When you’re hearing so much about COVID-19, it can be overwhelming and hard to know what to believe. Below are trusted resources that we will be updating continuously with the latest information, as well as best practices for keeping yourself, your family, and your client healthy.


Frequently Asked Questions

Hazard Pay:
Question: Are caregivers getting Hazard Pay?

Answer: We fought for and won hazard pay so Washington home care workers have seen an additional $2.50 to $3 in their paychecks since May 2020 – and will receive guaranteed Hazard Pay through June 2021. IPs are receiving pay of Hazard Pay of $2.54 an hour from January 2021 to June 2021. Learn more at https://seiu775.org/covidipbargaining/

Client Safety:
Question: What do I do if I or my client gets COVID-19 or is exposed to COVID-19?

Answer: This is a big concern of many caregivers. We encourage you to call your/your client’s primary care physician, and contact your client’s case manager if you are an IP or your supervisor if you are an agency provider. The CDC has a resource guide for living with someone or sharing close quarters with someone with coronavirus. Additionally, the Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to address questions from the public – their number is 1-800-525-0127.

Home Care Guidance for Tele-Health from DSHS: View this document for a list of tasks that can now be done by phone or remotely, and which tasks can only be provided in person. If you work for a private home care agency consult with your agency supervisor before doing tasks by phone or remotely.

COVID-19 Home Health.Home Care Guidelines: This document provides guidance for staff of home care, home health and hospice agencies to use when helping patients around the house or with personal or clinical care.

Health Insurance:
Question: I lost hours due to the coronavirus and I’m worried that I’m going to lose my health insurance – what can I do?

Answer: We have taken action to ensure home care workers who have Union health insurance won’t lose their coverage if their hours go down as a result of COVID-19. Caregivers will need to notify the Health Benefits Trust that their hours dropped below 80 hours per month as a result of COVID-19, and they will be granted a coverage extension. Keep an eye on your email for details from our Health Benefits Trust on how to report that you’ve lost hours and need this coverage extension.

Lost Hours:
Question: I lost hours or lost a client due to the COVID-19 – what can I do?

Answer: Depending on your situation, you can apply for Unemployment Insurance, Worker’s Comp/L&I, Paid Family Leave Act, or use PTO. You can learn more by clicking below – including taking a quiz that can help point you in the direction of the best resource for you. If you are interested in getting hours with a new client, you can also sign up at CarinaCare.com.

Vaccine Information:

Question: Do I need insurance to get the vaccine?

Answer: No, the COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone and no insurance is needed. Vaccination providers cannot charge you for the vaccine, including copays or coinsurance, or deny the vaccine to anyone without health insurance, or who is underinsured or out of network.

Question: Who can get the vaccine now in Washington state?

Answer: Anyone 12 years of age or older is now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Question: My client can’t leave home. How do I get the vaccine for them?

Answer: You can request “homebound vaccination services”. To do so:

Question: How do I know which vaccine I will get?

Answer: You can go to Vaccines.gov to search by a particular brand of vaccine. However, getting any vaccine is the most important. The CDC recommends that we should get any COVID-19 vaccine that is available and not wait for a specific brand.

Question: Do I still need the vaccine if I already had COVID?

Answer: Yes, you should be vaccinated regardless of whether you already had COVID-19. That’s because experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. Even if you have already recovered from COVID-19, it is possible — although rare — that you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 again.

Question: Do I still need to wear a mask if I’ve been vaccinated?

Answer: As the country opens up, the CDC recommends that those of us who work in healthcare settings, like in-home care, continue to wear a mask and follow other COVID-19 precautions while providing care. Read about the recently updated guidance from the CDC here


Question: I’m a caregiver, where can I get PPE?

Answer: Together we fought for and won free PPE for caregivers. APs should request PPE through their agencies. For IPs, there are two ways to get yours.

Online Order PPE online here by filling out the required information (name, address, provider number, and number of clients).

Phone or Email – Contact your local AAA or DDA. You only need to contact one person in your county, and you can call or send an email. If you are serving a Developmental Disability client, please contact Barb Uehara at pperequest@dshs.wa.gov or 360-407-1523.

Question: Can I get COVID-19 from the Vaccine?

Answer: No. There are no live virus particles. While you might feel minor, temporary side effects from the injection, it is impossible to contract the virus from the vaccine.

Question: Will the vaccine cause side effects? If so, how long might they last?

Answer: Some people who get a COVID-19 vaccine will experience side effects, particularly after a second dose. The side effects of the vaccine appear to be minor and temporary. Participants have reported pain at the injection site, fatigue, and occasional fever, headache, or aching muscles and joints. These side effects fade within 1-2 days.

These side effects are actually common with all vaccines: they are a sign that a vaccine is working and triggering an immune response.


Working People:
Question: With so many people losing hours and jobs, is there anything we can do to help?

Answer: We know that many people that work at closed businesses are out of work. We are joining with SEIU nationally and other unions to demand economic stimulus focused on working people, not big corporations. Among other things, we are calling for meaningful income replacement checks for all, regardless of citizenship or employment status. You can find out more at protectallworkers.org.

Resources:

Gloves: IPs serving Medicaid and state-only-funded clients have access to gloves as part of each client’s health benefits, thanks to our Union contract. To learn how to get them, click here.

Delivery of in-home personal care and Adult Day Health services during the COVID-19 outbreak: Please read recommendations by DSHS regarding delivery of in-home personal care services.

Overtime limits to protect parent providers and live-in caregivers: While they are not eliminating the workweek limits across the board, the state has indicated that they are likely to approve temporarily waiving the overtime workweek limits on a case-by-case basis, especially where there is a concern about bringing additional caregivers into a shared living situation in a way that would increase risk of transmitting COVID-19. You can send a letter to your caseworker requesting an Exception to Client Specific Work Week Limit (CSWWL) to be able to exceed your work week limit and provide all of your client’s authorized hours. We have a template you can use here.

If you experience symptoms of, or believe you were exposed to COVID-19, call these hotlines:

  • Washington State Department of Health Coronavirus hotline: 1-800-525-0127 between 6 am and 10 pm
  • King County Coronavirus hotline: 206-477-3977 between 8 am and 7 pm

Find your local Health Department online here  – Washington State Department of Health

Montana Information: Information and resources for Montanans is available here.


SEIU 775 and SEIU 775 Benefits Group Resources

How to get Vaccinated: Find out how to get yourself and your client vaccinated here.

SEIU 775 in the News: Read about what caregivers are doing and how the COVID-19 outbreak is affecting us.

Access to COVID-19 Testing and Health Benefits: Learn more information from SEIU 775 Benefits Group.

HCA Certification Exam Rescheduling: Learn more information from SEIU 775 Benefits Group.

Training Information and Updates for Caregivers: Learn more information from SEIU 775 Benefits Group.


Lost Hours

Apply for Unemployment Insurance, Workers’ Comp/L&I, Paid Family Leave Act, or use PTO:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Resources

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Official overview and information from the CDC.

Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes: Additional information for facilities and nursing homes.

Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations: Environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

Preventing COVID-19 from Spreading: Information on preventing the spread of coronavirus in homes and residential communities.


Fact Sheets (Multilingual)

Public Health COVID-19 Fact Sheet – Seattle and King County

Facts about Novel Coronavirus and How to Prevent COVID-19 – Seattle Times

2019 Novel Coronavirus: A Fact Sheet for Healthcare Workers – SEIU

Multilingual Coronavirus Fact Sheet – Washington State Department of Health