Employee Updates on COVID-19

 

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For City of Alameda Employees -
Communication from the Human Resources Department

510-747-4900
hr@alamedaca.gov

 

Resources for Employees

  • Click Here to view the Family First Emergency Response Act (FFCRA) and how employees may apply for leaves under FFCRA. FFCRA Forms
  • Click Here(PDF, 609KB) to view information from the CDC on recommendations for Face Coverings and how to make your own.
  • Click Here(PDF, 631KB) for information and resources essential workers needing childcare. 
  • Click Here for information and resources from Kaiser Permanente for coping during this time.

  • Webinar Resources for Coping with COVID-19

  • The Employee Assistance Program is available to employees looking for resources during this difficult time.

 

MAY 17, 2020

Hello All,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying well and are as heartened by the news as we are of the State's progress in our fight against COVID-19. Counties up and down the state are moving towards safely allowing  non-essential business to reopen and returning employees to the workplace.

The City is starting to prepare to have more employees return to the workplace and to potentially open up some services to the public. Each department has been working on developing a transition plan for their department to ensure they are protecting the health of City employees and meeting the needs of the community. As part of this plan, we will be implementing wellness checks for employees coming into the workplace. This wellness check will include a self-administered  temperature check, and an employee self-certification stating 1)  the employee is not aware of any contact with someone with COVID-19 and 2) the employee is not experiencing any symptoms related to Covid-19.  The plan is to set up stations at each City facility where employees will self-administer a temperature check and complete the required certification. We will be sending out more information on this process in the next week. The goal is to start the wellness checks on May 26.

Prior to opening up City facilities to the public, we will be identifying the necessary steps we would need to take to ensure those entering City facilities are taking necessary precautions. City departments are also in the process of purchasing protective screens for counters used to serve the public.

The City does plan to continue with the current employee compensation plan through June 3, 2020. This program provides employees with three options during the COVID-19 emergency:

1.      Employees who are able to work remotely, available to rotate into City facilities and immediate available for redeployment are paid regular hours for all work and then paid either Covid-19 leave or paid admin leave for any time they did not have assigned work. 

2.      Employees unable to remain available are paid regular pay for any hours worked and then eligible for pay through the new Extended Family Medical Leave act and/or the use of leave accruals. Please reach out to HR with questions about this leave act.

3.      Non-essential employees who are not eligible for the Extended Family Medical leave were also given the option to work limited hours and use leave accruals.

We realize this continues to be a stressful time for you and for those you care for at home, and want to take this opportunity to remind you of the resources available to you as a City of Alameda employee. If you have any questions about how to access these resources please contact Human Resources at hr@alamedaca.gov or by leaving a message at (510) 747-4900.

Child Care Support:

o   To learn more about PAID LEAVE available to care for your child whose school/child care provider is closed due to COVID-19 visit the HR website HERE (https://www.alamedaca.gov/Departments/Administration/Human-Resources/FFCRA-Policy-Forms.)

o   The State of California is providing resources to assist essential workers connect with childcare, for more information visit mychildcare.ca.gov

o   The County of Alameda is providing resources to assist essential workers connect with childcare, for more information visit Child Care Request Form

 

Mental Health Support: The City’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to all full-time employees and every member of their household. Benefits are extended to anyone in the same household regardless of whether they are covered under your employee health plan, and the EAP benefits are available regardless of whether or not you are enrolled in health benefits through the City.

If you or anyone in your household is in need of assistance please call our EAP provider MHN at 1-800-242-6220 with access code alameda. These calls are confidential and the City is not provided any identifying information about EAP users. Each member of your household is eligible to receive 10 session of counseling, which can be conducted by phone, per issue per year. You can also access resources by visiting the MHN website at members.mhn.com with access code alameda. You can access many resources on the MHN website including resources related to coping with COVID-19 stressors.

The City is also working with Kaiser Permanente to bring a City of Alameda specific Webinar focusing on Coping with COVID-19 to our employees. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, June, 3, 2020 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The flyer about and how to access this webinar is attached to this email. If you have questions please contact Jessica Romeo at jromeo@alamedaca.gov.

