Communications Program Manager
KIRKLAND, Wash. – 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 dynamic event. We currently have twenty-six firefighters and three police officers in quarantine. One firefighter was released Monday after completing their recommended quarantine period. All twenty-nine are linked to responses to incidents at the Life Center of Kirkland. Twelve first responders are showing flu-like symptoms, and nineteen have confirmed direct exposure. Most are in isolation or quarantine at home. Fire Station 21 continues to be kept offline and is available to firefighters for quarantine, and we have identified an additional building for isolation.
The Kirkland Fire and Police Departments remain fully staffed and are responding to calls as normal. City first responders have CDC recommended personal protection equipment and are following recommended protocols.
“Our number one priority is ensuring the safety of our community and first responders,” said Chief Joe Sanford. “I’m so proud of our first responders who have stepped up to make sure that our community is still receiving the highest level of service.”
The City has received requests from residents wondering how they can assist in the response. The most important thing people can do right now is heed Public Health - Seattle & King County’s recommendations and take specific actions to reduce the risk individuals and families, including:
-More hand washing; less face touching. Regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water will decrease risk that the virus is transmitted.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
-Cover mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
-Avoid contact with people who are sick.
-Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
-Be prepared at home:
-Have a plan to care for family members should they get sick or schools/offices be closed.
-Know workplace telecommute options and school/daycare policies.
-Stock up on food supplies and prescription medications now to avoid leaving home if you or someone in your household becomes infected.
The City also encourages community members to follow the recommendations provided by the Public Health - Seattle & King County, including:
-Do not go to the emergency room unless essential. Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs. If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, contact your regular doctor first. Please only call 911 if you’re experiencing an emergency.
-Stay home when sick.
-Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including handwashing, coughing into tissue or elbow, avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth.
-Stay informed. Information is changing frequently. Check and subscribe to Public Health’s website (www.kingcounty.gov/COVID) or Public Health Insider blog.
The City will continue to update its website with information on the COVID-19 outbreak.