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. 

Video: COVID-19 vaccine planning update from Dr. Jeff Duchin (Dec. 11, 2020)

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  With COVID-19 cases surging in King County, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin shared the most recent data and responded to questions from the media and the community about vaccine planning and how we can all help stop slow the spread during the holiday season.  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 

With new COVID-19 cases reaching all-time highs, please consider donating to the Emergency Leave Program

The Emergency Leave Donation Program was developed to aid employees who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and have exhausted their paid leave. Access to donated leave has helped them focus on recovering their health or caring for loved ones. So far this year, nearly 300 employees have generously donated personal leave to support their colleagues.  The program is asking employees to again consider donating personal leave to the program, as the paid leave available is running low. Donating leave is an especially good option for employees who may find themselves in a “use-it-or-lose-it” position with an excess vacation balance… Read More

Planning for COVID-19 vaccine access at King County

Message from Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer, & Brenda Bauer, Deputy Chief Operating Officer Dear employee, The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive in Washington state this week. This is an exciting development in the pandemic response, and the county, particularly Public Health staff, are working hard on plans, preparations, and communications to ensure equitable access to the vaccine in King County. Who will receive the early doses? Initial doses of the vaccine have strict “ultracold” storage requirements with special freezers that are typically found only in certain hospitals…. Read More

Employees may not relocate out of Washington while working remotely 

Many King County employees are telecommuting through July 5, 2021, as we continue our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Telecommuting employees may not relocate out of Washington state. Employees may work at a location outside of the home, provided the location is within a reasonable distance to the employee’s primary county worksite. Our policy continues to be that employees need to obtain prior approval if they want to temporarily work outside of their normal work/home area. Unless travel has been preapproved, employees are expected to remain close enough to physically report to work, if necessary. … Read More

Testing and traveling during the holiday season 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  The holiday season has arrived as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our communities. Two major ways to help protect our communities is by limiting our travel and testing for the coronavirus.  We’re sharing some of the questions we’ve been fielding about testing and traveling to help with your decisions to have a safer holiday season.  Read more. 

Mask usage up to 88%; Dispensers added to 200 more buses 

Crossposted from Metro Matters  Thank you for wearing a mask! Mask usage among bus and shuttle passengers increased to 88% during the week of Nov. 23. Our mask counters observed the following usage among bus and shuttle passengers in recent weeks:  88% – Week of Nov. 23., 2020  85% – Week of Nov. 16, 2020  83% – Week of Nov. 9, 2020  84% – Week of Nov. 2, 2020  Read more. 

Video: Dr. Jeff Duchin on COVID-19 trends in King County and vaccine planning 

Crossposted from Public Health Insider  With COVID-19 continuing to spread rapidly in King County, Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin shared the latest data and took questions from reporters during a media briefing on Friday, December 4, 2020. Dr. Duchin also offered advice on flattening the curve going into the December holidays, and discussed what we know about vaccine planning.  For more on COVID-19 data trends, visit our data dashboards. For more on COVID-19 vaccine planning in King County, visit www.kingcounty.gov/covid/vaccine 

Kent Isolation and Quarantine Facility to re-open as local case counts increase 

Crossposted from Cultivating Connections  With COVID-19 case counts rising throughout the region, King County is preparing to re-open the Kent Isolation and Quarantine Facility located on Central Avenue in Kent on Nov. 30.  The Kent facility has been temporarily deactivated since earlier this summer.  The I/Q facilities currently open in Issaquah and Aurora (Seattle) are still accepting admissions, but are serving more guests than normal. Current guests include individuals and several families. With the addition of the Kent hotel, total room availability will increase to 200.  King County is opening the Kent Facility… Read More