Take care,

Your Human Resources Team

 

APRIL 27, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are doing well and able to safely enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having. There is a lot to update you on and a lot of information in this email. Though we hope you will read over everything, there may be some topics you are more interested in than others.

COVID-19 City Update – 3:00 p.m., April 29, 2020

The City Manager will be hosting a zoom meeting this coming Wednesday, April 29, 2020, open to all employees, to give an update on the City’s response and status as related to COVID-19. The Acting Fire Chief, Rick Zombeck, the Police Chief, Paul Rolleri and the Human Resources Director, Nancy Bronstein will also participate. Further details on the meeting and how to access it will be sent out prior to the meeting, please check your City email for details on how to attend.

Vacation Accrual and Caps

Many of you may be reaching your vacation caps soon and are wondering what the City will be doing to assist you. We now have a plan in place for employees who are currently or will soon be reaching their vacation caps and are unable to take vacation. Please also remember, you may still take vacation time with the approval of your supervisor and department head. To request time use your department’s normal vacation request procedures.

If you are unable to take vacation or have been denied a vacation request because of staffing concerns during the COVID-19 emergency, you will continue to accrue time and will have until January 2, 2021 to bring your vacation accrual under your vacation cap.

Human Resources is tracking vacation accruals, when you reach your vacation accrual maximum your vacation accruals will be turned off and you will see no further accruals on your pay stub. However, you will continue to accrue vacation time, tracked outside of the system by the Human Resources Department. The excess hours will not show up on your pay stub but you can contact the Human Resources Department for information on how many hours you have accrued over your cap. We will continue to monitor and track vacation accrual and use through the end of this year and you will be expected to bring your accruals below your cap by the end of the first pay period of 2020 (January 2, 2021).

Current Staffing Plan - What Happens After May 2nd

At this time, the State has not provided an end date for the current Stay-At-Home Order.   We are expecting an update soon. However, unless there is significant easing of restrictions the City plans to continue with the staffing  plan put in place on April 7, 2020. We will continue this plan through May 19, 2020.

As part of this plan, we asked the majority of our employees to fill out an Acknowledgement Form with three options; 1) Rotate into the office/telework and be available for redeployment for hours you are not in the office/teleworking; 2) telework/rotate in to the office as needed but not be available for redeployment; 3) unable to telework/rotate in and also unavailable for redeployment.

Employees selecting option one, record time rotating into the office, teleworking or being redeployed as regular hours and then make up the remaining hours in their day/schedule with COVID-19 Administrative Leave, once COVID-19 Administrative Leave is exhausted employees may use General Administrative Leave to fill out their schedule.

Employees selecting option two, record time rotating into the office or teleworking as regular hours and must use any remaining COVID-19 Administrative Leave to fill out their schedules and once exhausted may use FFCRA leave (if applicable and approved) or accrued leave to fill out their schedules.

Employees selecting option 3, and wishing to stay in a paid status, may use FFCRA leave (if applicable and approved) or accrued leaves.

This will continue through May 19, 2020. The option you selected after April 7th will remain in place. If your situation has changed and you are in need of changing your selection please contact Human Resources directly at hr@alamedaca.gov or by leaving a message at (510) 747-4900.

 

Updates To and Even More FAQs

We have received some follow up questions after the initial FAQ was published. It has been updated with topics including”

  • Changing Your Acknowledgement Option
  • Vacation Use and Vacation Caps
  • Taking Vacation or Using Sick Time While on Option 1

CARES Act Changes to the City’s 457 Plans

With the enactment of the CARES Act on March 27, 2020, the City had the option of making certain changes/enhancements to our deferred compensation plans. All available plans, ICMA-RC, Nationwide, and VOYA (CalPERS), have the same plan enhancements which include:

  • Tax favored withdrawals from retirement plans in the case of COVID-19 related distributions
  • An increase in the dollar limit in the amount of a loan made from qualified employer plan to a qualified individual during the 180 day period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Act.
  • Suspends the requirements to take a minimum required distribution for the 2020 calendar year or any plan that is subject to the minimum distribution requirements

