Employee Information Regarding COVID-19

 

Additional information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) can be found here: FFCRA Poster.

FFCRA Leave Request Form

 

CCPS COVID-19 Response to Frequently Asked Questions

EMPLOYEES REPORTING TO THE BUILDING

Can I report to the building to perform my assignment?

Yes, staff are strongly encouraged to report to the building to deliver virtual instruction.  To promote social distancing and align with the CCPS Reopening Plan, building access is primarily limited to employees.  Staff should consult with their Administrator/Supervisor prior to reporting to receive additional guidance.  Support staff must consult with their building Administrator/Supervisor for reporting instructions.  Some staff are required to report to their buildings in alignment with their professional responsibilities.  

While on CCPS property all employees must wear a cloth face covering at all times when inside the building unless they are alone in an enclosed space (e.g. an office with a closed door).  The facial covering must adhere to all CCPS policies. 

If an employee has a medical condition, which affects the wearing of a cloth face covering, the employee is required to submit medical documentation to the Human Resources Department for consideration.

What are the requirements to enter CCPS properties?

When reporting to CCPS buildings staff will be required to utilize their badge or sign-in at the front office.  This reporting protocol will serve as the employee’s acknowledgement that they have followed the daily screening requirements listed below which will be updated periodically through email.

Please do not enter CCPS property if you have the following:

  • One of these symptoms
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Difficulty Breathing
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Known exposure to someone who is COVID19 positive
    • Positive COVID19 test within 10 days
    • Notification from the health department, your employer, a healthcare provider, or school nurse that you need to isolate or quarantine
    • Fever of 100 degrees or higher
  • Two or more of these symptoms:
    • Chills or shaking chills
    • Muscle Aches
    • Sore Throat
    • Headache
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Fatigue
    • Congestion
    • Runny Nose

A newly developed COVID-19 module is available in Safe Schools and all employees are to complete the training by September 30, 2020.  This training is not CCPS specific, however it will provide employees a valuable perspective on COVID-19 related information.

How should I facilitate operational meetings?

Employees are encouraged to use approved virtual platforms for group events, gatherings, or meetings.  Whenever possible in-person meetings should be limited.   Employees should conduct meetings via video conference or telephone. Meetings that cannot occur in the virtual or telephonic environment are to be held on an appointment basis. If a meeting must be conducted in-person, it should have the smallest number of attendees as possible.  Attendees must adhere to 6-foot social distancing guidelines and wear a cloth face covering at all times.  Attendance for in-person meetings should not exceed what is allowed by executive orders and/or MDH/CDC guidelines.  Prior to any in person meeting, attendees shall be provided with screening questions and COVID-19 symptoms to self-screen.

Are visitors required to wear a mask?

In accordance with MDH/CDC guidelines, CCPS requires all persons on CCPS property to wear cloth face coverings at all times.  Visitors with documented medical exemptions will be permitted on the property without facial covering. 

 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO EMPLOYEES IN RESPONSE TO THE CORONAVIRUS?

How does the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) work?

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is an extension of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for leave specified reasons related to COVID-19.  The qualifying reasons for COVID-19 related leave is captured on the FFCRA Poster link on our HR COVID-19 page (https://www.carrollk12.org/admin/hr/Pages/COVID-19-.aspx). Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) benefits are set to expire on December 31, 2020.

In accordance with FFCRA, Carroll County Public Schools will provide up to (80 hours) of either fully or partially paid sick leave for staff who meet one or more of the qualifying reasons.

Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay is available for eligible employees (employed for at least 30 calendar days) who are unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.     

If I require an extended leave will I be able to continue at my current position when I return?

Leave under FMLA, including FFCRA, is job-protected leave.  Once an employee returns from leave, if their previous assignment is unavailable CCPS will make every effort to provide a comparable assignment.

Can my family remain covered under our current medical/dental insurance plan?

During FMLA leave, you may remain on the CCPS medical and dental insurance plans.  The appropriate contribution deductions will be subtracted from the employee’s bi-monthly paychecks.

What would my “bring home” salary look like during approved extended FFCRA leave?

If you elect the 10 weeks, you would be paid at two–thirds your normal salary.  Applicable benefit costs to include health insurance, pension, FICA and taxes will be deducted from your semi-monthly pay.

How do I qualify and obtain leave?

To apply for the use of FFCRA leave, you would need to complete the FFCRA leave request form.  The form is linked on the HR COVID-19 page of our website (linked above).  If you elect the 10 weeks of additional leave (for the full 12 weeks total), you would need to complete additional FMLA paperwork that will be sent to you once the FFCRA leave request form is received.

                                             

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR DEPENDENT CARE  LEAVE?

