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When first responders answered roughly 10 calls from a long-term care center in Kirkland, Washington, over the course of a week, they did not expect to become patients themselves.
Entering the Life Care Center of Kirkland last month exposed them to the novel coronavirus that sickens people with an illness known as COVID-19. Because the emergency calls came before authorities realized the virus was circulating in the community, some of the responders did not wear protective gear.
As of Thursday, 27 firefighters and three police officers were under quarantine. Twelve are showing flu-like symptoms. Two other responders were released from isolation. The virus has infected 70 people and killed 10 in Washington