 

For more information on these enhancements visit the City’s Human Resources Employee Updates on COVID-19 page (www.alamedaca.gov/hr) or contact your plan representatives:

 

Plan

Representative

Contact Information

ICMA-RC

Randi Carmen

(866) 620-6068

RCarmen@icmarc.org

Nationwide

Kerry Avila

(925) 705-4669

Avilak2@nationwide.com

VOYA (CalPERS)

Nancy Garrity

(888) 713-8244 ext. 6

Nancy.Garrity@voya.com

 

Childcare for Essential Workers

The Alameda County Resource and Referral agencies are serving essential workers, connecting them with child care during the COVID-19 situation. Limited funding may be available to support the costs of care for eligible essential workers.

If you are an essential worker looking for child care, please call your local R&R or click on the Child Care Request Form link below to submit your child care needs. Please be advised that if you call and reach a voicemail, do leave a message and someone will return your call. R&R staff are actively checking voicemail messages. More information can be found on the attached flyer. Child Care Request Form

Protecting Our Community with Face Masks

Masks are now required to be worn any time you are in public, including when you are performing essential work. This means that if you are rotating into the office/worksite you will be required to wear a mask, even when you are six feet from your co-workers. The City’s Social Distancing Protocol has been updated to reflect this requirement. You can find the updated Social Distancing Protocol on the Human Resources website www.alamedaca.gov/hr, under the COVID-19 link.

Though the City is providing masks to employees who are rotating into the office to perform work in compliance with the Alameda Health Order, you may also use your own mask if you are more comfortable, as long as it fully covers your nose and mouth.

Instructions on how to make and care for a mask can be found on the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html or on the Human Resources Website here: www.alamedaca.gov/hr

Please remember masks help protect the most vulnerable in our community, but they are not a substitute for social distancing, including staying 6 feet apart and washing hands for at least 20 seconds frequently, especially before and immediately after touching your face.

Do You Need to File for Unemployment-Part-time Employees?

Unfortunately the City had to furlough many of our part-time staff because the shutdown resulted in a lack of work for these individuals. You may be wondering when or even if we will be bringing these part-time employees back. Unfortunately, we do not have a definitive answer right now. Much depends on how and when the State and County begin to open up businesses and services again. Which services will return and when depends on many factors including the trajectory of the Coronavirus itself, we will continue to monitor the recommendations and instructions from the State and County and will follow these recommendations.

If your hours have been reduced or you have been furloughed because of lack of work you may be eligible to apply for Unemployment benefits, you can find eligibility information and how to apply by visiting the EDD site here: edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/ or by calling 1-866-333-4606. When applying you may be asked for the City’s State ID number, this number can be found on line 15 of your W-2, but in case you do not have your W-2 readily available the number is 80037427.

As always we hope you and your loved ones are staying well. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to Human Resources at hr@alamedaca.gov or by leaving a message at (510) 747-4900.

City of Alameda Human Resources Department
2263 Santa Clara Avenue, Room 290
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 747-4900
(510) 865-4043 Fax
http://cityofalamedaca.gov/

APRIL 17, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope you are all doing well. We wanted you to be aware that the most recent Alameda County Public Health Oder (attached)(PDF, 173KB) requires all employees to wear a mask while performing their duties in the workplace.

Masks have been distributed to departments and the City will distribute additional masks on Monday. Employees are also welcome to wear their own face covering as long as the covering is made of cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers only the nose and mouth and surrounding areas of the lower face.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Take care,

Nancy

APRIL 7, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying well. Thank you for your patience as we work toward implementing the new Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) leaves, including emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave expansion, as well as the Continuation of City Operations and Employee Pay provision going to City Council tomorrow, April 7, 2020. We have compiled Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), which are attached to this email and available at www.alamedaca.gov/HR, to assist in your understanding of your rights, privileges,  and obligations under these provisions.

