How are you handling minimum staffing requirements if/when a large number of officers face a 14 day quarantine after COVID19 exposure?
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We are following pretty much same guidelines. Just because someone was exposed does not mean we quarantine them. We have implemented a temp check daily as they walk in the door (FD does every 12 hours). 99.5 or above and they go home. Not allowed back until 72 hours temp free without meds. We are having to get creative with Dr. notes for missing three or more days. Most pushing teledoc and needing to document that.
As for leave time, our City has started both telework for non-essential that can as well as just staying at home (with pay) for 3-4 days a week. Idea is to have fewer people in the offices. All of our public areas are closed and work is really beginning to slow down for many departments. Some essential folks that are working will eventually get fed up with having to work while others are staying home. We are trying to be very generous with our "essential" staff and provide maximum latitude for them to work from home and come in just a few days a week. Message for those at home is don't be stupid and post photos out fishing, on the beach, etc. It will only take one of these for this whole program to fall apart. Fortunately we are blessed that we have a supportive Mayor and Council that get it and value both the physical and mental wellness of our employees.
Anthony - thanks for sharing this! In my discussions with LE leaders across the nation over the last week, this can help a lot of people. And - this is exactly what the discussion board is for!
Links I used for resources: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/healthcare-facilities/hcp-return-work.html
Questions to Ask Sick Employees
Over the next several days to weeks our agency will continue to have people call in sick for a whole host of reasons. You know this and deal with this on a regular basis. However, due to COVID-19, supervisors will need to ask a few more questions to protect the employee and co-workers. Information learned in these conversations must be maintained confidential as is the standard practice.
Below are the standardized questions that should be asked to any employee that calls in sick. Please use good judgment, and if someone calls in sick because of a twisted ankle, there is not a need to ask the following.
Questions to ask an employee reporting to be ill:
-Do you have fever or chills? If you have a fever what was your highest temperature?
-Do you have a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath?
-Have you traveled out of the country recently or been in contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should encourage the employee to seek medical assistance, and you must notify your immediate supervisor of the situation.
CDC Recommendations on Employees Returning to Work
Remember, it is your responsibility as the supervisor to make FMLA paperwork available to anyone that misses or plans to miss more than three days of scheduled work.
If an employee has fever due to a stomach bug or another diagnosed illness, the must not return until he or she has been fever free, without medication, for 24hrs. If the employee was confirmed to have COVID-19 or unconfirmed with the symptoms described above, the employee will be required to be fever free, without the use of medication, for 72hrs before returning to work. This recommendation mimics that for healthcare a worker which is the closest to first responder duties. Remember, this is a team effort. If you are unsure which category the employee belongs, please contact your supervisor to make the best decision that will benefit the employee and keep his or her co-workers healthy.
Employees that become ill are required to use sick time. If an employee is placed in quarantine, which could be up to 14 days, by medical personnel, this will require the use of the employee’s sick time. As an employer, the supervisor lacks the authority to place someone on 14-day quarantine. However, each of you have the authority to send someone home or not allow someone to come to work that has an active fever or severe symptoms such as the shortness of breath or extreme coughing. In public safety, there is an obligation to keep other first responders safe, and the public that we serve.
Exposures: Work and Non Work
If an employee develops symptoms that coincide with COVID-19, the described actions above must take place. If the employee advises a supervisor of a possible exposure, the employee may continue working. Best practices, including proper hand washing and social distancing, should be taking place. Also, the supervisor must encourage the employee to self-monitor by reviewing the symptoms and having the employee take his or her own temperature twice daily, preferred morning and night. If the symptoms develop, the employee will need to use sick time.
There is the potential for an employee has an exposure at work as this disease continues to spread. If this occurs the actions described in the previous paragraph will occur. The supervisor will have the responsibility to investigate the matter and determine if there was contact with a confirmed infected person. The supervisor will complete a First Report of Injury if the employee had contact with a person confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, or a person believed to have COVID-19 and under testing, during the performance of his or her work duties.