What if I am unable to physically report to work due to childcare needs?

Employees that qualify for FFCRA benefits may receive up to an additional 10 weeks (expiring December 31, 2020) of paid expanded family and medical leave.  The employee will be paid at two-thirds the regular rate of employee pay.  The employee must have been employed for at least 30 calendar days prior to the leave request and is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19. The employee must submit supporting documentation to the CCPS Human Resources Department.

What if my child’s school is giving me a choice between having my child attend in person or participate in a remote learning program for the fall and I signed up for the remote learning alternative because, for example, I worry that my child might contract COVID-19 and bring it home to the family. Since my child will be at home, may I take paid leave under the FFCRA in these circumstances? 

No, you are not eligible to take paid leave under the FFCRA because your child’s school is not “closed” due to COVID–19 related reasons; it is open for your child to attend. FFCRA leave is not available to take care of a child whose school is open for in-person attendance. If your child is home not because his or her school is closed, but because you have chosen for the child to remain home, you are not entitled to FFCRA paid leave.

 

COVID EXPOSURE

What if I am being treated for Covid-19 or being required to quarantine by a Federal, State, or Local government?

  • Employees diagnosed or required to quarantine by a Federal, State, or local government order as it relates to COVID-19 will be eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
  • If the employee’s absence extends beyond the 2 weeks permitted under FFCRA benefits, the employee may use their accrued sick leave.

What if a family member in my household is being treated for COVID-19 or required to quarantine by the local or state health department?

The employee may be eligible for up to two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine.

 

WHAT IF I AM UNABLE OR UNWILLING TO RETURN?

What if I am uncomfortable with physically returning to my assignment during the pandemic?

When the Board of Education votes to return using the hybrid/in-person format, employees should anticipate returning physically to their job assignment. Employees may seek an approved leave under Federal, State, and/or Master Agreement provisions. 

What if I have an immediate family member living in my household with an underlying medical condition not related to COVID-19 that impacts my desire to physically return to my assignment?

Employees may seek an approved leave under the Family Medical Leave Act or request an approved leave under the provisions of the Master Agreement.

What if I have exhausted all available leave and my FFRCA or FMLA job protection has expired, what do I do now?

Employees may seek an alternative leave available under their Master Agreement provisions, request a leave of absence, retire, or resign from their positions.

 

Employee FAQs:

Is there specific information from our health insurance provider regarding coronavirus (COVID-19)?? 

Yes.  Our medical plan carrier has provided information with regards to testing, treatment and receiving care during the coronavirus pandemic that was sent in an emailed employee memo.  You may access that information here: https://www.carrollk12.org/admin/hr/Pages/COVID-19-.aspx

If employees apply for leave under FFCRA, what documentation is required?

The Department of Labor has issued guidelines on documentation employees will need to provide as well as documentation employers are required to keep on file for employees who have take leave under FFCRA.  Questions #15 and #16 on the FFCRA Questions & Answers page of the Department of Labor's website specifically address the documentation employees will need to provide and employers will need to keep on file.

What precautions should I take at work?

All employees should follow the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for social distancing.  The MDH guidelines are posted in each CCPS building, but in general employees should remain six feet apart and avoid direct contact with others.  In addition employees should follow good hygiene protocols from the federal government and other authoritative sources.  These include:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap for 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching your face;
  • Wear medical or cloth masks to protect others from your germs and
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue and then throw away the tissue, or into your elbow.

In response to the Carroll County Health Department COVID-19 release, dated April 29, 2020, effective May 4th all Carroll County Public School employees that physically report to work will be required to wear facial coverings at all times.  This action is in support of Governor Hogan’s - Maryland Strong Roadmap to Recovery.  

Employees may wear a facial covering of their choosing as long as it confirms with previously established guidelines for professional attire.  If you do not have a facial covering and will physically report, you should contact your immediate supervisor and a covering will be provided.  

We continue to recommend the benefits of social distancing.  Employees should stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people and wash hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds. 

What do I do if I have been or believe I have been exposed to COVID-19?

You should make sure to inform your supervisor if you are sick.

The MDH stresses that “The recommendations for what you should do if you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID19 depend on what type of contact you had with the person diagnosed with COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time. All people, especially close contacts, should carefully monitor for any signs of illness, check their temperature twice a day and if illness or a temperature of 100.4F or greater develops, they should immediately isolate themselves from other people and call a doctor for advice. Current CDC guidance also recommends that if you have had close contact with a confirmed case, you should stay home from work or school for 14 days after the last exposure to monitor for symptoms and contact your health care provider.

What do I do if I believe I have COVID-19 symptoms?

