Guidance on Governor’s Order and essential services

On Monday, March 23, Governor Inslee announced a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order, and included a lengthy list of essential services and workforce that can and should continue operating.

Governor Inslee’s order listed a number of workers who his office deemed to be essential.  The Governor’s list also included “Critical government workers, including the Governor’s Office, as defined by the employer and consistent with Continuity of Operations Plans and Continuity of Government plans.”

Last fall, all King County departments updated their Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) and designated employees as First Responders, Mission-Critical, and Non-Mission Critical in an Emergency. First Responders and Mission-Critical Employees are classified as “critical government workers” for the purposes of the Governor’s Order, and accordingly are expected to continue to report to work in person or telework per existing arrangements. Departments can change employee designations as needed, and must inform employees accordingly.

Under King County’s Temporary Leave and Telecommuting Policy, First Responders “have the highest duty to report to work as directed in emergency conditions,” and Mission-Critical Employees “must be available to perform their duties as determined by their agency management.” This is as important as ever during our COVID-19 response.

The health and safety of our employees and community remains our top priority and, as always, please follow state and local guidance to stay healthy and stop the spread of COVID-19. As a reminder, many people experience mild symptoms, but those at high risk can potentially experience severe illness. Those who are considered high risk include:

  • People 60 and older
  • People with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes
  • People who have weakened immune systems
  • People who are pregnant

For employees who are not First Responders or Mission-Critical, King County is now mandating telecommuting for those employees whose work allows for it, with supervisor approval, through Friday, April 24.

If an employee needs to take leave, options include:

  • Accrued, federal (starts April 1), and donated leave
  • Leave Without Pay
  • If employees do not have accrued leave to cover their absence, they may request COVID-19 leave from their supervisor.

Thank you for everything that you are doing to help our community as we battle this virus.