Extension of mandatory telecommuting through July 5, 2021
Dear fellow King County employee,
This has been a challenging year. We’ve had to radically change many aspects of our lives. The way we work has shifted dramatically for all of us, whether you are working onsite and remotely. First responders and employees delivering in-person services continue to do extraordinary work, adjusting to new safety measures and protocols. Teleworkers have adapted to new technology and changes in the way services are offered. Employees with school-aged children are juggling multiple roles, while the demands of work remain. I thank you for your efforts.
Here in King County and around the country, we are seeing an alarming rise in positive cases of COVID-19. With the arrival of cooler, wetter weather we need to ensure that we continue to do whatever we can to slow the spread of the virus.
With so much uncertainty surrounding our lives, I want to provide a degree of certainty for our County operations going into 2021. That is why I am extending mandatory telecommuting through July 5, 2021, for all Executive Branch employees who are currently telecommuting, except where there is an operational need to physically return to the workplace. King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci, Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, Assessor John Wilson, and Elections Director Julie Wise, have also mandated telecommuting for their employees through July 5, where appropriate. In-person customer services that are currently suspended will also remain suspended through July 5, 2021, except where there is an operational need to shift to in-person service. Employees in other branches of County government may receive additional guidance from their leaders. Please see the full guidance and definitions here.
I have made these decisions based on Public Health guidance for how we can make our workplaces safer for employees and the people we serve. By limiting the number of people in our facilities and on our roads and transit system, we can keep our worksites safer for those employees delivering in-person services.
Decisions on when teleworking employees should return to County worksites will be based on Public Health guidance. I have asked department directors to look beyond July 5 – ultimately towards a time when COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our community – and plan for what the future of our work will look like. Depending on where you work, this may include some combination of part-time or full-time telework and in-person services, and a reimagining of counter services and office space needs.
I have asked for these plans by the end of December 2020 for Administration Building occupants, and the end of March 2021 for non-Administration Building occupants. I look forward to reviewing these plans and sharing them with you in 2021.
Lastly, if you haven’t already done so, I urge you to get a flu shot. While the flu shot won’t protect you from COVID-19, it can reduce your risk of getting the flu, help protect vulnerable populations by slowing its spread, and conserve health care resources so health care professionals can treat COVID-19 and other illnesses. Your health and well-being are imperative, and I urge you to take measures to keep yourself, your family, and your community as safe as possible.
King County Executive