visit: For a list of Kirkland parks, visit:

Juanita Beach play

March 19 Update on City Operations and Kirkland First Responders

City logo

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

Update on First Responders

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.

The City of Kirkland currently has five firefighters and zero police officers in quarantine. Thirty-seven firefighters have now been released after completing their recommended quarantine period. All five first responders are in isolation or quarantine at home.

We’ve had twenty-five tests come back negative, and 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. Testing criteria is established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In King County, testing is managed by health care providers based on CDC criteria. At this time the CDC is recommending that clinicians use their judgement to determine if a patient has signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19 and whether the patient should be tested. More information on testing requirements is available on the CDC website.

We are no longer able to offer blood pressure and temperature checks at City Fire Stations. These services may be available at your local pharmacy. Please visit the CDC COVID-19 symptoms site if you have concerns about symptoms. 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.

Updates on City Operations

All City facilities are currently closed to the public but City staff are working. Many City services are available online or by phone.

For residents that have limited online or phone access there are alternative methods to communicate with front desk staff. These resources and instructions are located at the north and south entrances at City Hall.

All City evening meetings except for City Council meetings have been cancelled until the end of March. This includes Commissions, Boards, and all Neighborhood Association meetings.

City of Kirkland Planning Department

To ensure safety to both our customers and staff, in-person building inspections will be restricted to new or unoccupied construction only, subject to social distancing protocols. Inspections that are requested for occupied structures may be postponed or conducted using remote technology such as video, photos or by an agreed upon arrangement at the inspector’s discretion.  Third party inspections are not being allowed.

Waste Management Updates

Effective March 18, Waste Management is temporarily closing residential call centers to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information:

Recreation Registration and Parks Operations      

The City has also cancelled all recreation programming, classes, and facility rentals through Friday, April 24. That includes community centers, recreation programs, facility rentals, athletic fields and picnic shelters. Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer stewardship events are also cancelled during this time.

While the City encourages informal use of the parks, please be mindful of the recommended social distancing and proper handwashing and sanitation. Community centers, athletic fields and picnic shelters are anticipated to reopen on April 27, pending any additional guidelines from the state. In addition, YMCA has closed KTUB, the Kirkland Teen Center, at Peter Kirk Park through Tuesday, March 31.

The annual boating season begins April 1. The city’s boat launch will remain in the open position throughout the month of April. Boat launch cards will be required beginning May 1. All boaters are encouraged to purchase their boat launch card online ( or by phone. Purchased cards will be mailed.

All parks and recreation business can be conducted online at or by phone at 425-587-3300. Anyone unable to utilize a credit card for online transactions is encouraged to call the customer service center at 425-587-3300. Alternate payment methods such as cash, check or scholarship can be arranged.

Spring and summer recreation program registration begins March 19. Registration will proceed as scheduled, opening at 6 a.m. on March 19 at However, only programs beginning in May will be available for registration. Programs are expected to resume in May, pending any additional guidelines received by the Washington State Department of Public Health.

Court Operations

In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Court lobby services are closed to walk-in visitors, but available by phone at 425-587-3160, until further notice.

Members of staff are available by phone, 425-587-3160 or email, to assist customers and answer questions.  To make payments, you may mail, use our drop box located near the front entrance, or post payments online

Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Court will reschedule all March hearings except for mandatory DV/DUI charges (which must be heard the next judicial day) and in-custody defendants.  The Court will tentatively resume normal operations on April 1, 2020.

Police Operations

The Kirkland Police Department lobby in the Kirkland Justice Center is now closed to the public. For questions or services, the public may utilize the phone located outside the lobby to speak with staff. Police public records requests can be made by logging on to our website at Pet licensing can still be completed through Pet Data at

The City Council has directed that for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, the City of Kirkland will suspend parking enforcement of time limitations for parking downtown and will not charge fees for parking in any of the City-owned downtown parking lots.  Parking in fire lanes and handicapped spaces (without a valid permit) remains prohibited and will be enforced. 

Guidance from the State and Federal Governments

On March 17, Governor Jay Inslee ordered statewide closure of food establishments to sit-in service and the prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people. Public Health Seattle-King County website.

More information on newly announced assistance for workers, renters and businesses is online.

Public Health-Seattle & King County Updates

Public Health reminds people to access the informational resources on Public Health Insider. Public Health is reporting the official case count in King County as 693. In addition, 4 new deaths are reported, bringing the total of confirmed deaths in King County to 60. Public Health has been publishing blogs on the Public Health Insider with a wealth of content about COVID-19. Here are a few recent highlights:

COVID-19 is spreading in King County. Public Health expects the case count to double every 5 to 7 days unless orders to stay away from others are followed diligently. Already, Public Health expects that anyone we come into contact with may be infected because there is wide-spread infection in our community.  It’s critical to minimize the number of people who get seriously ill at the same time. If too many people get sick all at once, this will put too much of a burden on our health care system. If that happens, people at highest risk – people over 60, and with underlying health conditions – may not be able to get the care they need if they get seriously ill. 

Some healthcare providers are experiencing sporadic shortages of the supplies needed to collect testing samples, and that limits the number of tests that can be sent to labs.  County and state leaders are working on ways to get more supplies to healthcare providers.

Follow the guidance for anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 and their contacts on how to prevent the spread to others

Update from Lake Washington School District

Based on Governor Inslee’s announcement on March 12, the Lake Washington School District (LWSD) will now be closed through April 24 and will re-evaluate any further closures during that time. For more information visit the Lake Washington School District website.

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

Cancelled 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 Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
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:

The Kiwanis Club of Kirkland's 46th Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, April 12 1:30 p.m.
Peter Kirk Park
For more information, visit: