Employee News - April 1

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



Whitney Abrams

Thank you for your participation

A message from Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer

I sincerely want to thank you for taking the time to participate in the 2021 Employee Survey. Following a year like no other, your feedback will be more important than ever in helping us build a truly inclusive, respectful, and supportive workplace.

Read the full message here

Vaccination 2 women

Vaccine eligibility is expanding

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility is now open to those who qualify under Phases 1B tier 3 and/or 1B tier 4. This includes all people age 60 and older; people 16 years or older with two or more co-morbidities or underlying conditions; people, staff and volunteers in certain congregate living settings; and additional high-risk critical workers in certain congregate settings.

With this expansion, even more King County employees and their family members are eligible for vaccination. You’ll find a helpful list of everyone who’s currently eligible in Washington under “Who can get vaccine now” at kingcounty.gov/vaccine.

And starting April 15, all Washington residents will be eligible for the vaccine, so now is a good time to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and get your questions answered so you’re ready when eligibility opens for all. While vaccine supply remains limited, it is expected to increase as we move into April. 

Read the Governor’s announcement to learn more.


Vaccine male nurse female patient

How to get COVID-19 vaccine

If you’re eligible and need to find a place to get your COVID-19 vaccine, visit helpful sites like kingcounty.gov/vaccine, Vaccine Locator (available in 30 languages), covidwa.com, and Kaiser Permanente. You can also find partner locations for:

  • Seattle: If you live or work in King County and are eligible under Phase 1A or Phase 1B (all tiers), you can sign up for this notification list and will be notified via email when appointments become available at any of the three City of Seattle fixed vaccination sites, including the Lumen Field Event Center.
  • Kent and Auburn. If you live in South King County, learn more about these vaccination sites by visiting “How to get vaccinated” at kingcounty.gov/vaccine.

If you have further questions or need help making an appointment, you can call the state’s COVID-19 information hotline at 1-800-525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.

Learn more, go to the King County employee COVID-19 vaccination page

Vaccine male dr

How to get vaccinated with Kaiser Permanente

Did you know that you can get vaccinated with Kaiser Permanente whether you’re a Kaiser member or not?

King County employees can follow these steps if you’d like to get your COVID-19 vaccine with Kaiser Permanente.

Covid Q&A Dr Andrasik

COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A: How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly?

As more employees become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, many of us may want to deepen our understanding of the vaccine and ensure our questions are answered. Public Health - Seattle & King County has gathered a wide range of resources to help answer our questions.

King County employees can review the materials gathered on the Community vaccination resources page and take a look at this short video with Dr. Michele Andrasik, Senior Scientist at Fred Hutch answering How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly?


Is it true? COVID-19 vaccine fact checking

It is easy to come across incorrect information about the safety of the coronavirus vaccine. Some of the misinformation circulating online and by word of mouth is unsettling. It can be hard to know what to believe, so Public Health – Seattle & King County created a webpage to help you understand the facts.

FACT: The COVID-19 vaccine will not infect you with the coronavirus.

Misinformation: There has been misinformation that COVID-19 vaccines could give you COVID-19.

Reality: There is no virus in mRNA vaccines, like the approved Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Some vaccines contain weakened versions of the virus that they are seeking to protect against, but the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do not. They use mRNA, a “molecular blueprint” that the human body naturally produces, to instruct our cells to make a protein that looks exactly like the one found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus.

The body learns to identify that protein so that it can step up an immune response if a COVID-19 virus enters the body. Since there is no COVID-19 virus at all in the vaccine, it can not cause a COVID-19 infection.

Get the facts and answers to your questions here.

myStrength app phone

Self-care at your fingertips: myStrength is a new digital tool for emotional wellness

Everyone needs support for total health — mind, body, and spirit. Finding support and carving out time to focus on your emotional health is important.

Balanced You has partnered with Kaiser Permanente and Regence to bring King County employees myStrength, a free digital tool that can help you navigate life’s challenges and support an overall sense of well-being. 

Click here to find out more and watch a short video. 

Stop Asian Hate

Let's Talk About Race

The Legislative Branch Equity and Social Justice Office is hosting a “Let’s Talk About Race” event focused on stopping hate crimes against Asians in collaboration with the Asian and Pacific Islander Affinity Group. The event is sponsored by Council Chair Claudia Balducci, and supported by the Black African American and the Anti-Racist White Affinity Groups.

Please join us for a panel conversation with Legislative Branch staff on the increase in acts of hate crimes against Asian in the United States, Asian stereotypes, and supporting Asian and Pacific Islander communities.

