City Council Authorizes Immediate Actions to Respond to COVID-19, Census 2020, Updates from Public Health - Seattle & King County, How to Volunteer During COVID-19, Updates from Metro, Traffic Alerts and More!

View as a webpage

this week in kirkland

April 1, 2020

city of kirkland washington

City Council Recap: Kirkland City Council Authorizes Immediate Actions to Protect Residents and Business During COVID-19 Pandemic

Still image of Council for April 1 TWIK

The Kirkland City Council took emergency actions to support residents and businesses in response to COVID-19 during their virtual special meeting on Tuesday, March 31 at 5:30 p.m.

Actions taken by the City Council included: instituting a moratorium on small business and nonprofit organization evictions; allowing law enforcement officers to issue misdemeanor citations to those violating the lawful order of a public officer during an emergency; authorizing the City administration to defer utility payments and waive related late fees during the emergency proclamation, and providing funding flexibility and additional grants so that human services agencies could meet the community’s needs during the pandemic.

Moratorium on small business and nonprofit evictions

The City Council passed Resolution 5414, ratifying the City Manager’s emergency directive dated March 31, 2020 to create a moratorium on small business and nonprofit organization evictions in Kirkland due to nonpayment of rent or the expiration of leases during the COVID-19 proclamation of emergency or 60 days after today’s directive, which ever happens sooner. The moratorium can be extended beyond 60 days with ratification of the City Council. Through a series of actions taken by Governor Jay Inslee to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the state, most notably including the order to close all non-essential businesses and projects, numerous businesses and residents of the state and Kirkland have suffered and will continue to suffer significant financial damages, including loss of business income, layoffs and reduced hours for a significant percentage of the workforce. This moratorium on evictions is intended to provide small businesses and nonprofit organizations support during this unprecedented public health emergency.  

“Passing this resolution is an important step toward helping our small businesses and nonprofits survive this pandemic,” said Mayor Penny Sweet. “At this time, we must not only be thinking about how we stay home and stay healthy, we must be looking to the future and laying the groundwork so that we can once again be a thriving community.”

Making it a misdemeanor to violate the lawful order of a public officer during an emergency

The City Council also approved Ordinance 4721, making it a misdemeanor crime to knowingly violate the lawful order of a public officer in direct response to a declared emergency or disaster. This Ordinance added a new section 3.20.130 to Chapter 3.20 of the Kirkland Municipal Code (“KMC”) related to emergency preparedness. The Ordinance goes into effect immediately and will expire on April 30.

Without the Ordinance, the City did not have the clear ability for its police officers to cite an individual for knowingly violating the lawful order of a public officer during a declared or proclaimed emergency or disaster. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public officers at every level of government have issued or may issue orders necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare, including those related to shelter-in place, quarantine and isolation, public health testing, and economic and social practices. This past weekend, for example, it was suggested by the public health officer for Public Health – Seattle and King County that it may become necessary to require individuals violating quarantine and isolation protocols to be placed into temporary detention. It is possible that other directives may similarly need to be enforced during the pandemic, and this might be required to occur at the local level.

“Though the Kirkland Police Department will now have the authority to cite an individual for knowingly violating the lawful order of a public officer during an emergency, the expectation is that it would be rarely if ever used,” said Police Chief Cherie Harris. “We believe, similar to Governor Inslee, that our community members will continue to step-up and stay home and stay healthy for the benefit of all of our community members, and especially those most vulnerable.”

Misdemeanor crimes in Washington are punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Allowing for temporary deferral and suspension of utility charges, taxes and waiver of related late fees

The City Council approved Ordinance 4722 which allows the City, during the current emergency proclamation, to temporarily defer and suspend the payment of all utility charges and taxes otherwise provided for in Titles Five and Seven of the Kirkland Municipal Code (“KMC”), and also to waive any late fees, penalties or interest payments that might otherwise have accrued during such deferral and suspension. Deferrals will be granted upon request.

Human services funding support

Lastly, the City Council passed Resolution 5415 approving a Human Services Stabilization Initiative in the amount of $265,000 and authorizing the City Manager to: (1) provide up to the remaining 2020 contracted human services grant amount for each contracted service provider upon request and (2) waive 2020 Kirkland service goal requirements as a condition of receiving 2020 human services grant funds.

