April 10 COVID-19 Special Edition: Social Distancing Mandatory in City Parks, Baby Duck Rescues Common in Kirkland, April 9 Update from Public Health - Seattle & King County, United Way Offers Rent Assistance, Seattle Times Opinion Piece by City Manager Kurt Triplett, and More!

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this week in kirkland

April 10, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Social Distancing is Mandatory in Kirkland Parks and on Trails

Mayor Penny Sweet

Kirkland Residents and visitors are reminded that social distancing is mandatory by the order of the Governor even when walking, running, and biking. Social distancing is especially critical in Kirkland parks and on trails to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The City of Kirkland supports our community members' needs to get fresh air and exercise. However, group activities such as basketball, soccer and hanging out with friends are not allowed. Playgrounds, sports fields and tennis courts are closed.

“We appreciate that people need to access the outdoors to support our physical and mental health during these challenging times,” said Mayor Penny Sweet. “I am very proud of the efforts the community has made thus far to maintain social distance. We are flattening the curve. However, we must resist gathering together in groups to enjoy the sunshine. We must protect our own health and the health of our neighbors by strictly maintaining the social distancing requirements set forth by Governor Inslee.”

Staff from the parks and police departments will increase their presence in the parks and on trails to ensure social distancing requirements from Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order are being followed. Officers and parks employees will educate and disperse park and trail users who violate these restrictions.

“Police officers will have a presence in our parks this weekend to keep everyone safe by ensuring that social distancing requirements are being followed,” said Chief Cherie Harris. “We need the community to understand that public health is a top priority and we must all use our outdoor spaces responsibly.”

The City of Kirkland does not currently plan to close parks and trails, but this could be an option if social distancing requirements are not followed.

For more information on the City's response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 information page. There you will find resources for both residents and businesses

Just like with Apollo 13, failure is not an option with coronavirus crisis, by City Manager Kurt Triplett for The Seattle Times

Here is a very informative opinion piece in the The Seattle Times from our Kirkland City Manager Kurt Triplett regarding our City and our community's response to COVID-19. 


Image courtesy of the Seattle Times

COVID-19 Tips from the Easter Bunny

COVID-19 Tips from the Easter Bunny

Spotlight on Public Works: Duckling Rescues Common in Kirkland in the Spring

Momma duck

Not all heroes wear capes.

Some wear heavy-duty work boots and carry fishing nets, because when you work for the City of Kirkland Public Works Department, you never know when you might have to rescue a brood of baby ducklings who have perilously plummeted down a City storm drain.

Duck rescues are common in Kirkland in the springtime, as spring marks the onset of breeding season for the countless number of ducks who call our various lush, waterfront parks their home. They are so common, in fact, that Public Works staff have developed a refined set of standard operating procedures for duck rescues and are highly skilled at carrying them out. In many cases, crews are alerted to the scene by a concerned resident, who discovers the mishap and contacts the City. In nearly 100 percent of all duck rescue incidents, Public Works crews arrive on scene to find a distressed momma duck hovering nearby her lost ones, frantically calling out to them.

The responding chorus of chirping babies usually makes locating the little ones fairly easy.

Once on site, crews assess the situation to determine exactly how and where the babies have entered the City’s stormwater system. After they’ve evaluated the scene and taken every precaution to ensure a safe operation, they move forward with the best means of rescue. 

Image of baby ducks for April 10

Typically, the babies remain close to where they fell, but occasionally, more adventurous droves of drakes and ducklings will enter into a storm pipe. Crews surmise that it is likely they hear their mother calling from above and are trying to find a way back to her. When this happens, crews gently introduce water into the pipe, in order to push the ducklings down the tunnel and into a waiting net.

In the past, when nets weren’t a common accessory on City work trucks, lunch boxes or hard hats have filled the bill quite nicely. These days, Public Works trucks are equipped with fishing nets, which come in handy for rescuing ducklings and other aquatic species our crews encounter in active work zones.  

Normally, the momma duck becomes very curious as crews advance towards the structure entrapping her chirping babies, sometimes even approaching our staff to observe them closely and carefully as they conduct the rescue. Once the successful scoop has been made and the babies have been retrieved, momma is quick to gather them and get on with her day, with her tiny little ducklings in tow. 

Crews aren’t often treated to an official “thank you” from the proud momma, but watching her waddle down the walkway trailing her fluffy flock of waterfowl is thanks enough.

If you ever spot a distressed momma duck whose ducklings have slipped down a storm drain, call the City Maintenance Center at 425-587-3900. Public Works’ highest recorded number of saved babies was a chart topping 30 ducklings in one season. To see our most recent duck rescue video, visit the City’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/kirklandwa.gov/videos/519257669023726/.

Babies and Momma Duck image for April 10

April 9 Update from Public Health: Public Health - Seattle & King County to Distribute Over 20,000 COVID-19 Test Kits Locally

Public health logo

Public Health – Seattle & King County is distributing over 20,000 test kits to high priority areas, thanks to donations from UW Medicine and the Seattle Flu Study. Public Health urges everyone to continue practicing social distancing, even while outdoors, in order to maintain progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19. In addition, Public Health reported 198 new cases of COVID-19 today, bringing the official case count in King County to 3886.