For more information, please contact Reeni Nair, ESJ/LAS Coordinator at Reeni.Nair@KingCounty.Gov or (206) 477-4978.

Man and child

Mindful Parenting class is back!

Balanced You is sponsoring Mindfulness classes through the end of June! Mindfulness is a practice that uses breath work, visualization, and other skills to support you in reducing stress at work and at home.

Meet the joys and challenges of parenting with mindful and heartful awareness. In this workshop, we'll bring the lens of mindfulness to bear on what some say is the "world's hardest job." You'll come away with tools and practices to use with your family.

Please note: Zoom information will be emailed by the facilitator prior to the class.

Training Spotlight: 

  • Facilitating Effective Meetings – Online – Join Lenny Borer for this two-day traing that covers the skills used by a facilitator to design and run an effective meeting and how to be a better participant. Topics include specific facilitation skills, group decision making skills, and how to deal with disruptive behaviors. In this class you will learn how to navigate difficult behaviors and keep meetings on track. 
    • Tuesday and Wednesday, April 6 & 7 from 1-4:30 p.m. both days.
    • Register here - fee is $65 
    • Please note, this class lightly touches on certain aspects of video calls but does not cover how to use Zoom or other electronic meeting platforms.
  • Basic Sign Language – Online – N Seattle CollegeIn this EIGHT session course, open the doors of communication and explore basic conversational sign language. You will quickly learn finger spelling, develop a basic vocabulary, and grasp general concepts and structure of sign language communication. Consistently top-rated instructor will help you gain a solid foundation in ASL in a fun and welcoming environment.
    • Thursdays, April 8 - May 27 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    • Register here - fee is $169

Please visit our King County Eventbrite website and our Learning and Development website for more learning opportunities. For more information, contact the Learning and Development Team at KCTraining@kingcounty.gov or visit Learning and Development at www.kingcounty.gov/learning

King County Security Tips - "Safe" Email Attachments

You may already be aware that you should not open email attachments with an extension such as ".exe", but did you know that even PDFs or Word Documents can be rendered unsafe to open? Opening these attachments from senders with malicious intent can cause your computer (and any networks to which you are connected) to be compromised, hacked or even riddled with ransomware.

What are the unsafe file types to look out for?  This question is better answered by listing file types that are generally considered to be safe to open. The truth is that almost all file types are at risk of being “booby-trapped” to attack your computer or device. The general rule is to NEVER open an email attachment if you do not know who it came from or why you received it.

How can I tell if an attachment is safe to open?

  • Ask yourself: Was I expecting to receive this attachment, and did it come from who I would expect it to come from? Check email addresses for any “red flags” that may indicate the email address has been spoofed or faked.
  • Never open an email attachment if you don’t recognize the sender that it came from.
  • If you recognize the person or email address sending you the file, but it was still unexpected, contact them first through a different form of communication (such as by phone) to ask them if they intended to send you the file.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact kcitcsat@kingcounty.gov

POTW Nermel

Pet of the Week: Nermel

Hello, I'm Nermel,  a three-year-old male German Shepherd (ID #A632706). I'm a 60-lb. ball of energy who loves to play, but I tend to calm down when the people around me stay calm. I do best when I have lots of exercise and something to keep my mind busy. I am very food motivated, so you can use my kibbles as treats for training. I am excellent at "sit" but am still learning other cues. I enjoy exploring outside and would love a home with lots of room to run around with my people. 

You can find out more about me and my other friends on our website at www.kingcounty.gov/adoptapet. Note that RASKC has moved to adoptions by appointment only. If you have more questions, you can contact RASKC via phone at 206-296-7387 (PETS) or email pets@kingcounty.gov.

KC logo

Featured Job: Special Project Manager II - Housing Services and Stability Manager

Salary: $104,977.60 - $133,078.40 Annually

Location: Seattle, WA

Job Type: Career Service, Hours Vary

Department: Dept. of Community & Human Services

Job Number: 2021AC13133

Division: Housing, Homeless & Community Development

Closes: April 5

Leaders are innovators, change agents, and think critically to reach common goals. Challenge your inner leader and impact the lives of thousands of people in our region by ensuring households gain and retain stable housing.

Learn more about this position or view all available positions.

King County Headlines

King County looks at forming hate crime unit in Sheriff's Office

89% of King County residents are wearing masks in public, UW study finds 

Dow Constantine highlights launch of cleanup effort in King County

Looking for back issues?

Click here for previous editions of the Employee News e-newsletter going back to 2019.

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.