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 quickly evolving event. The City of Kirkland currently has twenty-seven firefighters and three police officers in quarantine. Two firefighters have now been released after completing their recommended quarantine period. All thirty first responders are linked to responses to incidents at the Life Care 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 isolation, a second facility is being used for quarantine.
As of the morning of Wednesday, March 4, ten Kirkland firefighters and seven family members had been tested for COVID-19 at the Evergreen Hospital. We are currently waiting for results, which will go first to Seattle & King County Public Health then to the patient.
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.
Seattle & King County Public Health have revised their recommendations to the public (please note that these are recommendations not mandates):
• King County is recommending people at higher risk of severe illness should stay home and away from large groups people. People at higher risk include people 60 and older, people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, people who have weakened immune systems, and people who are pregnant.
• Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so.
• If you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings. Large groups are considered more than 10 people.
King County is not currently recommending that schools be closed.
More information from Seattle & King County Public Health is available at https://kingcounty.gov/depts/health/news/2020/March/4-covid-recommendations.aspx.
City leadership is meeting this afternoon to determine how to respond to these new recommendations.
The City will continue to update its website with information on the COVID-19 outbreak.