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DES’s response to COVID-19


Media Inquiries

Linda Kent
Public Affairs Director
(360) 972-6413

DES Communications
(360) 407-8200

Other Questions?

Updated Sept. 30, 2020 6:20 p.m.

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DES has been activated by the state Emergency Operations Center, which means redirecting some agency resources to support the coronavirus response. We appreciate your understanding if services and responses to inquiries are slower than normal at this time.

Services are operating normally except where noted below.

PPE COVID-19 Response

Capitol Campus

Public meetings and records

Employee Assistance Program

Contracting & Purchasing





PPE COVID-19 Response

Purchasing and delivery

The state is working to obtain PPE from all available sources, including private sector manufacturers and distributors due to the critical importance of PPE in protecting front-line workers from infection and allowing progress under the Safe Start reopening plan.

The DES contracts team is sourcing and purchasing needed PPE items that the Department of Health has identified. If you have something to sell and want to engage in a business relationship with the state, please follow these instructions to complete the online vendor registration process.

The DES Business Resources team takes in bulk donations of items identified by Health, and also delivers PPE items to local jurisdictions as directed by the State Emergency Operations Center.

Visit the state's PPE webpage to learn more.

Capitol Campus

Event Permits

DES is not currently issuing Capitol Campus event permits in compliance with the phased reopening plan for Washington State as well as the need for new health and safety protocols for the campus.

People may submit permit applications for future consideration. However, we do not have enough information at this time to predict when DES will begin regularly issuing event permits again. This is due to the unpredictability of when gatherings may be allowed in Thurston County and when new health and safety protocols will be in place on the Capitol Campus.

Access to Buildings

When in doubt, call the agency before you visit.

Most buildings are only allowing entry for employees who have a badge. These buildings have instructions for the public posted on their front doors.

The Legislative Building is closed to the public and all tours are suspended.

Suspended Activities

DES has suspended the following until further notice:

  • Civic education (school) tours
  • Public tours of the Legislative Building
  • Public tours of the Governor's Mansion (until September)

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Daily cleaning and disinfecting the Capitol Campus includes restroom surfaces. Targeted cleaning and disinfection are available upon request to building tenants. If you need additional support, contact the Property Manager or Work Management Center at (360) 725-0000.


Current parking procedures for the Capitol Campus:

Visitor parking
Monthly parking fee
  • Parking fees will continue to be deducted from employee pay
  • Employees may cancel their parking at any time
  • Even if they cancel, employees who are on a waiting list for a different parking assignment will keep their standing on the list.
  • Learn more.
Day passes
  • We have changed the process of getting a parking day pass since DES Parking Office staff are working remotely. Learn more.
Parking assignments
  • Please continue to park only where you are authorized. (WAC 200-200).


Contact the Parking Office

The Parking Office is temporarily closed to walk-in traffic, however, you can contact staff members who are working from home:, (360) 725-0030, Parking Office webpage.

Public Records and Open Public Meetings during COVID-19 response

  • Meetings are virtual and open to the public in compliance with the Governor's Proclamation 20-28. 
  • DES continues to respond to Public Records Requests, with some changes:
    • DES isn't required to provide in-person access to records
    • DES offices don't need to be open for public inspection and copying of public records
    • DES now has longer than five business days to respond to a request

For questions about the OPMA or Public Records Requests, contact us at

Employee Assistance Program

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

  • The Washington State Employee Assistance Program is providing increased support to its customers during this time. EAP is in full operations across the state, offering services via phone and telehealth platforms. Additional support and resources are available to address the impacts of COVID-19 on emotional and mental health, and wellbeing. Visit or call 877-313-4455 for additional employee resources.

Contracting & Purchasing

COVID-19 Purchase Exception

State agency procurements for goods and services directly related to the state's response to COVID-19 are excepted from competitive solicitation requirements through October 31, 2020. Agencies making coronavirus-related purchases must prepare a log of their purchases using the Coronavirus Special Market Conditions Purchase Template. You only need to fill out (and submit) the template if you are purchasing items that would normally require competition. View the purchasing exception FAQs.

Employees should check with their agency's leadership to determine if there are additional tracking requirements for costs related to the COVID-19 response. The exception applies only to Washington state agencies, boards, commissions and higher education institutions. It does not apply to local jurisdictions or school districts.


Access to State Master Contracts

DES is providing access to master contracts that may be helpful in response to COVID-19:

Contracts for cleaning services
Contracts for state Language Access Plan

Many health and instructional materials have been translated into 26+ different languages and are posted on the Department of Health's COVID-19 Educational Materials page.

State agencies may utilize the following DES master contracts to comply with other aspects of the state Coronavirus Response Language Access Plan as well:



Fleet Operations

The DES Fleet Operations Vehicle Maintenance Facility on Fones Road in Olympia has resumed normal operations for customers of Thurston and Mason Counties.

Fleet Operations is closely following the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and recommendations. For service, schedule an appointment online or call (360) 664-9200.


For minor repairs...
  • Pull into the shop and stay in your vehicle. A service provider will address your needs.
For all other services…
  • Leave the keys in the ignition.
  • Go to the window in the shop door for directions. If you need a loaner vehicle, they will direct you to the dispatch office for vehicle pick-up.
For those outside of Thurston and Mason counties…
  • You can find an approved service location near you by leaving a voicemail at (800) 542-6840. A fleet operations representative will get back to you as soon as possible.



Consolidated Mail Services

As an essential service, Consolidated Mail Services (CMS) is operating on its normal schedule.

CMS is following all CDC guidelines and protocols.

If you have questions about your specific business needs, contact CMS customer service at



Online auctions 

The Surplus Operations program has resumed online auctions for vehicles, heavy equipment and other miscellaneous items including computer monitors, cell phones, tires. Auction previews and pick-ups are by appointment only.

Retail store (closed)

The in-person retail store remains closed. For more information, visit the Surplus Operations Hours & Location page or call (360) 407-2270.



Trainings are being offered and delivered virtually.

A vibrant roster of classes are being offered and delivered virtually, including Leading Others and Inclusive Leadership: Mitigating Implicit Bias in Hiring. 

To learn about all current training options, search the LMS website catalog for "wa-state virtual" or search the Training and Development webpage for "virtual." 

Our Online Learning Resources for Workforce Development page provides timely and relevant on-demand learning experiences across nine learning pathways. LinkedIn Learning subscriptions also provide access to thousands of courses taught by industry experts.

If you have questions, email or refer to the Online Learning Resources for Workforce Development page.