Many of you will soon be contacted by your Department to fill out and sign an acknowledgement form, a copy of which is attached, and with information on how to complete your timesheet. Certain employees in emergency response will not be asked fill out this form. In addition to the Acknowledgement form you are receiving a copy of the FAQ and the City’s Social Distancing Protocol now in place. You can find all of these documents as well as forms to apply for and utilize the new FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) leave on the Human Resources website here: www.alamedaca.gov/HR.

If after review the FAQ your questions have not been answered please feel free to contact Human Resources at hr@alamedaca.gov or by leaving a message at (510) 747-4900. The FAQ is not exhaustive and as we receive questions and as the process becomes more clear we will update the FAQs.

Thank you and be well,

Jessica R. Romeo

APRIL 1, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We hope you’re staying well and appreciate your continued support as we work through this unprecedented time.

As you may already be aware, Alameda County joined surrounding counties in extending the March 16, 2020 Shelter-In-Place order through 11:59 PM on May 3, 2020. You can find more details and resources regarding the Shelter-In-Place extension by visiting the City’s website at www.alamedaca.gov/alerts or by visiting the Alameda County Public Health Department’s website at http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov/shelter-in-place.aspx.

As a result of the extension, the City closure and reduction in services put in place beginning March 17, 2020 will continue through May 3, 2020. As a Government Agency we are expected to continue to provide essential services to the community while complying with the Shelter-In-Place order.

On March 17, 2020 City Council approved an emergency ordinance which included authorization for three weeks of paid “COVID-19 Administrative Leave” to cover the period Mach 17, 2020 through April 6, 2020. This leave remains in place and is unchanged despite the extension of the Shelter-In-Place order. Employees will continue to be able to use this leave through April 6, 2020 and for time off in the following  two years, if there is remaining leave.

Since the Shelter-In-Place order went into effect on March 17, 2020 the City has been working on contingency plans in the event that the order was extended. On April 7, City Council will consider recommendations on the continuation of pay for full-time employees who are available to work, the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), and the extension of vacation caps for employees who have reached their cap and are unable to take vacation due to COVID-19. The staff report can be found at: https://alameda.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=4409423&GUID=75E892C2-CD80-4D0A-84E5-C43153B5411E

More information will be provided by April 6, 2020 regarding the implementation of the continuation of pay provision and the use of leave under the FFCRA: however, in summary what has been recommended is as follows:

  • Certain employees will continue to perform full-time work at City facilities, as allowed by the Alameda County Public Health Order, and will be paid their regular salary.
  • Other employees may be asked to work a combination of remote and onsite work. Remote work is subject to written approval by the Department Head. The City will require written acknowledgement from the employee that they will be fully available for remote work and possible redeployment to another area in the Department or City.
  • Employees authorized to work remotely will be required to:
  • Rotate into the office as allowed by the Alameda County Public Health Order for essential work
  • Consistently monitor calls and emails
  • Be available and ready to work either remotely or at a City facility – immediately when called upon
  • Be available and ready to immediately be redeployed to other area within the Department or City
  • Perform a combination of each listed above
  • Acknowledge in writing their full availability for work and redeployment
  • Employees authorized to work remotely and having signed the acknowledgement will be paid for hours worked. If hours worked are less than an employee’s regular schedule they will be required to use any remaining COVID-19 Administrative Leave and once exhausted will be able to use general paid Administrative Leave for their remaining hours.
  • Employees authorized to work remotely and opting not to be redeployed/rotate into the office would need to use any remaining COVID-19 leave if they are not working a full schedule. Once COVID-19 leave is exhausted the employee would need to use personal leave accruals or apply for FFCRA if qualified.
  • Once the COVID-19 Administrative Leave has been fully used then:
  • Employees unable to work for reasons listed in the FFCRA will be compensated as described in the FFCRA.
  • If an employee is unable to telecommute and is not essential but who would prefer to work instead of using leave accruals or be unpaid can sign an agreement and be reassigned/redeployed to perform other essential duties.

As noted above we will be providing guidance and answering questions in a follow-up e-mail no later than Monday April 6, 2020 week. Please continue to check your email and the City’s Human Resources webpage for updates and information.

