Employee News - May 26, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Taking care of mental health during COVID-19 

COVID-19 has drastically changed our communities, impacting not only physical and financial health, but emotional and mental as well. As we continue to learn more about COVID-19 and adjust our routines, we may notice changes in how we think, feel and relate with ourselves and each other. Now more than ever, staying up to date, making mental health a priority and connecting to supportive resources is key. 

Here are a few tips for managing mental health during COVID-19: 

Stay informed 

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly evolving week by week and while staying up-to-date is important, paying attention to your mental health is as well. News, as well as the disease itself, may cause a variety of emotions including worry, fear and anxiety. Following reliable sources, taking regular breaks from media consumption and scheduling time to unwind can help. Do what you can to stay informed and remember to take care of yourself. Read more.  


Telecommuting with children at home 

To slow the spread of coronavirus, King County employees who can telecommute have been mandated to telecommute until at least Sept. 7, 2020.  Because K-12 schools have closed, King County is temporarily allowing parents and caretakers to telecommute while caring for children at home. 

Telecommuting with children at home is a new experience for most employees and can present its own unique challenges. As such, Balanced You has put together some advice to help you continue to be productive and keep your family safe. Read more.  


Asian-Pacific Islander Affinity Group creating meaningful connections with communities during COVID-19 

At King County, having a community to connect with is crucial, even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. With May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Mental Health Awareness Month, it’s important for employees to stay connected, and the County’s Employee Resource Groups, or Affinity Groups, provide a unique opportunity for employees to support one another. 

The Asian Pacific Islander (API) Affinity Group’s vision is to be “committed to our community to thrive and celebrate our diverse cultures.” With one of their mission statements being “educate non-API communities by promoting and advancing equity and social justice change at the individual, organizational, and community levels,” they started virtual check-ins to connect and provide support to one another during this time, through in-person meetings twice a month. Read more.

Pictured: The API group recently held an online cooking class on how to make adobo.

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Results from new model show necessity of robust contact tracing and other measures to prevent resurgence in epidemic 

A comprehensive program of increased testing, isolation of infected people, and contact tracing with quarantine of home and work contacts could prevent growth in the epidemic as King County gradually re-opens, according to a new modeling report by the Institute for Disease Modeling (IDM). 

The report also found that there was little room to increase public interaction without risk of exceeding the effective reproductive rate of 1.0, a critical threshold for preventing growth in new cases locally. This report finding signals the need for caution in reopening to avoid a return to rapidly growing infections and deaths. Read more.  


COVID-19 ridership update: Masks required as region uses transit for essential trips 

Ridership on King County Metro continues to remain steady at just over 100,000 daily trips across our reduced service network. We’re in the first week of a new directive to wear masks or face coverings in King County and on public transportation, and by wearing a mask you are helping support and protect drivers and customers who are using Metro to make essential trips. 

Metro analyzed preliminary extrapolations to create an unofficial estimate of weekly ridership, which remains substantially lower compared to a year ago. Read more.  

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Business Resource Center online resources and New Employee Packet 

It can be challenging to begin a new position, as well as welcome a new member to the team. The Business Resource Center (BRC) offers an internal website and other online resources to help employees who are new to King County adjust to a new workplace that exists in a virtual environment.   

The BRC now hosts a New Employee Packet section on their website to support employees with PeopleSoft functionality and other payroll-associated information.  Employees will find links to many great resources, including: 

  • Benefits and Retirement website 
  • King County policies 
  • Technical resources 
  • PeopleSoft training materials and resources 
  • The Training Video Library 

Hiring Managers are encouraged to add the link to the BRC New Employee Packet to their agency’s new employee onboarding practices. For more information about the BRC and it’s online resources, visit the BRC SharePoint site.


HRA VEBA Plan webinars, June 9 and June 11

Employees are invited to learn about their HRA VEBA Plan benefits in an online webinar. Topics will include plan features, using the plan, covering expenses, investment options, and getting help. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) in a Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association (VEBA) provides a tax-free rollover of leave cash-outs to an HRA VEBA Trust at retirement. These funds are used to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health care expenses and premiums. Employees who retire from a group that voted to participate in either or both of the HRA VEBA options, will automatically be enrolled in an HRA VEBA Trust shortly after retirement.

Space is limited, register now. For more information contact KC.Benefits@kingcounty.gov.


An update on our services 

COVID-19 UPDATE: Pet adoptions resumed by appointment-only Monday, May 11 at 6 a.m. 

Due to COVID-19, our adoption process has changed. Adoptions of our animals from our Kent shelter have switched to an appointment-based system. Please visit our pet adoption page to learn about this new process. For more information about the COVID-19 outbreak, visit kingcounty.gov/covid. 

Our number one priority at RASKC continues to be focused on delivering our mission of “Helping People and Pets.” We are honored to be of continued service to our communities, both in person when needed as well as online. You can access many of our services from the comfort of home. Read more.  


Community without contact: Supporting innovative farmers through CSAs, online markets, and farm stands 

All aspects of the local food economy have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and farmers are on the frontline making sure food is harvested, packed, and delivered in a way that prioritizes safe, healthy food for consumers. However, like many industries, farmers are facing financial hardship as sales outlets are limited or effectively gone as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. 

During these uncertain times, many farmers are getting creative to help consumers access fresh local food with online ordering, delivery services, and new pickup locations. The King County Local Food team has created a resource list that includes the ways you can support farmers through produce subscriptions and other innovative market options. Read more.  

Featured job: Medic One Project/Program Manager I 

Salary$69,136.29 - $87,634.14 Annually 

LocationMedic One - Kent, WA 

Job TypeCareer Service, Full Time, 40 hrs/week 

DepartmentDPH - Public Health 

Job Number2020NH11699 

DivisionEmergency Medical Svcs 

Closing6/3/2020 11:59 PM Pacific 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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