As one of the country's first cities impacted by COVID-19, Kirkland was initially given the undesirable distinction of being the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Yet, the way in which the city has handled the crisis has garnered positive press, launching Kirkland into the spotlight as a role model.
Mayor Penny Sweet says that her city's response has been a natural progression, and she feels grateful for the solid infrastructure that was already in place.
"We were fortunate that it hit a city with an established emergency medical system," Sweet said. Even after a significant number of firefighters were forced to quarantine at home, there was never a time when Kirkland didn't have a full response team available.