If you have questions once you have received further information, Human Resources staff will be available.

Please take Care of yourself!

MARCH 24, 2020

Nationwide Flyer(PDF, 1MB)(PDF, 1MB)
As we venture through these uncertain times, Nationwide wants to ensure they are available for employees in any way possible. In addition to their Customer Solutions Center and Retirement Resource Group being available by phone, our Retirement Specialist, Kerry Avila, is available through virtual meetings, to assist employees with questions, concerns, account access, etc. If you are not comfortable meeting virtually & would rather join your meeting by phone, a conference call number will be available in your appointment confirmation email. Please see the attached flyer for more information & instructions on how to reserve a consultation.

City of Alameda Human Resources Department

MARCH 18, 2020

Ordinance 3267(PDF, 4MB)(PDF, 4MB)

Hello Everyone,

We hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. It has been a difficult few days for all of us as we try to adjust to the changes occurring as a result of the Alameda County Shelter in Place Order. We wanted to provide employees with some additional information on City operations. A press release that outlines the current availability of City services and how to access them can be found at: https://www.alamedaca.gov/Shortcut-Content/News-Media/Essential-City-Services-Who-to-Contact

Last night City Council declared a local emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Included in this ordinance was language regarding how employees will be compensated while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. 

The City has employees who serve in many different roles. For employees who provide customer service or work directly with the public there may not be work to perform if they are not in the workplace. Other employees may be able to perform some work remotely for a period of time, and employees performing essential functions are required to remain on duty. We also recognize that some of our colleagues may not be able to work because of childcare issues, illness, or quarantine of themselves or a family member. The goal of the City Council’s action is to ensure employees continue to be compensated during this difficult time and those that are required to work are provided with the opportunity to be off work at a later time.

The ordinance includes authorization for three weeks of paid administrative leave based on an employee’s scheduled workweek for our full- and part-time employees. The three weeks of administrative leave is available to employees who are unable to report to work because of office closures, lack of childcare, illness or quarantine of themselves or a family member, or lack of work.  Any unused administrative leave time remaining once restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted (as determined by the City Manager) will be moved to an administrative leave bank for the employee to use in the next two years. This time would not have any cash-value and would not be eligible to be cashed out at termination or any other time. The ordinance with the full details regarding this benefit is attached to this email. 

Human resources and payroll are working together on how to implement this benefit and plan to send out instructions prior to timecards being submitted. It may take some time to fully implement this benefit but we are actively working on a process.

We also wanted to remind staff that if you are approved to work remotely during this period, remember that Public Records Act requests will continue and employees must use City approved communication tools and platforms for City business following proper protocols for email, text and documentation storage and retrieval. Certain communication tools such as WhatsApp do not store data for these types of retrieval requests, so you should continue using standard City communication tools such as email and texting.

Finally, your department head or supervisor will be following up with those of you approved to work from home with a Telework policy and Telework application. We will need you to complete the application and return the form as directed.

Please feel free to reach out to Human Resources with any questions or concerns. Contact information for Human Resources Staff, how to access EAP benefits, and updates to employees can be found on the City’s Human Resources Webpage at: https://www.alamedaca.gov/Departments/Administration/Human-Resources/CoronavirusEmployeeUpdate

>MARCH 16, 2020 - 7:14 p.m.

 Thank you for your continued patience as we plan for the next few weeks. As you are aware, Alameda County has directed that there be a shelter-in-place for non-essential services through April 7, 2020. As a government agency we are expected to continue essential functions. Each department has been working to identify these functions. Your department head will be reaching out tonight with instructions for tomorrow. You may be asked to report to work, work remotely or remain on-call. We plan to have a reduced number of employees on-site to allow for social distancing. We will continue to evaluate operations as the situation unfolds. This is an unprecedented event and we are continuing to work to resolve issues.

