The Postal Service continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. The following information is provided to assist you as managers and supervisors to communicate with your employees.
Key Facts to Emphasize:
- While there is still much to learn about the unfolding situation involving the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low for the general American public.
- If you have employees exhibiting these symptoms: fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath, provide them with a surgical mask and require them to go home and seek medical attention. Then, inform the District Occupational Health Nurse Administrator (OHNA) immediately (OHNA Contact Information).
- The best preventive strategies against COVID-19 to communicate to your staff are:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid being exposed through close contact (i.e., within six feet) with other people to the extent feasible.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Immediately report any communication you receive from the Public Health Office or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning an employee’s health to your District Human Resources (HR) Manager and District OHNA. Your District HR Manager and District OHNA will provide you with instructions for future action.
- If an employee in your facility has contracted COVID-19 or has been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, contact your District HR Manager or District OHNA for instructions.
- Prior to an employee returning to work after visiting any country identified by the CDC as a level-3 country (currently China, South Korea, Iran, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Ireland, and most other European nations; an exhaustive list of these European nations is available on the CDC’s website) within the past 14 days or from any cruise travel:
- If employees under your authority meet the above criteria, you must immediately inform your District HR Manager and the District OHNA.
- Employees who meet the above criteria must not report to work for a period of 14 days from the date they departed from any of the listed countries, certain European countries, or cruise travel.
- Employees instructed to stay at home under these circumstances will be provided up to 80 hours of administrative leave (TACS Code 086, Other Paid Leave) to cover the employee’s absences. Employees may elect to use annual leave, sick leave, or LWOP (pursuant to ELM 510) to cover the remainder of the 14-day period.
- Employees who develop COVID-19-related symptoms while at home during the 14-day period will be charged sick leave, annual leave, or LWOP (pursuant to ELM 510) after the first 14 days.
- An FMLA packet should be generated for any employee who uses leave in conjunction with COVID-19.
- Allow liberal sick leave usage for employees who are sick.
- Ensure approved hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) is available at work.
- Ensure CDC posters concerning COVID-19 are posted in appropriate locations.
- Deliver stand-up talks regarding COVID-19 in a timely manner.
- Provide the contact information of your District OHNA (list attached) and District HR Manager to all employees under your supervision.
- Provide surgical masks to any employee who requests one, which can be ordered through eBuy Plus.
- Ensure Postal facility is cleaned daily as per the MMO-031-20, Influenza and Coronavirus Cleaning Contingency.
- Only advise other employees, if asked, that an employee has been “cleared” to return to work.
- Ask employees to stay at home without HR review.
- Request medical documentation for employees to return to work unless they are on sick leave pursuant to Employee and Labor Relations Manual (ELM), Section 513.
- Request fitness-for-duty evaluations for employees to return to work.
- Share specific health information about any employee, including an employee who is suspected or who has been confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Make “medical decisions.”
Contact your District HR Manager or District OHNA if you have any questions.
Click here to view/download the “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Updated Supervisor And Management Guidance – March 20, 2020” document.
Click here to view/download the “COVID-19 – Initial Decision Tree” document