What we know (and a few things we don’t) about COVID-19 vaccines: a conversation with Dr. Jeff Duchin  

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Two COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA and the first shipments have arrived in King County.    In this interview, Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Seattle & King County Public Health, answers common questions such as… Who is getting the first shots? How effective are the new vaccines? What are mRNA vaccines and how do they work? What kind of common side effects do the vaccines have? What about the severe allergic reactions that the news has reported in a handful of people? Read more. 

Metro health ambassadors promote masks, community spirit

Some former Metro employees are helping people safely get where they are going in a different way.  “I usually drive a Metro bus, but today I’m giving out masks to try and make sure everyone is masking up and being safe,” Jena, a Metro bus operator and Health Ambassador, said.   After King County Metro Transit was forced to lay off some part-time employees due to COVID-19, the agency came up with an innovative solution: they allowed drivers facing layoff to opt into the Department of Community and Human Services’ (DCHS) Health Ambassadors… Read More

Executive Constantine thanks employees and applauds their 2020 accomplishments

King County Executive Dow Constantine has released a video message to thank employees for their tremendous efforts and achievements in 2020. “I am grateful for your flexibility, creativity, and hard work which enabled us to pivot quickly and respond to the needs of our community,” Executive Constantine said in the video message. “We have a way to go in this journey to normalcy – and things may get worse before they get better – but they will get better.” In addition to reflecting on the achievements of employees in 2020 –  including… Read More

Video: Dr. Jeff Duchin on COVID-19 trends and vaccine distribution

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  As the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine arrived King County this week, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin answered questions and shared the latest information on rollout and distribution of vaccines.  For more on COVID-19 data trends, visit our data dashboards: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/data.aspx  For more on COVID-19 vaccine planning in King County: www.kingcounty.gov/covid/vaccine  Watch the video

New COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program

Dear King County employee, We are excited to announce that, in response to the overwhelming impacts of COVID-19 on working parents, including the closure of many in-person schools and child care providers, labor and management have agreed upon a COVID-19 Child Care Reimbursement Program to help those in the Regular Employees Benefits Plan with child care expenses incurred during the 2020-2021 school year. This groundbreaking agreement, first proposed by a King County Coalition of Unions, will cover approximately 10,400 union and non-represented employees who receive the Regular Employees Benefits Plan through the Joint… Read More

Safe holiday activities for kids during the pandemic 

If you have children at home, you may be wondering what types of activities you can do to provide entertainment and help them feel the spirit of celebration during the pandemic. Balanced You has put together a list of seasonal activities you can do as a family that foster connection and well-being while observing guidelines for staying healthy. Visit this Balanced You blogpost for more information. 

Expansion of testing into the eastside of king county 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  Starting this week, there will be a new option for convenient, free COVID-19 testing on the Eastside. A new site at Bellevue College will open on Tuesday, expanding efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in east King County and along the I-90 corridor. This will be the first free, high-capacity COVID-19 test site on the Eastside. This site will be free and open to anyone, regardless of insurance or immigration status.  If you have COVID-like symptoms or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, Public Health… Read More

First doses of vaccine arrive in King County 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  It’s a remarkable milestone that the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are on the ground in our community. Public Health – Seattle & King County is one of several healthcare providers receiving limited quantities of COVID-19 vaccine this week. Hospital systems in King County will receive approximately 17,000 doses of vaccine in this first distribution, with Public Health scheduled to receive 3,900 doses.  Across the state, the vaccine will be offered to workers in high-risk healthcare settings and residents and staff in long-term care facilities. In addition… Read More

Inslee announces updated school guidance for in-person instruction

Gov. Jay Inslee and Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal today announced an update in the metrics used to inform local school district decisions for in-person learning. They also announced $3 million from set aside funds to be distributed to implement health and safety protocols.  The update to the school health and safety toolkit comes after recent data showed limited COVID-19 transmission in school environments when state health and safety protocols are implemented.  The Department of Health suggests three categories for re-introducing in-person learning:  For schools in counties where COVID-19 cases are “low” (less… Read More

Planning holidays during a pandemic

Planning holidays during a pandemic is a tough feat. While news of COVID-19 vaccines brings a welcome light at the end of the tunnel, we still need to follow social distancing and mask recommendations until the vaccine is available to try to keep ourselves, our loved ones, and our community safe.  To help employees safely navigate the holiday season, Balanced You has put together a list of resources and tips for fun and meaningful ways to celebrate. Click here for more information.