Fire Station 21 is housing first responders who have been exposed to COVID-19. Blake Peterson/staff photo

Fire Station 21 is housing first responders who have been exposed to COVID-19. Blake Peterson/staff photo

12 Kirkland first responders are showing flu-like symptoms

The majority of first responders are being quarantined in their homes

Twenty-seven firefighters and three police officers affiliated with the Kirkland fire and police departments are being isolated because of coronavirus exposure.

Two firefighters have so far been released — one on March 2, the other on March 4 — after completing the 14-day quarantine period.

Twelve first responders were showing symptoms of COVID-19, but test results came back negative. Regardless of test results, responders must be quarantined for the entire 14-day period.

Fire Station 21 remains closed as a quarantine site for an unidentified number of responders. The majority of staff are being isolated in their homes.

Since the 30 individuals have emergency medical services training, they are capable of monitoring themselves, Kellie Stickney, communications program manager for the city of Kirkland said.

“[Fire department staff] call them twice a day to check-in on them,” she said.

An additional quarantine site has been situated for more first responders if needed.

First responders are now wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to “every call we respond to at the Life Care Center,” Stickney said.

PPE workers are using include face masks, eye protection and gloves, she said. For the time being, emergency services are fully supplied with this equipment, but are prepared in case they run out.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify where first responders are wearing personal protective equipment.

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