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SEATTLE (AP) — Many local government employees around the Puget Sound region will work from home until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Tuesday.

Leaders from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, from the cities of Everett, Kenmore, Redmond, Seattle, Shoreline and Tacoma, and from the ports of Seattle and Everett, “are taking a united approach to slow the spread of COVID-19 and maximize physical distancing by extending teleworking for eligible employees until 2021,” The Seattle Times reported.

The governments collectively employ thousands of workers; King County has about 15,000 and the city of Seattle has more than 10,000, according to a news release from King County Executive Dow Constantine.

King County previously had advised eligible employees they would work from home until at least Labor Day, Constantine spokesperson Chase Gallagher said. The county’s mandatory teleworking policy applies to employees, “except those where there is an operational need” to physically be at work. For example, bus operators cannot work from home.

The coronavirus has continued to spread in the region, with health officials urging people to take precautions. The seven-day average of cases in King County has reached higher levels in July than at the outbreak’s previous peak in April.

Google is also having most employees and contractors work remotely until July 2021, it said Monday. Amazon said earlier this month it would extend its work-from-home option for corporate employees to Jan. 8.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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