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COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information

King County Public Health is your primary source of information for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Please visit their website for the latest information. 

COVID-19 (coronavirus) is an active situation that is changing daily. The City of Kirkland Office of Emergency Management is proactively monitoring public health information for any potential implications for our community. 

 

Update from Mayor Sweet

Image-Update from Mayor Penny Sweet on COVID-19 in Kirkland
Watch Mayor Penny Sweet's message on the City's response to COVID-19.

 

Update on City Operations

Related to the Governor's "Stay Home, Stay Healthy" order

Most City employees have been deemed essential critical infrastructure workers in accordance with Governor Inslee’s March 23 Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order.

All City facilities are currently closed to the public, and all City staff that are able to work remotely are doing so.  All City staff that are not working from home will be practicing social distancing and other public health guidelines for all.

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.

Police Operations

At its March 31 virtual meeting, the City Council approved Ordinance 4721, making it a misdemeanor crime to knowingly violate the lawful order of a public officer during an 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 in the City's news release. “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.

Residents should not call 911 to report violations of the order as phone lines must be kept clear for emergencies. Violations of the Governor’s order can be reported to the State via this online form.

Beginning March 20, the Kirkland Police Department took additional significant steps to help keep officers and community members safe:

  • Community members are encouraged to file police reports for not in-progress crimes using our online reporting system at https://www.kirklandwa.gov/depart/PD/online-resources/onlinereporting.htm
  • You may notice that officers may be utilizing the phone to respond to calls for crimes that are not in-progress. This may require additional flexibility and creativity, such as photos and witness statements being shared via email or phone. The KPD is committed to continuing to provide excellent customer service.
  • Officers will be limiting contact, as much as possible, in cases where there is no immediate threat to the safety of the caller, or other individuals involved.

Officers will always respond in-person to emergency calls, serious in-progress felonies, any calls involving life safety, and to injury or blocking traffic accidents. Please know that these temporary changes are to protect the safety of our officers and the community. Limiting officer’s potential exposure to COVID-19 helps ensure that we will continue to have adequate coverage for our community.

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 www.kirklandwa.gov/pdr. Pet licensing can still be completed through Pet Data at www.petdata.com.

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.

Development Services Inspections

To implement the Governor’s executive order dated March 23, 2020 (and a follow-up memorandum on Construction Guidance dated March 25, 2020), City staff from Development Services (Building, Planning, Fire and Public Works) will be performing inspections for:

  • commercial and residential projects that are identified as essential (including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing);
  • ongoing construction work to prevent spoliation, damage, and unsafe conditions; and
  • any work that is emergency repair, replacement, or maintenance.

Other inspections of single-family and multi-family residential construction will not be performed, including new construction, additions, and remodels.

Anyone requesting an inspection who believes the project is exempt, per the Governor’s order, must be prepared to specifically cite the language in the order and/or follow-up memorandum (i.e., page, paragraph, line) that justifies the exemption. The request will be documented within the inspection record for purposes of justifying the City’s decision to grant the inspection request.

Inspectors are granted the authority to use sound judgement in determining whether or not the request will be granted and if the inspection can be done safely. All information will be clearly documented in the event that justification needs to be given as to why inspections were granted during the effective dates of the Governor’s order.

Waste Management Updates

Effective March 30, Waste Management residential call center is back up and taking customers calls at: 1-800-592-9995.  Agents have been transitioned so they can work remotely. For more information: http://servicealerts.wmnorthwest.com/kirkland/.

Parks Operations and Recreation Registration 

Park amenities including playgrounds, restrooms, and sports courts are currently closed. Parks and trails will remain open as the Governor’s order permits walking and biking as long as social distancing guidelines of least six feet are followed.

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 (www.kirklandparks.net) or by phone. Purchased cards will be mailed.

All parks and recreation business can be conducted online at www.kirklandparks.net 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 www.kirklandparks.net. 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, court@kirklandwa.gov 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.

City Hall Front Desk Services

Kirkland City Hall is currently closed to the public; many city services are available online

The City of Kirkland Passport Office will be closed through Friday, April 10th. The City’s re-opening of the passport office will depend on the status of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on our community. To locate other passport facilities, or for additional passport information, you may contact the U.S. State Dept. at 1-877-487-2778, or visit their website at travel.state.govlinks to external site

Utility bills can be paid online or through the drop box. On March 17, the City Manager authorized the suspension of all late fees, tags, and water shut-offs. The City will work with any customer that is seeking a payment arrangement for their utility balance. Please contact utilitybilling@kirklandwa.gov with questions.

Any pet owners that license their pets during the Covid-19 emergency proclamation will have all late fees waived. Pet owners will also not have to provide proof of rabies vaccination if they do not have it available at the time of licensing. These temporary changes are to help make it easier for people to license their pets during this challenging time. If a pet owner needs to renew a license but is experiencing financial hardship due to the Covid-19 pandemic, please contact Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison at 425-587-3414. The Kirkland Police Department will work with you to get your pet licensed.

How You Can Help Prevent the Spread of the Virus 

If You're Sick, Stay Home

  1. If sick (fever/cough), STAY HOME.
  2. Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue or your arm.

See what to do if you suspect you have COVID-19links to external site

Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Infection
Prevention of the spread of any virus is key to minimizing personal and professional impacts. Some actions you can take now to help reduce the risk of infection include:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughlylinks to external site or use alcohol-based sanitizer often throughout the day.
  2. Get in the habit of NOT touching your face so often.
  3. Clean your work area at least once, ideally twice a day. Don’t forget phones, keyboards, and door handles.
  4. Forgo the handshake for a wave or “elbow bump”.
  5. Eat healthy, stay hydrated, and get plenty of rest.

 


 Go to "Social Distancing 101 - Text Version" page.
Information about social distancing and how to minimize face-to-face time

Plan Ahead and Prepare In Case Someone in Your Household Gets Sick
To prepare for a pandemic at home you should consider:

  1. Having plans to care for family members when schools, daycares, or senior centers are closed. It is encouraged to have a plan and a backup plan.
  2. Having enough non-perishable food at home so trips to the grocery store can be limited or avoided for at least 3 – 4 weeks.
  3. Cleaning your living area more often, including wiping down small electronics, door handles, and other items commonly touched by many people.

Frequently Asked Questions

 Do we know how many people have been tested?

  • Public Health – Seattle & King County is leading the effort on coordinating and communicating about confirmed cases. Visit its websitelinks to external site for the most up-to-date information.

 Who will be providing information to the public about the prior movements of confirmed cases? 

  • Public Health – Seattle & King County is leading the effort to as quickly as possible identify close contacts to the confirmed cases.  Visit its websitelinks to external site for the most up-to-date information.

Do Kirkland’s firefighters and police officers have the correct equipment to keep themselves and our community safe?

  • The City’s first responders have CDC-approved personal protection equipment and are following recommended protocols. Watch a videolinks to external site of some of the ways that firefighters protect themselves from infection.