From: ^Human Resources Internal CommunicationsNote that this lists only pregnancy and having an underlying health condition as reasons for allowing teleworking but being over 60 alone is a major risk factor for Covid-19 mortality and morbidity. Note also that hearing offices and field offices are exempted from telework. What the hell is the matter with Andrew Saul? This isn't doing what the Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to do and that's probably not enough.
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2020 2:37 PM
Subject: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - Update - March 13, 2020
A Message to All SSA Employees
We are sharing an update on the agency’s approach to the evolving 2019-Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States. We have made updates to the Medical Office COVID-19 FAQs page. To ensure the safety of our employees, we are taking several key actions, effective immediately, as described below.
· The agency is making a Work at Home Quarantine (WAHQ) option available to employees who cannot report to the office due to quarantine restrictions, and for parents whose children have experienced a school closure related to COVID-19. Please review the Medical Office COVID-19 FAQs and consult your supervisor for additional information if one of these situations applies to you.
· Employees who are high risk for complications from COVID-19 (e.g., pregnant or with underlying health conditions) may request to work at home under WAHQ. Please talk with your supervisor about your need.
· The agency is reverting to previous (pre-March) telework schedules for all components except field components of the Office of Operations and Office of Hearings Operations. The Office of Operations and Office of Hearings Operations will designate field telework levels based on geographic conditions and public service needs. With this rapidly evolving situation, we continue to assess where additional telework may be appropriate.
In certain locations, office closures may be necessary. You will be notified if you are in one of these affected offices. The agency may order employees to work from home with or without a telework agreement when offices are closed. In this case, employee’s homes temporarily become their duty stations under evacuation rules.
The CDC has also updated the list of high-risk countries for international travel. If you are returning from one of these countries, you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or suspect you have been exposed due to close contact with an affected individual (e.g., a family member, someone living in your home), please stay home and consult your supervisor for further instructions.
As a reminder, the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to practice frequent hand washing and/or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, avoid close contact with people who are ill, and cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue to prevent the spread of illness.
We will update you as we receive additional information. Please direct questions to your supervisor.