Getting a flu shot this season is even more important due to COVID-19

Winter brings with it darker days and cooler temperatures, but also an increase in respiratory illnesses, like the flu. With the risk of COVID-19 increasing as people head indoors, it is recommended to get a flu vaccine to reduce the risk of getting the flu, severe illness, and hospitalization. This helps minimize the need for medical attention and ensures hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices can care for COVID-19 patients and their health needs. Getting a flu shot is more important than ever. Not only does it prevent flu medical visits, but since… Read More

Video: As hospitalizations increase, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin and Matias Valenzuela 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County and Matias Valenzuela, Equity Director for Public Health, shared updates on COVID-19 spread, reviewed what the public needs to do to turn this trend around, and discussed new data that shows where people most frequently report being exposed to COVID-19. 

Metro urges protective measures, shares reported numbers 

Crossposted from Metro Matters  On Nov. 15, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a four-week statewide set of restrictions in response to the increased rate of the COVID-19 infections in Washington and across the country. King County also has seen an increase in cases, with south King County disproportionately impacted.  Since the beginning of the pandemic and especially during this time, the safety of Metro’s employees, customers, and community members remains our highest priority.   Read more. 

New statewide COVID-19 exposure notification tool  

The State of Washington has launched a new app that alerts residents if they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19. WA Notify is a simple, anonymous exposure notification tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19. By adding WA Notify to their smartphones, Washington residents will be alerted if they spent time near another WA Notify user who later tests positive for COVID-19.    WA Notify uses privacy-preserving technology jointly developed by Google and Apple and works without collecting or revealing any location or personal data. WA Notify is free and can be enabled in… Read More

Abiding by our COVID-19 workplace safety measures

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in King County and Washington state, we are in a more dangerous time now than we were last spring. We have reached a new peak in case counts – the positivity rate is too high, and hospitalizations are up. The Governor has issued new restrictions to help bring the numbers down. The actions we take now as individuals and families will make the difference.  We can all play our part in slowing the spread of the virus by following King County’s COVID-19 workplace safety measures: Do not report… Read More

Donated emergency leave helps hundreds of employees affected by COVID-19

Employees across King County responded to the call to support one another during the COVID-19 pandemic by donating leave. As of November 13, nearly 285 King County employees donated sick and vacation leave valued at $774,687. Their generous donations have benefited more than 300 employees in need who’ve been granted 23,162 hours of emergency leave so far this year.  Some employees have been impacted by COVID-19 more than others and exhausted their paid leave. Access to donated leave has helped them focus on recovering their health or caring for loved ones.   “COVID-19… Read More

Public records during COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed so much about the way we work, but one thing that hasn’t changed is that we are stewards of the public’s records. As such, we must maintain both good records management practices and provide timely responses to requests for public records, whether those come from the public directly, or through a public records officer (PRO) or coordinator. The PROs coordinating public records requests are working to collect responsive records as efficiently as possible while trying to minimize disruptions to the important work that is being done under uncommon conditions.   One… Read More

VIDEO: As COVID cases skyrocket, an update from Dr. Jeff Duchin

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  As cases skyrocket and hospitalizations increase, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, shared updates on COVID-19 and what the public needs to do to turn the outbreak around.  “The upcoming holiday season greatly adds to the risk, and to the importance of taking action now. If people travel, or gather for Thanksgiving celebrations or other get-togethers, we could see an explosion in COVID-19, causing human suffering unlike anything we’ve experienced in modern times. We want to remind everyone again that we… Read More

Celebrating Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic

Thanksgiving gatherings traditionally center around time spent breaking bread with loved ones. This year, in light of the ongoing pandemic, the steep rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, and the recent Governor orders to limit social gatherings and non-essential activities, Thanksgiving celebrations are likely to look different for many people.  Fortunately, there are still safe, fun, and meaningful ways to celebrate the holiday together. Visit this Balanced You blogpost for tips and resources for navigating 2020’s Thanksgiving. 

Staying safer as COVID-19 infection rates increase

Dear employee, Nationally and locally our Public Health agencies are reporting an increase in COVID-19 infection rates in communities. This escalation in infections is also reflected in our work community, with increasing numbers of employees testing positive for COVID-19 or reporting significant exposure to those who have tested positive. Temporary statewide restrictions announced by the Governor are in place to help reduce the rate of infections. Workplace exposure The County continues to review workplace exposures where employees report that they have tested positive for COVID-19. County staff conduct workplace contract tracing on… Read More