Among those most hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic emergency in Kirkland are those individuals needing food and shelter, behavioral health and domestic violence services, and other critical human services. The Resolution will help to address those needs by approving $265,000 in human services grants to support agencies serving the Kirkland community. The Resolution also authorizes the City Manager to provide up to the remaining 2020 contracted human services grant amount for each contracted service upon request from each such agency to help with budget challenges and increased caseload faced by the agencies.

“Though we’ve all been impacted by COVID-19, we must pay special attention to those who were already in challenging circumstances prior to the pandemic,” said Councilmember Amy Falcone, who previously served on the City of Kirkland Human Services Commission. “This Resolution helps us to provide important resources to the agencies we already partner with to provide services to those that are most in-need in our community.”

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

It's Census Day!

Today is Census Day and your voice matters. The 2020 Census helps determine how much federal funding comes to our community for things like improved roadways, health clinics, schools, fire departments and much more.

Our community needs your response to help make future improvements. Make a positive difference for Kirkland today by filling out your Census online, by phone or mail. Visit the United States Census 2020 webpage for more information, and watch the video below. 

Census video image

Want to help homebound Kirkland residents who need food? Sign up to be a Volunteer Food Driver with Sound Generations

Sound generations image

Contact Sound Generations at (206) 748-7588 or email to apply. If you become a volunteer driver, Sound Generations will connect you with a homebound individual or family in need of food. You will be asked to pick up a prepared food box from Hopelink to deliver. Please follow all social distancing requirements and recommendations when providing this community service.

Additional ways to volunteer to serve our community during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on the City website at: Ways to Help During COVID-19

Staying home is key to fighting COVID-19, but masks can be helpful for some; and Public Health—Seattle & King County announces 166 new cases for April 1, 2020

Public health logo

Staying apart from other people is our best protection against COVID-19, but non-medical masks can be a supplement. Public Health—Seattle & King County reported 166 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the official case count in King County to 2496. In addition, 14 new deaths are reported, bringing the total of deaths in King County to 164.

Staying apart from other people is our best protection against COVID-19, but non-medical masks can be a supplement

Staying home and avoiding all non-essential contact with others continues to be the most important thing all of us can do to stay healthy and keep others healthy. If you must go out, stay at least six feet apart from others at all times.

Before deciding whether to wear a mask, Public Health—Seattle & King County recommends people keep two considerations central:

  • Medical masks should be reserved for healthcare providers who are on the front lines working to protect us all. We have had shortages of those masks – and it’s critically important that our healthcare workers have the equipment they need to do their jobs.
  • Non-medical mask use (e.g., homemade fabric masks) does not replace the need to follow guidance to stay home and limit our contact with others. It does not replace frequent handwashing, avoiding touching the face, and staying away from people who are ill. These are the most important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 illness.

“Medical masks are needed for healthcare workers who are in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. We need our healthcare workers to be able to continue providing their services during this pandemic,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health. “For the general public, homemade fabric masks, especially if well-made and fit, may provide some benefit.”

Wearing a fabric mask can help prevent the spread of infection to others when the mask is worn by someone who already is infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms. The mask will block infectious droplets from spreading when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes and, to a lesser degree, speaks.

“It is not known how much protection homemade cloth masks provide to the person wearing the mask, and this may depend on the quality of the mask and how well it fits. For this reason, homemade and fabric masks should not be considered reliable protection but may provide some benefit,” said Duchin.

To be effective, masks should be worn consistently and properly so as not to contaminate the hands or face of the user, and fabric masks should be changed when moist and washed after use. Masks that have been worn may be contaminated with infectious agents.

Everyone, even people who are young and healthy, must stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19. Each individual’s actions affect the health of our entire community, and what we do as a community protects us all. Stand Together, Stay Apart

For additional information about COVID-19 and the response in King County, be sure to check

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 3/31/20.

  • 2496 confirmed positive cases (up 166 from Monday)
  • 164 confirmed deaths (up 14 from Monday)

Important Note: With the launch of a new data dashboard (, Public Health no longer lists individual deaths by age and gender in our News Release. Detailed information about demographics of those who died from COVID-19 is available on the dashboard. Be sure to click the button to filter by “positive results only” to see age and gender of deaths.

