COVID-19 frequently asked questions for WSDOT employees

Find answers to questions regarding COVID-19 and the WSDOT workplace

Find answers to questions regarding COVID-19 and the WSDOT workplace

For information on what's happening within our state please visit the state coronavirus website.

Vaccines

On May 11, 2023, the governor rescinded Directive 22-13.1 (PDF 170KB) which ended the COVID-19 vaccination requirement as a condition of employment for employees of state executive cabinet and small cabinet agencies.

Is there a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for state employees?

No. State employees, contractors or volunteers at executive cabinet and small cabinet agencies are no longer required to be vaccinated as a condition of employment.

After Gov. Inslee rescinded the requirement, unions updated bargaining agreements to reflect the change and Title 357 WAC, Civil Service Rules, which apply to non-represented employees, also were updated. These were the final actions needed to remove the vaccine mandate.

Can state employees who received a booster vaccination still qualify for an incentive payment?

Yes. Eligible employees who voluntarily choose to provide Med+Proctor with proof of their up-to-date COVID-19 booster as recommended by the CDC prior to Dec. 31, 2023, will receive a one-time lump sum incentive payment. Incentive payments timing depend on when employees provide proof of their boosters: they will be paid no earlier than July 25, 2023, and will be after that if an employee has not yet submitted their verification.

Employees who are represented by a labor union should consult their applicable collective bargaining agreement for details on eligibility for the incentive payment.

When did the governor’s directive end?

The governor rescinded Directive 22-13.1 (PDF 170KB) on May 11, 2023. The timing aligns with the ending of the national COVID-19 public health emergency on May 11, 2023, and ending of the global health emergency for COVID-19 on May 5, 2023.

Could employees who were previously separated from or left state employment due to COVID-19 vaccination requirements re-apply?

Yes. Former employees who separated from state employment due to the COVID-19 vaccination requirements can re-apply and participate in the same recruitment process as anyone else seeking a position.

Return to office buildings

Can employees return to offices?

WSDOT no longer has capacity limits at its buildings, but our strong commitment to telework and flexible work options remains in place.

As we further transition into our new normal, we are developing additional policies and options for employees. This may include full-time telework, working full-time from the office or a hybrid mix of both. Although each individual decision will be up to the employee/supervisor, our goal is to have 30 to 40 percent of staff teleworking at any given time.

Are visitors allowed to enter WSDOT buildings?

Some buildings, or parts of buildings, are open to the public but may require additional safety precautions. The agency's facility safety plan identifies general rules about visitors entering WSDOT facilities. This plan is a working document, available to WSDOT employees on the WSDOT intranet or through your supervisor or Safety Office. The plan is continuously updated to ensure compliance with COVID-19 requirements.

Health and wellbeing

What mental health services are available?

We know employees have concerns about personal health and wellbeing and we want to ensure employees are taking care of themselves, both physically and emotionally. Resources available include:

Do employees need to complete a health screening via ReadyOp when reporting to the field or office?

No. Employees reporting to the office or field no longer need to fill out a COVID-19 Symptoms Check Form sent through ReadyOp. We do recommend, if you have symptoms, an exposure or a positive test, to consult the Isolation, Testing and Masking Calculator to determine your next steps, including whether to isolate or temporarily wear a mask.

What can I do to reduce my risk of getting or spreading COVID-19?

  • Stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your healthcare provider or see the CDC guidelines for the latest details.
  • Follow current agency, state, federal and local health jurisdiction guidance and directives about when and where to wear masks.
  • Wash your hands frequently.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Employees who are sick should stay home and not report to the office or worksite. Consult the Isolation, Testing and Masking Calculator to determine your next steps, including whether isolation or temporarily wearing a mask is needed.

The CDC has additional information on steps to take when you feel sick.

What if I have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

Consult the Isolation, Testing and Masking Calculator to determine your next steps, including whether isolation or temporarily wearing a mask is needed.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Consult the Isolation, Testing and Masking Calculator to determine your next steps, including whether isolation or temporarily wearing a mask is needed.

How will I know if a co-worker has been exposed? Will that shut down my building/worksite?

We are notifying employees upon confirmation of a close contact with an individual exhibiting symptoms and/or directly exposed to a confirmed case. We also will follow local county health guidelines if any additional steps are recommended for vehicles, buildings or offices. Closure of an office or building will be determined by management, HR and safety on a case-by-case basis.

How can I get more health information about COVID-19?

It is important to get facts, not rumors. Please consult trusted sources of information such as your personal health care provider, the state’s coronavirus website, the state’s Department of Health coronavirus webpagethe Centers for Disease Control & Prevention's coronavirus website or your local county health department.

What resources are available for higher-risk employees?

Gov. Inslee issued Proclamation 20-46, amending Proclamation 20-05, which prevents all employers, public or private, from failing to provide accommodations to high-risk employees. The Centers for Disease Control has identified groups who may be at greater risk for severe illness.

We are committed to exploring options for employees at higher risk for severe illness. If you meet one or more of the Centers for Disease Control’s risk groups and have concerns related to transitioning back to the field or office, talk to your supervisor, local HR representative or Leave@wsdot.wa.gov.

Caregiver resources

What if I need to stay home to care for a child and I do not have sick or vacation leave?  Or if I need to work reduced hours?

Contact your HR leave representatives at 855-707-8100 (option two) and/or your supervisor to explore options, which may include teleworking, leave time and or leave without pay.

Telework resources

What if I want to continue teleworking?

The agency's goal is to have 30 to 40 percent of eligible staff telework every day. If you wish to continue teleworking, talk with your supervisor.

What if I need to bring home additional WSDOT equipment (i.e., monitors, external drives, etc.)?

There are provisions for bringing home workstation technology and state-owned furniture if you are teleworking more than 50 percent of the time in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Supervisors need to approve and track this equipment. (Contact your IT Service Desk for details on computers and other equipment.)

WSDOT employees should refer to the Telework page on the internal InsideDOT site for more details contained within the Telework Manual.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.