Care center honors dozens of lives lost with memorial 6 months after first U.S. COVID-19 outbreak

It’s been six months since a health care facility in Kirkland was revealed to be an epicenter of a pandemic that’s since gripped our state, country and planet.

Dozens of the facility’s residents would die and the heartbreak was profound.

Officials from the Life Care Center of Kirkland held a ceremony of remembrance for those who perished.

Johns Hopkins University estimated more than 181,000 Americans have died so far, victims from a pandemic.

The crisis everyone is facing now began just in our backyard – and while the dozens who first fell victim were remembered today, observing their loss had to happen at a distance.

“They were like family to me and our staff,” said Nancy Butner. 

The eyes of the world turned to Kirkland after what once was a problem overseas, was now ravaging metro Seattle.

The ceremony was somber with music and candles while company officials reflected about the 39 they say died in connection to the facility..

“Today we honor them and their legacy with a plaque,” said Todd Fletcher.

Federal regulators ended up fining the facility more than $600k for failing to provide adequate care to its residents or provide emergency 24-hour doctor services back in the spring.

While the 39 patients who died in connection to the facility were memorialized Friday afternoon county health officials attribute 46 fatalities to Life Care Center.