Isolation and quarantine facilities update

Isolation and quarantine is a proven public health practice for reducing the spread of disease. Examples of people who may need this assistance include people who cannot safely isolate from a family member who is elderly or medically fragile, or people experiencing homelessness. Individuals can only be placed into the King County sites after a health professional with Public Health—Seattle & King County has determined that they need isolation or quarantine.

Twenty-three people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities. 

The number of people at King County's isolation and quarantine sites will be included in regular updates provided by Public Health. No other identifying or personal information will be provided.

Note to media:

Public Health provides confirmed numbers of cases reported to us, including numbers of deaths, each day that are official through 11:59 p.m. the night before. No other details about cases can be provided at this time.

Public Health no longer lists individual deaths by age and gender in our News Release. Detailed information about demographics of those who died from COVID-19 is available on the dashboard. Be sure to click the button to filter by “positive results only” to see age and gender of deaths. A PDF is also available.

Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for more than two million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day. More at

Keep up with the latest Public Health news in King County by subscribing to the department’s blog, Public Health Insider.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Update from King County Metro

South Kirkland Park and Ride pic

To better support passenger health and increase capacity for social distancing, Metro Transit has restored some Seattle routes for weekday trips. These changes were implemented as of Monday, March 30, and could impact Kirkland residents who work in and around Seattle. For more information, please visit the King County Metro webpage, or use the resource guide below. Remember, now more than ever it is important to follow the guidelines in Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Please stay home unless you need to pursue an essential activity or are reporting for work as an essential employee.  

When engaged in essential activities, always remember to remain at least six feet from others to ensure compliance with social distancing recommendations. For more information on essential businesses, please visit the Washington State Coronavirus Response webpage.

Routes continuing to be canceled, reduced or unaffected:

To identify whether a specific trip is operating, the following tools are available to customers:

  • Call 206-553-3000 weekdays between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Ask @kcmetrobus on Twitter weekdays between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Text your stop ID to 62550 to find the immediate next departure time at your stop with Text for Departures
  • Use the “Next Departure” feature in Metro’s Trip Planner website or app

Was your route cut due to COVID-19? Visit the Metro Matters newsroom for information on alternate routes that might be available to you. 

Traffic Alerts for the Week of April 1 through April 8

Three of Totem Lake Boulevard’s five lanes between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street remain closed until May while a City of Kirkland contractor continues to rebuild the street and install a new retaining wall that will help support the road.

To build that wall throughout the next few weeks, Marshbank Construction is closing Bank of America’s Totem Lake Boulevard entrance. 

As such, drivers will have access to one northbound and one southbound lane. A pedestrian detour is in place along the southwest side of Totem Lake Boulevard. King County Metro has temporarily relocated the northbound bus stop along Totem Lake Boulevard to 120th Avenue Northeast.

Marshbank's crews are also closing two lanes along 120th Avenue Northeast and Totem Lake Way while they rebuild the sidewalk and roadway. The sidewalk on the southeast side of the road is closed as well.

North of 120th Avenue Northeast, the Northshore Utility District’s three-lane closure of Totem Lake Boulevard ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, when its contractor repaves the trench it dug to improve the reliability of Totem Lake’s sewage system.

Razz Construction will keep open one southbound and one northbound lane from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., Thursday and Friday.

For more information, visit or

CIP Totem Lake Map for April 1 TWIK
CIP image for 108th

108th Avenue Northeast

Drivers should expect minor traffic impacts this month on 108th Avenue Northeast while a Kirkland contractor upgrades an aging water and sewer main along the north-to-south arterial.

Marshbank Construction is replacing the two systems—both more than five decades old—to increase their capacities to serve Kirkland’s growing population and to reduce the systems’ needs for maintenance.

That need is most urgent in the sewer line, which runs from Northeast 68th Street to Northeast 53rd Street. Settling soil has created a sag in the sewer line, allowing sewage to accumulate there and requiring maintenance crews to periodically flush the line.

The contractor is also replacing the water main between Northeast 68th and 60th streets.

Marshbank expects to complete the upgrades by December. 

For more information, visit:

Cancelled Events

Because physical distancing is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, the following events are cancelled:

StyroFest: Styrofoam + Electronics Recycling Event
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 4 
Kirkland Maintenance Center
For more information, visit the Kirkland Calendar

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 11
The Fountain Court at Kirkland Urban
For more information, visit:  

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

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through the month of April are cancelled
For more information, visit:

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit: