More people need help getting food in the pandemic

Food banks need your help now more than ever. “The pandemic and the resulting unemployment and economic downturn are having a severe impact on people’s ability to pay for basic necessities, including food,” said Brendan McCluskey, director of King County Emergency Management.  Financial donations and volunteers are critically needed at food banks. “Especially with the potential for a second wave (of COVID-19), food bank providers are showing concern,” said Jennifer Rosenberger, Senior Manager with King County Emergency Management.  The King County Donations Connector directs people who want to give money to the Washington Food Fund through… Read More

Sharp increases in COVID-19 driven by cases among younger adults 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Two weeks of sharp increases in COVID-19 cases in King County points to a concerning sign that our community is moving in the wrong direction to contain the virus. The daily average number of cases has more than doubled in the past two weeks, from an average of 40 daily cases in mid-June to 87 daily cases the week of June 21.  Our target is to have about 39 cases or fewer per day. This is the number of cases that meets the statewide target of fewer than… Read More

Donations Connector making a difference 

The King County Donations Connector is making a big difference in our community during the COVID-19 pandemic! As of June 19, King County had received:  More than 47,000 N95 respirators  More than 2,000 KN95 respirators  More than 144,000 surgical masks  About 105,000 gloves  More than 1,800 gallons of hand sanitizer  More than 37,000 face shields  Nearly 2,400 gowns  200 thermometers  More than 5,300 “ear savers”  You can still help or get help in the COVID-19 response through the King County Donations Connector! Check the Donations Connector for an updated list of current needs. If you are… Read More

Navigating a pandemic within a pandemic: Coping and care for Black communities 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, another crisis has been taking place for communities of color, particularly for Black individuals of all genders. We are facing ongoing racial trauma and distress that impact every aspect of daily life – including mental health. Racism is a public health emergency that affects us all. As we experience, educate, and encounter it on a systemic and institutional level, we must commit to taking care of ourselves and our communities as well. Below are several resources and ideas to consider:  Determine what amount… Read More

Increasing cases of COVID-19 in King County highlight the need to limit close contact 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Public Health—Seattle & King County continues to monitor cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 and has noted an increase in cases over the past two weeks. Public Health expects to see some increase in cases as we get back to work and other activities in the community because there are more opportunities for COVID-19 to spread.   It’s been one week since King County moved into Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start plan. With more re-opening of businesses, community activities and contact with one-another, Public Health—Seattle & King County is… Read More

Webinar for employees: How are you?: A Conversation on Emotional Health, July 8 

As we continue to navigate life during the COVID-19 era, our mental and emotional health is likely shifting. We may experience waves of different emotions, ranging from fear and anxiety to grief and gratitude. And, we may struggle with how to understand or regulate them.  Join Shawna Johnson, Balanced You Employee Health Specialist, and Heather Steffensen, Interim Employee Assistance Program Manager, for How are you?:  A Conversation on Emotional Health. During this live, interactive webinar facilitators will share some of the feelings that may be arising during the pandemic, techniques and tools to regulate… Read More

Guidance for Workforce, Operations, and Customer Service Recovery

Dear employee: These unprecedented times have challenged us in ways we never imagined. Throughout, you have demonstrated unfailing commitment to our community and personal and professional resilience in the face of massive change. You have proven time and again your expertise and dedication to public service, inspiring the country to follow your lead and inspiring me daily with your efforts. We have a True North guiding vision to make King County a welcoming community where every person can thrive. Our value of Racial Justice is foundational and will guide us in all… Read More

Consider donating to the Emergency Leave Program 

The Emergency Leave Donation Program was developed so that King County employees who have been affected by COVID-19 can request donated leave. When the program debuted, many employees generously donated personal leave to support their colleagues. Now, the program is asking employees to again consider donating personal leave to the program, as the paid leave available is running low.  Employees interested in supporting colleagues affected by COVID-19 can donate accrued sick and vacation leave in two different ways:  Using PeopleSoft to make donations. Learn how by viewing this PeopleSoft Emergency Leave Donation guide (SharePoint), or viewing this short video (also below) from the… Read More

A call to #RecreateResponsibly guides reopening of King County’s parks and trails, and encourages ways to enjoy the outdoors safely

King County moved into Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start plan on June 19. For the Parks Division of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP), going through these phases has meant taking steps to encourage new habits while re-opening its parks and trails following the COVID-19 closures. As it re-opens, King County Parks has put several measures in place, including on-site signs, recreation policies, and operational adjustments. Parks is also part of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, a statewide group that has come together during the pandemic to educate the… Read More

Fireworks safety in a pandemic 

Every year in the U.S., about 9,000 people are injured using fireworks at home, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Most of these injuries take place around the July Fourth holiday. This year, we have been dealing with the dual pandemics of COVID and racial injustice. Most public fireworks displays have been cancelled. If you decide to use consumer fireworks, please do so with caution and follow local rules and regulations. In addition, remember that social distancing, wearing a face covering and hand-washing are still very important. Fireworks are banned… Read More