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Plan, Prepare, and Respond to COVID-19

March 12, 2020

COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, is spreading rapidly across the state. Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease are at a higher risk for developing serious complications from the COVID-19 illness. However, there is no need to panic, just make sure you are taking precautionary measures to help prevent the virus from spreading. Here are some tips to keep you clean in the office or at the jobsite:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Cover your cough
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well

If you believe that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, please contact the call center for members of the public at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is important to create an infectious disease outbreak response plan. All employers in Washington state should be ready to implement strategies to prevent their employees from the COVID-19 while making sure their businesses continually run operations. Make sure this plan is flexible and includes a discussion with your employees prior to finalizing it. That way, your employees are fully aware of the policies, workplace leave flexibilities, and pay benefits available to them.

If you believe that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are experiencing symptoms, please contact the call center for members of the public at 1-800-525-0127 and press #.

Resources for Businesses

IRS Extends 2020 Tax Filing Date: The President has instructed the Treasury Department to allow individuals and businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus to defer their tax payments beyond the April 15 filing deadline. The IRS would also waive interest payments or other penalties for missing the deadline.

Excise Tax Filing Assistance: The Washington State Department of Revenue will work with businesses that cannot file or pay their excise taxes on time due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Affected businesses may qualify for filing extensions or penalty waivers.
Learn more »

Small Business Administration (SBA): SBA will be providing up to $2 million in Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19.
Learn more »

Export Voucher Program: The Washington State Department of Commerce Export Assistance Team is available to help companies that need vouchers to help pay for some of the costs for certain business needs. Find out if you are eligible »

B&O Tax: The Washington State Department of Revenue is allowing businesses to request a one-time, 24-month penalty waiver if you have not owed a late penalty in the last 24 months. Also, businesses can request a 30-day extension of B&O taxes without payment or 30+ days with deposit. For more information, call (360) 705-6705.

SharedWork Program: SharedWork is a voluntary business sustainability program that provides flexibility to retain employees at reduced hours. This is a little known but powerful program to help workers stay employed while drawing needed benefits. Learn more »

Resources for Employees

Washington State Unemployment: If you or an employee is affected by COVID-19, Employment Security has programs that may be able to help. The agency has adopted a series of emergency rules to relieve the burden of temporary layoffs, isolation, and quarantine for workers and businesses. Learn more »

Paid Family and Medical Leave: If you are sick with COVID-19, as with any other illness, a healthcare provider must certify that you are unable to work in order to qualify for Paid Family and Medical Leave. Quarantine (and school closures) are not qualifying events under this program. It is recommended that you use employer-provided paid sick leave if available.

Employment Security Department (ESD): ESD created this easy-to-read comparison guide lists some of the most common scenarios that may occur and benefits that may apply. Download flyer »

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