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At Propel we are committed to ensuring your company is equipped with the best resources and we understand that many of your employees are feeling uneasy and concerned about the novel Coronavirus outbreak. Feel free to copy and modify the email sample below to share with your employees, which is based on an email we sent to our employees this week.
March 3, 2020
Email to all employees:
As we receive updates around the coronavirus officially named COVID-19, the company remains committed to the health and wellbeing of our employees.
Healthcare providers as well as state, federal, and international government agencies, have developed resources and guidance for this rapidly evolving situation.
Risk in Washington and Oregon
A state of emergency has been declared in Washington State in order to make available additional resources and funding to address the situation. The Washington State Department of Health has established a call center to answer questions, and is providing updates on testing and confirmation of COVID-19 cases in the state. Over the weekend, Oregon’s first cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.
Recommendations for Employees
We strongly encourage you to stay up-to-date on new developments from factual and qualified resources, and to follow their guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses in the workplace, and observe the following:
- As always, don’t come to the office if you are sick. Use a sick day, or if you are only mildly ill and can effectively do so, work from home. If you come to work and are visibly ill, you are putting your co-workers at risk of illness and may be sent home.
- If you have been in close contact with someone who has a diagnosed case of COVID-19, follow the CDC’s prevention guidance recommendations or your healthcare provider’s instructions, which may include a 14-day self-monitoring quarantine period.
- If you have a compromised immune system and would like to request a medical accommodation to work from home for a temporary period, please contact HR to discuss your options.
- Refer to the Sick Leave Policy and Work From Home Policy in the Employee Handbook and agree with your manager on the best course of action for your circumstances. Note that under WA and OR state sick leave laws, you may use sick leave if your child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency, and closure for coronavirus-related reasons counts. If you have not worked from home previously and have access to a computer at home, refer to the IT guidance on downloading the necessary applications and make sure you are prepared to work from home if it should become temporarily necessary.
- Practice respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, and use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available or practical.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces in your work space. Additional hand sanitizer and wipes are being placed in common areas around the office. Clorox and other brands of disinfecting wipes may be effective at guarding against coronavirus but as COVID-19 is a new strain, there are no absolutes.
- Follow the Surgeon General’s advice about not purchasing face masks unless you are in one of the defined risk categories.
- Ensure a dial-in link is included in all meetings so that anyone can participate (this is good standard practice!).
- Prepare your home and have a plan for the worst case.
- Remember to use Teledoc if you are covered by the company’s medical plan (or utilize telemedicine options of any other plan) and if you have flu-like symptoms. A phone call limits your exposure to other sick people, and theirs to you.
- Follow travel advisories from the WHO, the CDC and the State Department. We have not imposed any air or local travel restrictions at this time, but please use your best judgment when traveling.
- Company leadership will continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation, and communicate any further guidance as soon as there is anything to share.
- See Propel’s website for additional coronavirus resources specific to senior care and share as appropriate.
- We will be testing the employee emergency alert system this week as a routine system check.
Best regards and stay well!