Employee News - March 12, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Updated COVID-19 guidance for employees – March 11, 2020 

Governor Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine, and other regional leaders jointly announced new strategies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 at a press conference at King Street Center yesterday morning. 

The new health order includes: 

  • All events of more than 250 people are prohibited, including large conventions or conferences, sporting events, concerts, fundraisers, or other recreational events 
  • In addition, events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited unless event organizers take prescribed steps to minimize risk. 

In line with the announcement, King County is providing the following guidance to employees. Note: this applies to Executive Branch employees. Employees in separately elected agencies (listed) will receive guidance from their leaders. Read more. 


Benefits and resources to help with COVID-19 

Your King County employee benefits package includes a wealth of valuable resources you can rely on to help you stay healthy or recover from illnesses such as the new coronavirus known as COVID-19. Some benefits to keep in mind are summarized below. 

SmartCare (Kaiser Permanente) medical plan resources

Kaiser Customer Service

  • 888-901-4636
  • Hours: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m., 7 days per week
  • Call for information, provider assistance, pharmacy questions, appointments, and advice.



How to obtain extra necessary medications to have on hand 

King County is committed to the welfare of our employees, and as the COVID-19 virus continues to impact our community, we want employees to know that our prescription benefit vendors have taken steps to address the outbreak and protect employee’s access to medication. The following information will help you and your covered family members obtain extra necessary medication to have on hand. Read more. 



Answering employee questions about COVID-19 response 

As we continue our efforts to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in King County, we have put together a list of answers to common questions for King County employees about our operations during this outbreak. 

This is a rapidly evolving event and we will update these Q&As as needed with the most current information. If you have any additional questions, please talk to your supervisor, division director, or Human Resources Manager (SharePoint link). Please also refer to the Public Health – Seattle & King County website at www.kingcounty.gov/covid and the Public Health Insider blog for the latest information. Read more. 


Self-care tips for telecommuters during the coronavirus response 

As King County responds to the coronavirus (COVID-19), many employees have been asked to telecommute as a form of “social distancing” to reduce the community risk of coronavirus transmission. Furthermore, the CDC has recently issued guidance that everyone minimize time spent in large groups, and that immune-compromised, chronically ill, and older adults stay home as much as possible. While these strategies have many benefits, the sudden switch can throw off your routine. 

Balanced You wants to support you in rethinking self-care during this time. Up-to-date information on how to protect yourself from the coronavirus can be found here. Tips on how to keep your mind and body well while you respond to the coronavirus professionally and personally can be found here. Frequently asked questions for employees regarding coronavirus can be found here. Read more. 

Increased cleaning service in response to COVID-19

You might have seen increased cleaning activity from Facilities Management Division (FMD) custodial staff across our worksites as part of our efforts to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

FMD has implemented additional protocols in efforts to regular clean highly touched surfaces such as door handles, elevator controls, and conference rooms. These protocols are being utilized on a reoccurring basis as we respond to COVID-19. 

We are grateful for the extra efforts of our FMD colleagues in our buildings. For steps you can take to prevent the spread of germs, click here. See our complete employee Q&A guide here. Read more. 


New limits on large gatherings, other emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 

In addition to Governor Jay Inslee’s Proclamation that prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people, Public Health—Seattle & King County is also issuing a Health Officer order to minimize the health impacts of COVID-19. 

Under an order from Health Officer Dr. Jeff Duchin, Public Health prohibits large gatherings of more than 250 people. Read more. 

Increasing King County COVID-19 case numbers for March 10, point to importance of social distancing  

With increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Public Health – Seattle & King County urges King County residents to take very seriously the recommendations to limit social contacts and minimize the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Read more. 


March 10: Metro update on novel coronavirus, Access paratransit 

As public health officials keep our community informed on developments with novel coronavirus, Metro continues to provide bus service as scheduled recognizing that public transportation is an essential service. That includes Access paratransit service to riders who are not able to ride fixed-route bus service and who face a higher likelihood of being in a high-risk category. We have ramped up our response and also are addressing public questions about our cleaning practices on Access paratransit vehicles. Read more. 


What to do if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19 

Public Health has specific advice for people who have been confirmed with COVID-19, have been around someone with COVID-19, or are feeling unwell but haven’t been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. With respect to testing, Public Health – Seattle & King County does not typically conduct testing. Testing is typically conducted by taking a swab at a health care provider’s office. Read more. 

Protecting network security during COVID-19  

During this COVID-19 outbreak, please be extra careful when accessing external sources of information. Fake coronavirus website and emails have been identified, and can compromise our network security if accessed. Please do not share links that have not been approved by county leadership. King County will share the latest information with employees from Public Health via its website www.kingcounty.gov/COVID and blog www.publichealthinsider.com, and our official communications channels. 

Changes to paper paychecks and direct deposit pay stubs 

As part of efforts to reduce exposure and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Payroll Operations is changing the process for printing and distributing paper paychecks and direct deposit pay stubs. The following changes begin March 19: 

If you currently receive a paper paycheck: Beginning March 19, all paper paychecks will be mailed via the U.S. Postal Service to the address printed on your last check. If the address on your last paycheck is not accurate, go to PeopleSoft to make changes. Now is a great time to Set Up Your Payroll Direct Deposit, if you haven’t already done so.

If you have opted to have a paper copy of your direct deposit statement sent to you: Direct deposit pay stubs will not be printed or distributed. Your pay will be directly deposited into your account on payday, as usual. To view your direct deposit pay stubs, go to PeopleSoft using a smart phone, tablet, or computer. 


Tech Tips: Using Skype successfully 

KCIT is committed to ensuring all eligible employees can efficiently telecommute. That means using Skype to make calls and conduct your meetings virtually on County-owned devices like laptops and tablets. Many are already using this valuable tool daily, while it may be new to others.  

Here’s what you need to know to get started:                                                    

  • If you use Microsoft Office 365 on your King County device (laptop, tablet, etc.) you are good to go to conduct Skype calls/meetings. You do not need VPN access and no further permissions are needed.   


Pet of the Week: Baby 

Hi! My name is Baby and I am available for adoption. I was brought in by my previous owner on 02/03/20 because my little human in the home was allergic to me. I lived in a home with a young child and a dog, though I did not seem to get along with the dog. My previous owner described me as shy and but loving once I get to know you. I am an independent kitty who likes to do my own thing! I can get overstimulated with petting and I may give occasional "love bites," so please move carefully with me and keep an eye out for signs that I might need a break. 

Read more and view all available pets at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. Have you or someone you know adopted a pet from RASKC? Let us know. We’d love to tell your story. 

Featured Job: Assistant Annexation and Levy Coordinator 

Salary: $2,993.87 - $3,794.90 Biweekly 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Career Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

Department: DOA - Assessor's Office 

Job Number: 2020-11414 

Division: Accounting Operations 

Closing: 3/27/2020 3:00 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.

KC Headlines in Header

Cultivating Connections: Supporting King County residents experiencing homelessness to help slow the spread of COVID-19  

King County Parks: Coronavirus update  

Public Health Insider: My loved ones are at high risk for coronavirus. Time to make some plans.  

Cultivating Connections: How Community and Faith-based Organizations Can Help Slow the Spread of Coronavirus  

KC Emergency News: Dealing with the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak  

Contact us!

Interested in sharing a news story, or have a news tip? Click here to submit an item to Employee News. For questions or suggestions, please contact KCEmployees@kingcounty.gov.