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COVID-19 Member Update: 3-16-2020
SLOCEA MEMBER UPDATE
Monday, March 16, 2020 6:30 p.m.
Dear SLOCEA Members,
COVID-19 has changed the global landscape and life for all of us here in California and SLO County.
SLOCEA has been working diligently at protecting the rights of our members and taking all steps to safeguard your health and well-being. We continue to step up our correspondence with the County regarding COVID-19. Since last Thursday, we have been in constant communication with a leading member of the County’s COVID-19 preparedness and response team, as well as several department heads and the Public Health Officer.
SLOCEA has been fielding an outpouring of questions, inquiries and concerns from employees regarding the Coronavirus and all issues associated. We have advised employees and immediately communicated the issues to the County for seeking remedies. Some examples of this from the past week include:
- Work sites and classifications with the potential for increased risk of exposure to COVID-19
- The need for mandatory screening at certain locations to protect employees, as well as the public
- Enforcing the 6-foot social distancing in offices, group sessions (groups have upwards of 12 people), assessments and in interview rooms
- Creating a protocol if a client shows signs of illness when participating in group sessions, client assessments and participant interviews
- Consider doing phone visits, a drive by or skype options for certain classifications that do assessments and home visits
- Stepping up sanitizing and disinfecting efforts in work areas, common areas, group session rooms and interview rooms
- Having ample supplies of hand sanitizers, tissues and disinfectant wipes available
- How the County and Courts plan on handling the possible school closures for employees with school-aged children (which was announced while we were on the phone with the County)
- Further measures in protecting employees. (The CDC does not recommend face masks or rubber gloves as a protection)
- Issues regarding the recommended self-isolation for individuals 65 years and older
SLOCEA continues to have discussions and with the County in seeking further measures to safeguard the health of employees as much of the heightened awareness of employees come from Social Services and Behavioral Health due to the nature of work they do.
The ever-changing conditions of the outbreak are creating new issues daily. Since last week, there are now three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in SLO County, so SLOCEA’s is looking at the financial magnitude this will have on employees and what assistance is available for employees. All the while we are continuing to work at protecting your rights.
At last Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Public Health Officer, Dr. Penny Borenstein made a presentation on the Coronavirus that is helpful and gives some foundational information regarding outbreaks and COVID-19. Click the link below and go to 32:00 (Public Comment agenda item).
In closing, know that SLOCEA is doing all we can to support and advocate for our members. We are continuing to provide on-going feedback and information to the County so that procedures, policy and protocols are changed, modified and updated to protect your well-being and health.
Link to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Link to SLO County Public Health: https://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Health-Agency/Public-Health/Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).aspx