From:                                             Commissioners Office, DOA (DOA sponsored)

Sent:                                               Tuesday, March 10, 2020 7:18 PM

To:                                                  SOA All employees

Subject:                                         03.10.20 COVID-19 Update

Attachments:                               Wash your hands flyer .pdf; workplace-guidance.pdf; 03.09.20 AO 315 COVID-19 Directive.pdf

 

 

om the commissioner’s Desk

From the Commissioner's Corner

 

 

03.10.20 COVID-19 Update

 

The safety of our employees is our top priority. DOA has been working with the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) and other agencies since the outbreak began, and it continues to coordinate closely with state leaders and partners. The state’s emergency planning has us well placed to respond to threats such as this, as well as provide information and prevention tips while also working to prevent undue stress or panic.

Today, Governor Dunleavy issued AO 315 directing DHSS to manage and monitor COVID-19 developments and the State’s response. The AO also alerted all state entities to the seriousness of COVID-19. (see attached)

Prevention

  • Our partners at DHSS tell us the public should take basic prevention strategies at home and at work to help slow the spread of the virus. More information is available on the DHSS website.
  • The priority is to slow the spread of this virus. Keeping Alaskans healthy and minimizing our risk requires all of us working together.
    • State health care professionals say the easiest way to do that is to practice good hygiene and stay home when sick.
    • Stay home when you’re sick, even if it’s just coughing or sneezing. Coronavirus symptoms can be very mild. We strongly encourage telework, if your position allows. Otherwise, use sick leave or contact your union for leave donations. Please contact your HR manager if you have any questions.

 

  • Here are prevention steps to take at home and at work as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

o   Wash your hands and use alcohol-based sanitizer frequently

o   Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose and eyes

o   Cover your coughs and sneezes

o   Enhance social distancing (more than 6 feet)

o   Stay away from people who are sick

o   If you have coronavirus symptoms – fever, cough and shortness of breath – contact your health care provider about what your next steps may be. SOA employees should also notify their supervisor so the agency can take any necessary steps.

o   DHSS announced new recommendations to help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. That guidance is here.

 

Workplace Safety

 

  • Frequently clean and disinfect high-touch and common surfaces. Use procurement methods authorized by your department. These EPA-approved disinfectants are often still in stock:

 

  • If your bathroom sink does not have a handwashing reminder, please print and hang the attached flyer as healthy-hygiene reminder!

 

  • Attached is new guidance from the CDC on workplace safety. Feel free to post around your workplace.

 

Telecommuting

 

  • Supervisors are strongly encouraged to develop situational (ad hoc) telework agreements/expectations with all telework eligible employees, currently without a signed telecommute work agreement, who need to work remotely for a prolonged period due to COVID-19. The SOA telecommute policy is here.

 

  • DOA is deploying Microsoft Teams this week to all Departments (except Governor Office staff). Teams allows employees to videoconference from video-enabled computers. Per CDC guidance, we encourage staff to use videoconferencing for meetings whenever possible, even in the workplace. OIT will be scheduling training for Teams for those who need it.

 

  • DOA is offering supervisors training this week on how to manage telework employees. The Division of Personnel will send an e-mail notifying supervisors of times for the on-line training. A recording will be available afterwards.

 

  • DOA is asking for information from each department on which employees need computers, phones, or Virtual Private Networks (VPN) for telecommuting or internet connectivity. Starting with those employees identified as essential for continuity of operations during an emergency, we will begin deploying equipment as expeditiously as possible.

 

FAQs

 

  • The Travel Freeze issued by the Chief of Staff on March 9 applies to all out-of-state travel, even if all expenses were to be paid by a third party.

 

 

 

DOA will continue to keep you posted as information develops. Feel free to direct any COVID-19 questions to DHSS. Questions related to SOA workforce can be directed to doa.commissioner@alaska.gov.

 

 

Thanks,

Kelly

 

State of Alaska