Over 20,000 kits to be distributed locally for COVID-19 testing needs

Testing is an essential component to contain the spread of COIVD-19. Limitations in testing supplies have hampered the response to the COVID-19 outbreak both locally and across the United States. Thanks to donations of test kits from UW Medicine, Seattle Flu Study (SFS) and the Washington State Department of Health, Public Health – Seattle & King County will be distributing needed supplies to test for the virus that causes COVID-19.

UW Medicine is contributing 20,000 test kits, prioritized for first responders, health care workers and people who live and work in high-risk congregate settings, including long-term care facilities and homeless shelters.

SFS, which is executing SCAN in partnership with Public Health, will be making an additional 2,000 self-swab kits available to healthcare workers in long-term care facilities. These are primarily being provided as part of a study to understand coronavirus prevalence among healthcare workers, and may also inform recommendations for protecting patients. In addition, SFS will continue to offer testing to approximately 100 homeless shelter residents and staff each week as part of a separate study.

The Washington State Department of Health is making 1,000 kits available locally for testing of emergency medical service providers through existing operations.

"These kits help address the urgency to increase testing for COVID-19 in King County. I thank our community partners who are helping to do the testing where it's most needed at this time," said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

Learn more about testing on the Public Health Insider blog, including an infographic that explains the current testing process.

Maintain social distancing, even while enjoying the outdoors

As weather warms up, getting outdoors for exercise and fresh air is great for our health. To slow the spread of COVID-19 and avoid a rebound of illness, Public Health urges everyone to continue following social distancing guidance, even when outdoors.

Stay six feet apart from others at all times, including outdoors. Go solo or with people in your own household, not in groups. If you're outdoors and it's too crowded to maintain six-foot distancing, head to another area.

In order to prevent crowding, many outdoor recreational areas are temporarily closed. All King County Parks and trails are temporarily closed and City of Seattle Parks has closed many facilities and amenities. Please obey these closures and encourage the same of friends and family. Social distancing only works if we all participate.

If everyone visits destination parks at once, it will be too crowded for safe social distancing. Try to utilize outdoor space near your home so people who may not have access to walkable neighborhoods or backyards, or who have kids who need space to play, can have access to destination parks.

Learn more about how to safely enjoy the outdoors on the Public Health Insider blog.

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 our webpage: www.kingcounty.gov/covid

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 4/8/20.

  • 3,886 confirmed positive cases (up 198* from yesterday)
  • 258 confirmed deaths (up 14 from yesterday)

* The "new confirmed positive cases" figure we publish each day represents all new confirmed cases reported to us through 11:59 the night prior. Some of these test results were processed on days prior but were delayed in being reported to us.

Detailed information about demographics of those who died from COVID-19 is available on the data dashboard.

Temporary changes in reporting of negative COVID-19 test results

King County's COVID-19 data dashboard is based on data provided by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH). As of April 4, 2020, DOH has temporarily stopped reporting data on negative test results. As a result, we are no longer displaying information on negative test results on our data dashboard.

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 has determined that they need isolation or quarantine.

Fifty-two people are currently staying in King County isolation and quarantine facilities.

The number of residents 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.

United Way Offers Rent Assistance for King County Residents Impacted by COVID-19

United Way logo

United Way is pleased to announce an expanded program of rental assistance beginning on Friday April 10, 2020. Thanks to generous donations to the Community Relief Fund and a variety of community partners, one month of rental assistance is being offered to people in King County struggling to pay rent due to the coronavirus.

Listed below are the requirements to qualify and a link to the application. Funds are available on a first come, first served basis. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible

If you’re a King County resident who has been impacted financially by COVID-19 and are behind on your rent, you may qualify for assistance.

You may apply for this assistance if you:

· Live in King County, WA

· Are behind in rent

· Are economically impacted by COVID-19

· Have a current monthly household income that is below these amounts (50% of Area Median Income):

o  1 Person: up to $3,483

o  2 Persons: up to $3,983

o  3 Persons: up to $4,479

o  4 Persons: up to $4,975

o  5 Persons: up to $5,375

o  6 Persons: up to $5,775 

If you meet these requirements, please fill out the online application at www.uwkc.org/renthelp or call 2-1-1.

United Way image for rent assistance

Muslim Community Resource Center Donates Critical Supplies to City

We are grateful to the Muslim Community Resource Center who provided supportive critical supplies for our first responders and community members. Kirkland appreciates your support and efforts to keep first responders and community members protected. Thank you for the generosity!

Tim Day image with face masks

Cancelled Events

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

KU Kids at Kirkland Urban
10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 11
The Fountain Court at Kirkland Urban
For more information, visit: https://www.kirklandurban.com/event/KU-Kids/2145540093/  

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: https://kirklandkiwanis.org.

ORCA Card Service
Wednesday, April 15, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. 
Kirkland City Hall
For more information, visit: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/transportation/metro/fares-orca/neighborhood-pop-up.aspx

The Greater Kirkland Chamber of Commerce
All Chamber events through May 21 are cancelled
For more information, visit: https://kirklandchamber.org/

Kirkland Performance Center
All Kirkland Performance Center shows through April 30 are postponed
For more information, visit: http://www.kpcenter.org