Nurses in the Kirkland COVID-19 vortex explain the chaos

Three nurses and one VP of operations from Kirkland Life Care Center speak exclusively to KOMO News about being at the epicenter of the first COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. Listen to the entire interview with the staff conducted by KOMO's Eric Johnson. (photo: KOMO News)

"When you're living it every day for long days and you've seen what we've gone through, it feels like a bomb dropped in the middle of it and we're trying to pick up the pieces", says the operations vice-president from the Life Care Center in Kirkland, about being at the forefront of the first fatal outbreak in the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic.

KOMO News anchor Eric Johnson interviewed an operations VP and three nurses from Life Care Center in Kirkland to hear their stories about treating patients as COVID-19 infection spread inside the facility.

"And from then on it was kinda like dominoes, trying to find the patients that were the most critical. But we didn't know what we were looking at because nobody really knew what the true sign(s) of COVID is.", continued another nurse. That early inability to distinguish the subtle differences between annual influenza and the COVID-19 strain turned into a significant factor for the infection spread in Kirkland.

"There's the virus and then there's how it clinically presents in these patients and we didn't know what that looked like. So you know when you think you're doing the right thing with COVID its not necessarily the right thing..and we didn't know that. "

"I was talking to my regional nurse to check on her and see how she's doing and I told her, I said I felt like I was chasing the devil. And she said she had chills because she was just getting ready to say the same thing."

Listen to the entire interview with the four nurses by clicking on their image above.

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