Tomorrow night, City Council will consider an Emergency declaration. This declaration includes a recommendation to provide all full and part-time employees with three weeks of administrative leave based on their scheduled workweek. For example, an employee working four-nine hour days per week would receive 36 hours for a total of 108 hours.  For part-time employees who work a varied work schedule the number of hours would be based on an average of hours, per week, worked in the past 12 months. The three weeks of administrative leave is available to employees who are unable to report to work because of office closures, lack of childcare, illness or quarantine of themselves or a family member. Employees working a modified schedule will also be able to use this time to supplement any unassigned work-time.  Employees will need to track the time they work from home. Any time worked from home will be considered work-time and not deducted from their administrative leave bank.  Any unused time at the end of the shelter in place period will be moved to an administrative leave bank for the employee to use in the next two years. This time would not have any cash-value and would not be eligible to be cashed out at termination or any other time. The amount of administrative leave granted may be increased with approval of the City Council if the County shelter-in-place directive is extended.

We will continue to provide updated information as we learn more. Please feel free to reach out to Human Resources with any questions or concerns. Thank you for all your dedicated work to the community and to the City.

Sincerely,

Eric Levitt

Nancy Bronstein

MARCH 16, 2020 - 3:19 p.m.

Hello Everyone,

As a result of the shelter-in-place directive issued by Alameda County the city is evaluating essential services. We should have a plan in place later today. Once we have finalized the operating plan we will be sending out an email to all employees with an update on City operations starting tomorrow. Prior to reporting to work please check your City email. The address is provided below. You desktop login is the same login you will use to access your email. If you are unable to access your email please contact your manager  or supervisor.

You can log on to your City email account at https://webmail.alamedaca.gov

Thank you for your patience as we work through these difficult issues.

MARCH 16, 2020 - 12:26 p.m.

Some of you may have already seen in a news alert that Alameda County along with eight other Bay Area counties will be placed under a shelter-in-place directive by public health officials in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The directive is expected to be issued shortly and will  be effective 12:01 am Tuesday. We are still figuring out what this means for local government operations and will provide more information as we know more.

We understand this is a difficult time for all of us and will continue to share information as we learn more.

MARCH 15, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We recognize that the spread of COVID-19 can be unsettling and want to provide an update on the actions being taken by the City to prevent the further spread of the virus. Following federal, state, and local guidelines on social distancing, the City will make changes to the delivery of services to the public and to our internal operations for at least the next two weeks.

During this period: the City plans to activate the Emergency Operations Center, will close several public counters and provide services by appointment only, email, or phone (closure exceptions may be made where there are physical barriers between staff and the public) and passport applications will not be accepted. Recreation programming has been canceled with the exception of: brown bag lunches, tax preparation support, and para-transit.  The duration of these changes might be expanded or other changes made as we receive new information. Here is a link to a press release from the City with additional details of the service changes https://www.alamedaca.gov/ALERTS.  Please let you department head know if you have any questions about counter/services changes in your department.

We are continuing to evaluate services and options for maintaining essential City services. The City is working to balance our responsibility to the Community and to employees. We are continuing to evaluate service delivery and allowing employees to telecommute. With things changing so quickly, this evaluation is happening on a daily basis. We should be able to move forward with telecommuting options for those employees whose work can be performed remotely later this week. We will provide new updates as decisions are made.

We understand some employees will need to be off work to care for children as a result of school or daycare closures.  Also, earlier today Governor Newsom provided guidance to those over 65 or with chronic illnesses to self-isolate. Employees will be allowed to use sick leave or other accruals to cover this time off. If the employee’s position allows for telecommuting this will be an option as well.  Employees in this situation should still follow their department’s call-in procedures.

As stated above, the City is activating its Emergency Operations Center. This is a low-level activation. As a reminder, all City employees are designated by State law as Disaster Service Workers (DSW), and we are subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to us by our superiors or by law.  If you have questions about the responsibilities of a DSW, please feel free to contact Human Resources.

We know this is a very difficult time and want to remind employees of the Employee Assistance program sponsored by the City. To learn more about the program please visit the City’s benefit page. https://www.alamedaca.gov/Departments/Administration/Human-Resources/Benefits#section-5.

