Information for City employees about Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19)

The City aims to provide accurate and timely information to City employees about COVID-19. Please check this webpage regularly. Employee information and materials will be housed on this page throughout the City's response to COVID-19, to ensure every employee has access to this information.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you want to know what phase you're in, find your spot in line with Phase Finder. Here's how it works:

  • Go to www.FindYourPhaseWA.org and fill out the questionnaire.
  • If you're eligible, you will get a confirmation.
  • Phase Finder will show you locations where you can get the vaccine.
  • Call and schedule your appointment.
  • Take your Eligibility Confirmation (printed or a screenshot) with you.
  • If you aren't eligible for the vaccine yet, you'll be able to sign up to get an email or text alert when you are.

Yes. Federal and state workplace safety guidelines on protecting workers do not distinguish between workers who are vaccinated and those who are not. Workers who are vaccinated must continue to follow protective measures, such as wearing a face covering and remaining physically distant, because at this time, there is not evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from person-to-person. View the full OSHA guidelines here.

According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).

On March 8, 2021, the CDC published interim public health guidance for fully vaccinated people in indoor settings and single households where the residents are at low risk. The CDC interim guidance permits the following:

  • Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
  • Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

The interim guidance does not apply to public settings. For now, fully vaccinated people in public spaces should continue to:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

View the CDC's full interim guidance here.   The City of Seattle is committed to protecting its employees. At City worksites, we will continue to adhere to strict safety protocols. This includes the continued use of face coverings, hand sanitizing, and social distancing, even amongst employees who are fully vaccinated.

Visit the City's Vaccine SharePoint site as well as the City's public-facing website. The SharePoint site is a resource for employees with information about the COVID-19 vaccine, eligibility, availability, and self-care tips. For additional information about vaccine availability and to join the notification list for employees who are currently eligible, please visit www.seattle.gov/vaccine. By completing the COVID-19 notification form, you'll then receive emails with registration information for upcoming City-sponsored vaccination opportunities.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) federal leave program expired on December 31, 2020. Below is a summary of City resources that continue to remain available to employees.

  • Employees who have been utilizing Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) under FFCRA will be able to continue using their accrued paid leave after December 31, 2020. Depending on the circumstances, some employees may also be eligible for other City leave programs, such as Donated Sick Leave, Paid Family Care Leave, or City Family Medical Leave. Employees must contact and consult with the HR department to discuss their leave options as each circumstance and reason for leave is unique.
  • Employees who have been utilizing Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML) under FFCRA for childcare purposes will continue to be able to use their accrued paid leave, including paid sick leave, after December 31, 2020. Employees may also discuss with their managers whether it is feasible to work a reduced or flexible schedule.
  • Employees who continue to need leave for a COVID-19 event, but have exhausted their accrued paid leave, should contact their HR department to discuss any other available City leave options.

To slow the spread of rapidly increasing COVID cases and ensure that hospital and medical systems are not overwhelmed, Governor Inslee announced a series of new restrictions to protect public health. From November 16 through December 14, all counties in Washington are required to adhere to the restrictions which include new limits for indoor and outdoor social gatherings and related quarantine requirements; closure of indoor services at restaurants, gyms and other venues; occupancy limits in retail stores and religious services; and more. View the complete list here.

The statewide travel advisory is for all Washington residents. It discourages non-essential travel and asks that residents quarantine for 14 days after they return from another state or country. We encourage all City employees to comply with the statewide travel advisory so we can all do our part to flatten the curve and keep communities healthy and safe. Please see the City's COVID-19 Exposure and Testing Protocols for additional information on next steps for employees who have had a potential or known exposure to COVID-19 or who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Yes. Employees may choose to quarantine for 14 days after returning from out-of-state travel. Employees who can telework may telework. Employees who report to a worksite may use applicable leave.

The leave code the emplyyee may use will depend on what is applicable in their situation. Relevant accrued paid leave codes may include: SA (sick leave), VA (vacation), HB (floating holiday), LX (executive leave), LA (comp time), and EPSL (through 12/31/2020). Employees should contact their HR department to determine what type of leave is applicable and to determine if there are other leave options for those who have exhausted their applicable accrued leave. 

