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.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) went into effect on April 1, 2020. This federal leave program provided eligible employees with additional sick leave (Emergency Paid Sick Leave - EPSL) and expanded family and medical leave benefits (Expanded Family Medical Leave Act - EFMLA) to help mitigate the impacts this pandemic has on employees. This federal leave program and its benefits will expire on December 31, 2020 and will no longer be available to City employees who are experiencing a COVID-19 related event.

Employees who are currently utilizing FFCRA will receive its benefits through December 31, 2020, as long as employees still qualify for the leave and have available FFCRA hours remaining. 

City earn codes for FFCRA utilization will no longer be available after December 31, 2020.

The ESS FFCRA Claim Form will no longer be available and accessible after December 31, 2020.

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)
  • 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 dabetes 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.