General Employee COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 FAQs for Employees

 

Where can I get additional information regarding COVID-19?

What are you doing as an employer to protect me?

Why isn’t the County suspending operation during this time?

When should I stay home from work?

I am sick and do not have sick leave balances. What are my options?

Can I use telemedicine?

Will my County medical insurance cover me if I need testing or treatment related to COVID-19?

Will the County allow telecommuting for employees?

I am concerned about being exposed at work. Can I elect to reduce my exposure by not coming to work or reducing my public contact?

I am age 65 or older. Should I stay home from work?

I am a temp employee who is a retiree, and I’m worried about going over 960 hours and my pension benefits?

I retired recently and have skills that would be beneficial to the County as a Disaster Service Worker or departmental support, does the waiting period still apply to get hired on as a temp?

My child’s school and/or daycare is closed, and I am unable to come to work due to no childcare. What do I do?

I have pre-planned out of County work travel. Will I still be able to go?

 

 

Where can I get additional information regarding COVID-19?

For the most up-to-date information regarding our County, please visit ReadySLO.org. You can also review information from our Public Health Director here. Additional information can also be found by visiting the CDC website.

 

What are you doing as an employer to protect me?

The health and safety of our employees is a priority of the County. Please see the COVID-19 Employee Guidelines and Safety FAQs.

 

Why isn’t the County suspending operation during this time?

This situation is very fluid. Our goal is to keep our employees safe while continuing to provide services to our community. The County is responsible for Emergency Management of the entire County. We are committed to serving the public before, during, and after times of emergency. All employees are public servants and, as such, you are a Disaster Service Worker (DSW) and may be required to work during a disaster which includes working at emergency response facilities.  As a DSW, you may be assigned to locations and duties outside of your normal job responsibilities. Regardless of where you are assigned, or what your job duties are, we will make every effort to keep you safe.

 

When should I stay home from work?

As always, if you are feeling flu like symptoms, you should stay home from work to self-monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention as needed.  If you have symptoms of acute respiratory illness it is recommended to stay home and not come to work until you are free of fever (100.4° F or greater), signs of a fever, and other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications (e.g., Tylenol or ibuprofen). People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should consult with their healthcare provider or County Public Health.  As a reminder, telemedicine is a good option for contacting your healthcare provider. 

 

I am sick and do not have sick leave balances. What are my options?

The County will be flexible and will allow all accrued balances to be utilized for leave for yourself and immediate family members. There are various leave options available to employees, please see the How Employees Will Be Paid document.

  • Probationary employees may use all accruals immediately without having to complete their probationary period.
  • Employees who are facing financial hardship may be eligible to borrow from their Deferred Compensation account through Nationwide. To explore this option please contact Nationwide by calling 877-677-3678 or visiting their website. All loan applications received to Nationwide by 1 pm PST will be processed within 24 hours.

 

Can I use telemedicine?

Yes, the CDC encourages you to use telemedicine services, rather than visiting a doctor's office or clinic, to limit the spread of the virus. All copays will be waived when utilizing Anthem’s Live Health Online telemedicine for the purpose of discussing COVID-19. Anthem’s Live Health Online (LHO) provides access to Telemedicine services via your phone, tablet or computer for you and your covered dependents. Visits are confidential and can be made wherever you are most comfortable.  Sign up and download the corresponding app to schedule a telemedicine appointment.

 

Will my County medical insurance cover me if I need testing or treatment related to COVID-19?

Yes. California has mandated insurance companies and Medi-Cal plans reduce cost sharing to zero (including co-pays, deductibles, or co-insurance) for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19, including hospital, urgent care visits, and provider office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19. For more information, please refer to the DMHC’s All Plan Letter

 

Will the County allow telecommuting for employees?

Department Heads are encouraging telecommuting when possible. Pursuant to the County’s Telecommuting Policy, authorization for telecommuting is at the Department Head’s discretion. Please work with your department to determine if telecommuting is available. Please refer to the County’s Telecommuting Policy here for more information.

 

I am concerned about being exposed at work. Can I elect to reduce my exposure by not coming to work or reducing my public contact?

The County is balancing providing service to the community and protecting employee’s health. Any employee that believes they cannot work may use their leave balances consistent with Department notification protocol. The Public Health Department is actively working with the CDC, with the state of California Department of Public Health (CDPH), other County officials, local health care providers, and other partners to protect your health. This is a rapidly evolving situation and the risk assessment in our region may change, at which point the County will provide updated direction.

 

I am age 65 or older. Should I stay home from work?

Based on the County’s adoption of Governor Newsome’s guideline that people age 65 or older self-isolate, the County highly recommends that you comply and stay home instead of reporting to work. You may reach out to your supervisor to determine if tele-work is an option for your job. If you are performing an essential function, and/or wish to work despite the guideline, you may report to work but please talk to your supervisor and make every effort to limit your exposure by working in a private space and otherwise follow rigorous handwashing, workspace cleaning, and social distancing practices. Please refer to [comp FAQ] for information regarding pay and leave options.

 

I am a temp employee who is a retiree, and I’m worried about going over 960 hours and my pension benefits?

On 03/21/2020, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order that waived the 960 hour limit for retiree workers temporarily. Due to the COVID-19 emergency declaration, retired employees can work beyond the 960 hour limit during Fiscal Year 2019-20 without having to be reinstated as regular employees at Tier 3, and SLOCPT having to suspend their pensions. If the employee has additional questions regarding their pension status, they should reach out to Pension Trust at 805-781-5465.

 

I retired recently and have skills that would be beneficial to the County as a Disaster Service Worker or departmental support, does the waiting period still apply to get hired on as a temp?

Under Governor Newsome’s Executive Order, the 180 day waiting period has been waived to ensure adequate staffing during the state of emergency. If you have more questions regarding this, please out to Pension Trust at 805-781-5465.

 

My child’s school and/or daycare is closed, and I am unable to come to work due to no childcare. What do I do?

If you are unable to report to work, you may discuss the option of telecommuting or an alternative work schedule with your supervisor.  If telecommuting is not an option and you remain unable to work, there are other leave options available to you. Please refer to for more information about options available.

 

I have pre-planned out of County work travel. Will I still be able to go?  

Out of County business travel is canceled at this time effective immediately unless the training/meeting is critical. If you would like to request that your travel still take place, please speak to your supervisor who can discuss your request with your Department Head.