Please take care of yourself. Remember to wash, waive, and cover and stay home if you are sick.

Please feel free to contact Human Resources with any questions or concerns.

MARCH 10, 2020 - From the City Manager

Good evening everyone,

Late this afternoon, the City of Alameda learned that an Alameda Firefighter has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual has been quarantined since March 5 outside of Alameda County.

County public health officials are conducting an investigation to identify anyone who might have been in close personal contact with the individual, and the City of Alameda is cooperating with County public health officials in every way possible. As this is a personnel issue, we are not able to go into further details. However, as a City, we are taking all precautions possible regarding the cleaning of our facilities and ensuring proper protocols are in place that protect the health and safety of our employees and the entire community.

We understand that this news may be alarming, especially for those in the Fire Department and for their families. The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our community, especially those who are more vulnerable, is follow recommended precautions, including:

  • Washing hands with soap and water
  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Following guidance from public health officials
  • Calling your health care provider first before seeking medical care
  • Staying away from work, school, or other people if you become sick

We take the health and welfare of all our employees very seriously and will update you as soon as we have more information.

Sincerely,

Eric Levitt
City Manager

MARCH 10, 2020

Good Afternoon,

We wanted to provide an update on the cancelling or postponing of City Sponsored events. Starting today, March 10, through March 24, the City is cancelling or postponing non-essential City-sponsored events with an estimated 100+ people to limit exposure to COVID-19 and increase the well-being of all members of our community. Similar actions are being taken in other cities in the Bay Area. Cancelled or postponed events include the following:

  • March 10: Alameda Community Band Concert
  • March 19: Youth Career Fair
  • March 20: Chamber of Commerce Lunch/City Manager Report
  • March 21: Season of Nonviolence Speech Contest

At this time, City Council meetings as well as Board and Commission meetings are scheduled to continue. The City will update the Community on other closures or postponements. If you have any questions, please direct them to Sarah Henry at shenry@alamedaca.gov or 510-747-4714. We will continue to update our website at www.alamedaca.gov/alerts about measures we are taking to keep our community safe. We know a lot of hard work and planning goes into these events and are very grateful for your understanding. If we decide to extend event closures beyond March 24, we will post an update.

The California Health and Human Services Agency has stated that 80 percent of people tested for COVID-19 don’t exhibit symptoms that require hospitalization. But you can still pass on the virus to others. Everyone has a role to play -- protecting yourself, your family, and our most vulnerable community members. So much comes down to these common sense steps:

  • Washing hands with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Following guidance from public health officials
  • Calling your health care provider first before seeking medical care
  • Staying away from work, school, or other people if you become sick

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and cooperation!

;MARCH 8, 2020

Attachments: Coronavirus Fact Sheet(PDF, 220KB)(PDF, 220KB)

Hello Everyone,

We want to provide an update on the precautions the City is taking to protect employees from the spread of COVID-19 and the planning underway assuming the outbreak expands. The City is regularly monitoring guidance from local, state, and federal agencies to ensure we have the most up-to-date information. The City is also actively working with the Alameda County Public Health Department who will provide guidance on facility closures and the need for individuals to be quarantined. Below, I have included a link to the City’s website which includes links to the CDC and the Alameda Public Health Department.  Also, attached is a City of Alameda COVID-19 fact sheet.   Please email or call Human Resources with any questions or concerns.

Good hygienic practices continue to be the most important factor in preventing the spread of illness. In addition, during this time of uncertainty about the virus, for your health and the health of others we ask that you observe these basic precautions: 

WAVE: While we welcome you to the office, for now this is a “no handshake/no hug” zone.  Greetings to colleagues and friends can be a simple wave, nod, elbow bump or broad smile.  

WASH: We encourage you to make use of our restrooms to wash your hands.  As recommended in all health guidelines, thoroughly wash and rub front, back and between fingers with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds (which is about as long as it takes to sing happy birthday twice!)  We have also placed hand sanitizer stations throughout our offices.  We encourage each of you to use these each day when you step off the elevator to begin work or as you came back from lunch or other visit outside the office. 