We encourage all employees to monitor themselves for symptoms associated with COVID-19.  Details on COVID-19 symptoms are located on the CDC’s website which also has a self-checker that will help you make decisions and decide about appropriate medical care. 

Per the Maryland Department of Health “people who are mildly ill should not go to emergency departments. Mildly ill people should stay home and contact their health care provider by phone for guidance. Like all laboratory tests, testing for COVID-19 is a clinical decision made [only] by a health care provider.”

“Please keep in mind that a health care provider’s decision to order COVID-19 testing is based on several factors, including clinical judgment, availability of testing supplies and ability to safely collect specimens for testing.” “Testing for COVID-19 may not be appropriate for everyone. Testing availability will expand as more testing supplies become available.

What do I do if I am being tested for COVID-19?

If you are tested for COVID-19, the clinician who orders your test, or who collects your specimens for testing should provide instructions for when and how to obtain test results.  There are general CDC guidelines about when to discontinue isolation but you should always follow the advice of your clinician.

Please inform your immediate supervisor and Human Resources.  If you are self-isolating due to COVID-19 testing, you will qualify for leave.  Leave information may be accessed on our website.

When may I return to work if I have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19?

The decision about when to return to work is made by your health care provider, who may obtain consultation from the local health department. The CDC website has general guidance:

How to Discontinue Home Isolation

Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings (Interim Guidance)

If you have other questions or concerns, you may contact the Carroll County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center 410-876-4848 (7 days a week, 8 AM to 5 PM).  Please utilize authoritative resources for the most recent and accurate information about COVID-19:

Carroll County Health Department at https://cchd.maryland.gov/covid-19/

Maryland Department of Health FAQ about testing

CDC General COVID-19 Site

WHO General COVID-19 Site has global information

In addition, many myths are addressed by the WHO MythBusters.

 

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our employees as we continue to work through this situation together.  Please continue to consult this Q&A document as we will update when appropriate.

If you have specific questions, please contact your principal or supervisor.  You may also contact members of the Human Resources department at HumanResources@carrollk12.org.

 

Employee Assistance Program:

The Coronavirus has presented a challenging time for all of us. When it seems things are so focused on helping others, remember you cannot do that important work unless you also help yourself. You may have increased anxieties related to yourself or a loved one contracting the illness or you may be grieving the loss of a loved one. In addition, social distancing can create or increase feelings of loneliness, withdrawal, or depression. 

The Carroll County Public Schools' Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available for all employees as well as their dependents and household members. The EAP is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  This program is designed to assist employees, dependents, and household members in seeking services such as legal services, financial services, interactive will presentation, identity recovery, child care/elder care, daily living services, short-term counseling, referrals, prevention programs, and organizational services. These services are administered through Deer Oaks EAP and are both free and confidential. 

Deer Oaks EAP Services Brochure

To access these services please use the following methods:

Phone: 1-866-327-2400

Email: eap@deeroaks.com

Website: www.deeroakseap.com (username and password: carrollk12)

 

Information Regarding Aetna:

Our medical plan carrier has provided the following information with regards to testing, treatment and receiving care during the coronavirus pandemic:      

Effective immediately, Aetna members will have access to the following resources:

  1. Aetna will waive co-pays for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This policy will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be done in any approved laboratory location. Aetna will waive the member costs associated with diagnostic testing at any authorized location.
  2. For the next 90 days, Aetna will offer zero co-pay telemedicine visits for any reason. Aetna members should use telemedicine as their first line of defense in order to limit potential exposure in physician offices. Cost sharing will be waived for all virtual visits through Aetna-covered Teladoc offerings and in-network providers delivering synchronous virtual care (live video-conferencing).
  3. Through Aetna's Healing Better program, members who are diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive a care package containing CVS over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms. The package will also include personal and household cleaning supplies to help keep others in the home protected from potential exposure.  Through existing care management programs, Aetna will proactively reach out to members most at-risk for COVID-19. Care managers will walk members through what they can do to protect themselves, where to get information on the virus, and where to go to get tested.
  4. CVS Pharmacy will waive charges for home delivery of prescription medications. With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraging people at higher risk for COVID-19 complications to stay at home as much as possible, this is a convenient option to avoid coming to the pharmacy for refills or new prescriptions.
  5. Aetna will now offer 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions to members where allowable by law at any pharmacy during this crisis.
  6. Aetna will waive early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members where allowable by law.

 

CVS Health/Aetna  is implementing the following programs to educate members about COVID-19 and help address any associated anxiety and stress:

  1. Opening Crisis Response Aetna members who may be experiencing anxiety related to COVID-19.
  2. Expanding 24x7 access to the Aetna Nurse Medical Line for all Aetna members.

Anyone presenting symptoms compatible with COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately.