Sunday, March 1, 2020

Firefighters Quarantined Re COVID-19 In Washington State


All,
Firefighters in Kirkland and Redmond, Washington are now under quarantine after possible coronavirus exposure at a nursing facility. State health officials confirmed yesterday that two people connected to the Life Care Center in Kirkland tested presumptively positive for the virus.

One patient is a woman in her 40s who is a health care worker at the facility. She is in satisfactory condition at Overlake hospital. The other is a Life Care resident in her 70s and she is in serious condition at Evergreen Health. At least 27 patients and 25 staff members at the Life Care Center have symptoms associated with COVID-19, according to local health officials.

Several of the Kirkland Firefighters who helped ill patients at the facility in the last week are now under quarantine as a precaution. The firefighters are quarantined at home and a fire department facility. Officials in Kirkland and Redmond have confirmed that all fire department personnel who assisted in transporting the infected patients will be monitored for signs of the virus for two weeks.

Seven members of the Redmond Fire Department in King County have been removed from service, according to public health officials. Six are quarantined at home and one other at a secured facility.

"Out of an abundance of caution, firefighters that were involved in patient care have been placed under quarantine," said Kellie Stickney, a City of Kirkland spokesperson. In Redmond, city officials said all seven involved firefighters were asymptomatic, but would stay in quarantine as directed by King County Public Health.

"We have identified all firefighters who came in contact with the patients that tested positive for the virus," a city spokesperson said. "These firefighters have been removed from service and will be quarantined for 14 days, based upon the Health Department's recommendation."

The total number of firefighters currently under monitoring in Kirkland was not immediately released. City officials said an update would be provided Sunday.

News of the latest cases followed an announcement Friday night that a Snohomish County teen and a King County woman had returned "presumptive positive" tests for the virus.

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