COVER: It is essential that every cough MUST be completely covered, mouth and nose, by your crooked elbow or a tissue. Discard the tissue into the trash and immediately wash your hands. 

If you are sick please stay home: If you are uncertain if you should be at work please contact the advice nurse for your health plan. You can find the number for your advice nurse on your health plan card or the website for your health plan.

The City is also working to limit exposure to employees by:

  • Distributing hand sanitizer throughout the City. We have ordered additional hand sanitizer and will be placing stations at different locations throughout the City. 
  • We have also ordered additional disinfecting wipes to be distributed to departments so staff can wipe down counters and other work surfaces during the workday. 
  • As part of the response to COVID-19, the City will continue to provide janitorial services to minimize workplace exposure. These services include:    
    • disinfection of drinking fountains;
    • cleaning of bathrooms, which include disinfection of sinks, toilets, urinals and cleaning of the partition walls, doors and diaper changing stations with a germicidal detergent;
    • break rooms/kitchenette area cleaning, including disinfection of all sinks, floor sinks, counters, exterior of appliances and cabinets, tables and chairs; and 
    • cleaning of shower walls and floors with a germicidal soap.  

 The City is also actively working to develop a plan in the event employees are unable to report to work because their children’s school close and they do not have childcare, employee or child is placed in quarantine, or the employee is sick or a family member is ill and requires care. These include identifying functions essential to City operations. Below are answers to potential questions related to the use of leave accruals or remote work:

If I miss work because my child's school or day care is closed due to COVID-19, can I use my sick leave?

Yes. Normally your child would have to be actually be sick to be eligible to use leave. However, in the current circumstance, the City has agreed to waive that requirement and you may use your sick time if you are in this situation.  

What about the City rule that only allows employees to use only half their annual sick accruals to care for a family member?

The City will suspend this rule for absences related to the COVID – 19 outbreak and allow an employee to use all accrued sick leave.

What if I run out of sick leave?

Employees will be able to use vacation or comp time to cover time away from work

Can I work remotely?

In the event the outbreak expands the City is evaluating options related to allowing employees to work remotely. The factors being evaluated are:

  • Are duties independent in nature
  • Lend themselves to measurable deliverables 
  • Do not require frequent interaction at the regular work-site with supervisors, other employees, or the public, in person or by phone
  • Can the employees duties be performed with just email and possible access to office systems such as NeoGov or Superion
  • Do we have a secure Dropbox account where documents can be securely shared
  • Can a scope of work be agreed on between the employee and their department head/manager
  • Have a computer that can be used to perform City work
  • Could employee perform limited work from home – two to four hours a day and then use sick leave to cover time off where work is not being performed

We will continue to provide updates as we learn more. 

Most important take care of yourself.

https://www.alamedaca.gov/RESIDENTS/ALERTS

MARCH 1, 2020

Hello Everyone,

There is a great deal of information in the news and social media on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  We want you to be aware the City is closely monitoring the spread of this disease and actively preparing for the possibility of a local outbreak. Currently the health risk to Alameda County residents and the general public is considered to be low.

The COVID-19 outbreak originated in Wuhan, China however the virus has now spread globally to countries outside of China. Below are links to the Alameda County Public Health page and the CDC. These sites are providing the most current information and precautions on the coronavirus. There is continued effort to protect the health of our Community and we will continue to provide updated information as we receive it. 

CDC web page on the novel coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Alameda County Public Health http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx

The health of our employees is also very important. We are placing signs on exterior building doors with a list of precautionary measures. We are also placing hand sanitizer at public counters. We will continue to identify other measures.  As a reminder please continue to take the precautions listed below to help prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses. Additionally, if you believe you have been exposed please contact your healthcare provider and remain home from work:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are sick, in particular if you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness please call your physician.

We want to encourage employees to stay home if they are ill.  Employees have sick leave and other accruals available and in certain circumstances employees may also be able to flex time to make up for time lost to illness.

Please feel free to contact Human Resources with any questions or concerns.