King county to create pandemic response plans for future events

Sunday, July 12, 2020

King County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been lauded across the nation for being speedy and effective. 

While that success was guided by past planning, much was learned along the way, and it’s that new information that will help drive even better preparation for future outbreaks.

It’s with that in mind that the King County Council voted unanimously to create a new county-wide pandemic response plan to guide the County’s response to any future viral outbreaks.

The County will also update all relevant emergency plans to include a pandemic response plan incorporates new information from the COVID-19 outbreak. The legislation creating these pandemic response plans was sponsored by Vice Chair Reagan Dunn.

“I hope King County will never see another viral outbreak like COVID-19, but we should absolutely be prepared for one,” Dunn said. “By working now to preserve the lessons of our COVID-19 response, we’re ensuring that we are poised to fight a viral outbreak in the future and get our County back on its feet as soon as possible.”

Dunn’s legislation tasks Public Health – Seattle & King County with creating a new pandemic response plan that builds on the existing Pandemic Influenza Response Plan. In addition, King County’s Office of Emergency Management will update all other emergency plans that touch on pandemic response, including the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan, Regional Coordination Framework, Regional Recovery Plan, and the King County Continuity of Operations Plan.

The updated plans will include an outline of options for keeping King County operations and services active throughout various phases of these pandemics, and identification of infrastructure or resources needed to respond to various pandemics.

An interim report will be presented to the King County Council by September 1, 2021, and the pandemic response plans are due by September 1, 2022.


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