Elections in the time of COVID-19 

Crossposted from Election Connection  Keeping our staff and voters safe and healthy is one of our top priorities for this upcoming election. Here are some questions we’ve encountered about how we’re handling the upcoming election in the midst of a pandemic.  How do I vote in a COVID-19 world?  The great news is that we already vote-by-mail in Washington State. If you are already registered to vote, your ballot will be mailed to you automatically about three weeks before Election Day. You can fill it out in the convenience of your home and… Read More

King County’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts gain strength 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  The case investigators at Public Health—Seattle & King County are able to reach the vast majority of people who test positive for COVID-19 in King County. And most people are taking the important step of isolating themselves during their contagious period.  A new data dashboard shows the numbers, and it demonstrates the rapid growth of Public Health’s contact tracing efforts. Highlights include:  Since the spring, the team has grown to 61 members who investigate over 500 cases each week (roughly 95 percent of all cases in King County).  Each week,… Read More

Schools preparing for a measured return to in-person learning 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  King County’s K-12 schools are back in session. For most students, the 2020-2021 school year is starting remotely and Zoom is the new classroom. Even though the majority of the county’s school districts are teaching students remotely, they are also hard at work behind the scenes to be ready to provide in-person learning once COVID-19 transmission rates are lower.  At Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC), we are supporting schools and communities across the county as they prepare for in-school learning. Two crucial ways we are… Read More

Why flu vaccine is more important during COVID-19 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Although we can’t predict exactly what will happen this fall and winter, flu will likely arrive while COVID-19 is still circulating, and that makes it even more important to get a flu vaccination. We asked Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County, to explain why.  Why is it particularly important to get a flu vaccine this season?  Jeff Duchin: The prospect of our annual flu outbreak compounding COVID-19 during this fall and winter’s “respiratory virus” season is worrisome. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices are likely… Read More

Alongside the ongoing transmission of COVID-19, common colds are on the rise in Seattle and King County 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  In the fall of 2018, the Seattle Flu Study (SFS) began monitoring respiratory diseases in the Seattle metro area. At the beginning of 2020, SFS partnered with Public Health – Seattle & King County to launch the greater Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network (SCAN) to track and monitor COVID-19. The combined SFS and SCAN data offer us a window into the effects of COVID-19 mitigation efforts—not only on the spread of COVID-19, but also on the transmission of other respiratory viruses. The findings also remind us of the importance… Read More

Developing new practices for COVID-19 just another day in Payroll Operations 

Many groups around King County have had to adapt rapidly to the challenges posed by the coronavirus, switching gears to accommodate new policies and procedures. But for the Central Payroll Operations Team, a small group of employees who already move at a quick pace, these changes are part of their ever-evolving work routine. As we celebrate National Payroll Week, we spoke with Payroll Operations Supervisor Pam Bell to learn more about how the Team is operating during this time. Pam joined King County in 2004 and has been with the Department of Executive… Read More

What happens when you get a COVID-19 test? 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Maybe it’s happened to you: you wake up one morning with a new cough and a slight fever, and you’re not sure what to do. You’re worried it might be COVID, so what are your next steps? Getting tested is one of the best ways to protect your family, friends, and community, but if you’ve never been tested before, you might be a little nervous. We reveal what really happens when you get a COVID test in this short video, below. For more information on testing, including where to… Read More

Get a flu shot this fall

Dear King County Employee, Since the first outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States was recognized in King County just over 6 months ago, I have deeply appreciated the care and commitment to public service I see demonstrated every day by my fellow employees. Our response to the pandemic has been a tremendous effort, where the entire workforce has rallied during a public health emergency to take personal actions to stop the spread of the disease, while at the same time working hard to safely continue delivering critical services to our region…. Read More

Two new COVID-19 testing sites to open in South King County 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  New testing sites in Renton and Auburn will bring additional free COVID-testing to south King County, where communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. A new site in Auburn opens Sept. 1, and a new site will open in Renton on Sept. 8.   If you have symptoms, get tested early   Early testing is important to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading to friends, family, and the community. It is important to get tested immediately if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath, fever,… Read More

King County pulse survey starting Sept. 8 

King County is conducting a short pulse survey of a random sample of employees to get a better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce, starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.  This survey builds on the May 2020 survey and listening sessions of more than 1,000 randomly selected Executive branch employees, which asked about their experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic and its affect on their work. Its results will be used to better understand how the County can effectively support employee well-being at this time, and the changing nature of work.  As this is a… Read More