The City of Seattle has been working round-the-clock to keep our workforce and community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please check this SharePoint page regularly for updates and visit www.seattle.gov/mayor/covid-19 for information on the City's initiatives to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The City has increased the number of hand sanitizer stations in City buildings and janitorial staff and contractors have increased the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces such as elevator buttons and door handles. Finance and Administrative Services (FAS) has also developed enhanced cleaning protocols

Employee health and safety is the City's priority. Personal protective equipment is provided to reduce risk of exposure as per guidance from public health agencies and Labor and Industries. A series of workplace protocols are also in place to prevent the spread of COVID; view the protocols here. Departments may have additional guidance specific for their teams on actions employees can take to reduce risk of exposure. One of the most important things City employees can do to prepare is to practice good hygiene and stay home when sick. 

Levels of risk, as it applies to roles at the City range from Low to Very High. They are:

  • Very High - Medical staff doing direct patient care with high risk procedures.
  • High - First responders, including Police Officers, Fire Department Personnel, Medics, Navigation Team members
  • Medium - Those with regular contact with the public, e.g.,FAS, HSD, Parks, SPU, SCL employees
  • Low - Office workers with limited public contact

The City has additional programs in place such as Job Hazard Analysis, Physical Job Demands Assessment, Respiratory Protection, Skin Protection, as well as safety hazard training, that are appropriate to your level of risk. Contact your team's safety representative or manager if you have any resource needs such as cleaning products, questions about personal protective equipment, or questions about your ability to do your job safely.

In accordance with public health guidance and to help keep employees safe and healthy, the City's telework guidance has been extended until July 5, 2021. All employees who are eligible to telework should continue to telework.

Employees may be allowed to take home certain City-issued equipment (i.e. desktop computers, computer keyboards, mice, and monitors) with approval from your supervisor. Upon receiving a supervisor's approval, employees must complete the Desktop Computer Equipment Telework Reporting Form to ensure that inventory information is properly updated.  The following conditions apply to the removal of computer monitors from City buildings:

  1. The employee is responsible for disconnecting, transporting, and setting up the monitor in a new location, and for returning it and re-installing it in its original location when ordered to do.
  2. Seattle IT cannot provide assistance in relocating monitors in this manner. IT does not maintain a supply of extra stands for monitors that are attached to pivot arms.
  3. Employees would need to assume responsibility for acquiring any additional cables to provide connectivity to home devices or laptops.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness. Symptoms include a fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. 

If an employee is showing symptoms of COVID-19, the employee should immediately inform their manager that they need to leave the workplace. The employee and/or manager should also notify SDHR by emailing SDHRCOVID@seattle.gov. ​

The employee should immediately contact the King County Novel Coronavirus Call Center at (206) 477-3977 AND their health care provider to get public health guidance on next steps, as well as immediately begin at-home isolation. Next steps should be made in accordance with guidance from Public Health - Seattle King County and the employee's health care provider.

Please contact your supervisor or work area's assigned Human Resources staff to determine your options, which could include sick leave, vacation leave, personal holiday, Alternative Work Agreement (AWA) or other types of leave.

The City is committed to its values of equity and inclusion. We are equally committed to workplace safety. We rely on our City employees to monitor their health and make wise choices to stay home if they feel ill. As of March 15, 2020, many public-facing City facilities are closed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, and to help protect City employee's health. If you have concerns about the health of your team, please talk to your manager.

Governor Inslee's Proclamation 20-46 High-Risk Employees - Worker's Rights issued on April 13, 2020 cited those 65 years of age and older as higher risk. On July 29, 2020, Governor Inslee issued further guidance defining the higher risk category due to age as "employees who are 65 years or older." Per the proclamation, and accodring to the CDC, older adults and people with certain medical conditions are particularly susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19.

Governor Inslee's proclamation utilizes the CDC definition. According to the CDC, people of any age with the following medical conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:

• Cancer

• Chronic kidney disease

• COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) Down Syndrome

• Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies

• Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant

• Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)

Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)

• Pregnancy• Sickle cell disease

• Smoking

• Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Please consult CDC guidance for the latest information.

The City has several resources available to support employees as well as their families.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers counselling, wellness, and financial health resources at https://www.resourcesforliving.com/login (both the employee login and password is: city of seattle) or at 1 (888) 272-7252 or 1 (888) 879-8274 (TTY).

The City's well-being platform, Reach, also offers resources to increase resiliency, including health and financial management tools to tangibly track goals. Visit Reach at https://cityofseattle.limeade.com.

Rethink offers resources and support to Families as Children Learn From Home Throughout COVID-19. Access Rethink at familysupport.rethinkbenefits.com

Contact your manager or HR representative any time. We are here to support you.