Message from Mayor Penny Sweet on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Message from Mayor Penny Sweet on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Hello. I’m Mayor Penny Sweet, and I want to update
you on what the City is doing to protect our community from coronavirus, also known as
COVID-19. The first known death from COVID-19 in the
United States occurred at EvergreenHealth Hospital in Kirkland this past weekend. Since then, more community members have lost
their lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the loved
ones of all those affected by this virus. This tragic loss of life thrust our community
into the national spotlight, and Kirkland has been called “the epicenter of coronavirus
response” by the Washington Post. With COVID-19 in our community, we now have
many challenges before us, and the City’s top priority is to protect our community and
our employees. This responsibility is the foundation of everything
we do as a government. The City’s first responders and other personnel
are acting quickly, effectively, and with great courage to do everything possible to
make sure our community is safe and healthy. The City’s Emergency Operations Center continues
to collaborate closely with Public Health – Seattle & King County, the Washington
State Department of Health, the CDC, and our neighboring cities to communicate and provide
needed support to our community and City personnel. To provide maximum flexibility and resources
to respond to COVID-19, on February 29, the City proclaimed a state of emergency in Kirkland. This followed a proclamation of emergency
by the Governor earlier that day, and King County has also declared an emergency. To ensure City personnel are adhering to the
latest medical information and advice, staff are following the guidance of the CDC and
Public Health on all issues regarding safety and virus transmission. At the recommendation of Public Health, 27
firefighters and three police officers have been quarantined in an abundance of caution. We continue to actively monitor their condition. Let me assure you that our first responders
in the Fire Department and Police Departments remain fully staffed and are responding to calls
as normal. They have CDC-recommended personal protection
equipment and are following all recommended protocols to protect themselves and keep our
community safe. In this time of uncertainty, it is important
that we remember our community’s values of being safe, inclusive, and welcoming. We are all in this together, and we all have
a role to play. The most important thing community members
can do right now is heed Public Health’s recommendations and take specific individual
actions to reduce the spread of the virus by washing your hands and staying home if
you are sick. Please see the links provided with this video
for more information. It is also critical to remember that misinformation
about COVID-19 can create fear and hostility that hurts people and makes it harder to keep
everyone healthy. No race, nationality, or ethnicity is more
likely to have COVID-19. Speak up if you hear, see, or read harassment,
and avoid spreading misinformation. We do not yet know where this outbreak of
COVID-19 in Kirkland will take us. All we can do is remain the calm, compassionate,
and courageous community we are, despite any challenges that may come. Kirkland is one of the best cities in America
to live, work, and play. Now is our opportunity to demonstrate this
to ourselves and the world.

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