The Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Declaration ends May 11, 2023. What does this mean for you?

Crossposted from Public Health Insider When the COVID-19 pandemic first began here in the US, the federal government put in place special emergency declarations that allowed them to rapidly respond to the spread of COVID-19 as well as addressing financial barriers to COVID-19-related care. On May 11, 2023, the Federal Public Health Emergency Declaration ends, which means there will be changes to how some people receive COVID-19-related care, like testing, treatment, and vaccines. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not over The expiration of the emergency declaration does not mean that the pandemic is over… Read More

How the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency impacts your employee medical and pharmacy benefits

During the COVID-19 National Emergency and the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, some benefit coverages expanded temporarily to make it easier for employees to receive care. These emergencies officially end on May 11, 2023, and many of the expanded benefits will return to normal coverage levels and regular deductibles, copays, and coinsurance will apply. Items that will no longer be covered Over-the-counter COVID-19 tests will no longer be covered and will be an out-of-pocket expense. Medical benefits that are going back to “normal” COVID-19 PCR lab tests will be covered when ordered by an… Read More

Federal Public Health Emergency ends May 11

President’s Biden’s administration has announced that the current federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 will be lifted on May 11, 2023. This means that King County’s obligations under the Health Emergency Labor Standards Act (HELSA) will also end as of that date. Currently the county is prohibited from discharging, replacing, or discriminating against high-risk employees for seeking accommodations or utilizing leave to limit their risk of exposure to Covid-19. Because of the improved conditions in the community which have led to the announcement of the lifting of the state of emergency, as… Read More

COVID-19 vaccine mandate lifted for King County employees in the Executive Branch

Starting February 6, King County will no longer require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of Executive Branch employment. Thanks to the success of the vaccine, vaccine mandate, and other precautions King County employees and residents have taken, COVID-19 cases are trending downwards, and the risk of serious infection is falling. After consulting with Public Health – Seattle & King County and other regional leaders, King County Executive Dow Constantine believes that it is now appropriate to end the Emergency Proclamation and Orders and lift the vaccine mandate as a… Read More

King County and City of Seattle announce updates to employee vaccine mandate

In alignment with updated Public Health – Seattle and King County guidance, Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Bruce Harrell announced today that King County and the City of Seattle will no longer require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as a condition of employment effective today. Throughout the pandemic, King County and the City of Seattle have used the most up-to-date recommendations and expertise from Public Health officials to inform policy decisions to adapt to the conditions and threats from the virus. To keep employees and the community safe and healthy, in mid-2021… Read More

Public Health reflects on lessons learned from COVID-19 response in summary report

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) has published an After-Action Report, summarizing key information from the first two years (January 2020 – January 2022) of PHSKC’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The After-Action Report was created to better understand the efforts undertaken by Public Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, record the contributions and roles of those who responded, and identify ways to strengthen future responses to public health emergencies. The document captures strengths, lessons learned, and recommendations raised by stakeholders and partners. A summary of the report is available… Read More

Help reduce the spread of airborne illnesses by improving indoor air quality

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider By now you may have heard that we’re experiencing high cases of flu and RSV (a respiratory disease), with young children being hospitalized. With cold weather, we spend more time inside, which increases the potential for another surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the coming months. Diseases like RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 are airborne and spread easily indoors. With that in mind, it’s important to pay attention to indoor air quality. Read more.

Free COVID-19 tests available while supplies last

During the cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to test yourself regularly for COVID-19 whenever you start not feeling well or before visiting groups of people indoors. There are free COVID-19 tests available while supplies last at or Manufacturers now say the tests are good for 12 months.

Compassion fatigue and burnout: What they are and how to recover

The ongoing pandemic and seasonal illnesses, stressful end-of-year work assignments, additional holiday activities – these and other factors can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. Understanding the cause of compassion fatigue and burnout is essential in protecting yourself from these common conditions. There are numerous techniques and tips for how to prevent this from happening to you. Read more.

Local health care leaders recommend wearing masks indoors

Cross-posted from Public Health Insider Communities across Washington and around the U.S. are experiencing an unprecedented surge in viral respiratory illnesses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), influenza, and COVID-19. Health officers and health care leaders working to improve the health of Washington residents recommend that everyone wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when around others in indoor spaces to protect against both acquiring and spreading these infections to others. Read more.