COVID-19 staffing updates – March 16, 2020

Approval to take IT peripheral equipment home while telecommuting

With many employees telecommuting at this time in line with the County’s guidance, employees are permitted to take home laptop peripheral equipment, including monitors, to help them continue to be productive during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employees must receive supervisor approval prior to taking peripheral equipment home, such as a monitor, mouse, or other devices. Supervisors should keep a record of any equipment that is being taken home. Departments are responsible for keeping an inventory of equipment taken home. (Note: this applies to Executive Branch employees. Employees in separately elected agencies should check with their IT staff).

Employees who need assistance in the setup of peripheral equipment should contact the KCIT helpdesk at to live chat with an agent or submit a ticket, or call 206-263-4357 (3-HELP).

Non-essential work-related travel canceled 

Non-essential work-related travel for all Executive Branch employees must be canceled and will not be approved between Saturday, March 14, through Friday, April 24, 2020. This includes previously approved travel. Essential Travel is travel required to support critical life, health, and safety functions and cannot be delayed or handle remotely. Exceptions will be rare and must be approved by your department director and the Chief People Officer Whitney Abrams. The situation is evolving and subject to change. (Note: this applies to Executive Branch employees. Employees in separately elected agencies will receive guidance from their leaders).

Changes to face-to-face customer service

King County has closed many face-to-face customer service operations from Monday, March 16, through at least Friday, March 27. Please see the affected services at

Employees are expected to report to work as normal unless they have a prior arrangement to telecommute or take leave. Employees will continue to provide services by phone, online, and by email wherever possible. Supervisors, managers, and leaders will provide additional information to their employees as needed.

Telecommuting with children in the home

Employees are permitted to telecommute with children in the home. Per prior guidance, employees who can telecommute are expected to telecommute where their work allows for it. Managers and supervisors should work with their employees to permit telecommuting wherever possible, and be creative in helping to maximize telecommuting. Employees must receive the approval of their supervisors before beginning telecommuting. The expectation of productive work remains. Please find telecommute resources here and submit a signed telecommute agreement to your supervisor. You can also get KCIT guidance here on the necessary technology tools (SharePoint).

Self-care tips for telecommuters during the coronavirus response

As King County responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19), many employees have been asked to telecommute as a form of “social distancing” to reduce the community risk of coronavirus transmission. Furthermore, the CDC has recently issued guidance that everyone minimize time spent in large groups, and that immune-compromised, chronically ill, and older adults stay home as much as possible. While these strategies have many benefits, the sudden switch can throw off your routine.

Balanced You wants to support you in rethinking self-care during this time. Up-to-date information on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus can be found here. Tips on how to keep your mind and body well while you respond to the coronavirus professionally and personally can be found here. Frequently asked questions for employees regarding coronavirus can be found hereRead more.

Stay informed

Please refer to the Public Health’s website at and the Public Health Insider blog for the latest information, and see our list of answers to common questions for King County employees. You can also sign up for free email alerts from Public Health.