The City is open for business
We are the City, here for our residents – we are open for business! The risk of contracting the virus remains low and the majority of people infected will experience mild symptoms
Time entry remains available via ESS. All employees should continue to report time, and supervisors should be reviewing and approving time as normal.
- There is a time code for employees working on COVID-19 initiatives. Please use this code for any hours worked on COVID-19, for example attending meetings, research, drafting documents, etc.
- There is a time reporting code for teleworking. Please use the “Teleworking Hours Worked” time reporting code for hours worked teleworking
The City is encouraging telework at this time for employees who are able to do so. The City has issued teleworking guidelines to your supervisors and managers, and IT is prepared to assist you with technology questions. If you are approved for telework, please work with your supervisor to ensure City services and operations are still functional and moving forward.
All in-person trainings have been suspended. Courses will resume as soon as possible. Trainings offered through NeoGov are still available, and employees are encouraged to participate in those online trainings as appropriate.
The new year of the City’s mentoring program, MentorConnect, was recently started, but group mentoring will be temporarily suspended. One on one mentoring may proceed remotely for the time being.
About the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)
What is it?
The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a new virus that has become a global pandemic outbreak of respiratory illness.
COVID-19 is able to spread from person-to-person and has caused disease ranging from mild to severe, including disease resulting in death.
How does it spread?
COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads, the severity of illness it causes, and to what extent it may spread in the United States.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of coronavirus infection include fever, cough and/or shortness of breath. Symptoms usually appear within two to 14 days after exposure.
Where can I get more information?
Please visit the El Paso County Public Health Website for more information.
Health, wellness and prevention
What do I do if I feel sick?
Please stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others. If you believe you may have been infected by the virus, you should contact your medical provider before visiting a facility.
How long should I stay home if I am sick?
The CDC recommends that an employee with symptoms stay home and not come to work until they have been free of a temperature higher than 100.4 F, for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine and other symptoms have improved.
How do I help prevent the spread of viruses, including coronavirus?
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover your nose and mouth with tissue or sleeve when coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Get an annual flu vaccine if you have not had one, to provide protection against the flu.
- Make a plan that looks at what you would do if you or a family member would have to stay home sick for several days.
Should I wear a mask?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend that masks be worn by people who are well. The CDC does recommend that masks be worn for people who have virus symptoms so that they can limit the spread of the virus. You can find updated guidance from the CDC on their website.
I feel anxious about coronavirus, or I have family and friends in an area directly affected. How can I manage my concern?
We understand that this may be a stressful time. Remember that our Employee Assistance Program always available to you (in person, tele-video or via phone) – including counseling, health, wellness and other resources. You can access Profile EAP at www.ProfileEAP.org or use our Teledoc’s Behavioral Health Counselors at www.teladoc.com.
What precautions should I take if I work closely with customers?
- Practice social distancing by staying six feet or more apart.
- Do not high five, shake hands or have close physical contact.
- Wash your hands more frequently or use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face and nose.
- Clean and disinfect your work area on a more regular basis.
I am hosting a large internal meeting. What precautions should I take?
Consider convening meetings in alternative ways, whether that be by video conferencing, conference calls, or other digital tools. If the meeting must be in person, please try to find ways to create more physical space between meeting attendees. Ultimately, you should plan your meetings based on the operational need, legal obligation and/or regulatory function of the department. Have hand sanitizer available.
I am hosting a public meeting. Should I cancel it?
The CDC is recommending that businesses consider hosting public meetings via teleconference. The City has Webex available for employee use in scheduling and hosting meetings via teleconference. If unable to teleconference, consider postponing your public meeting. If postponement is not an option, limit your public meetings to only essential attendees and employ social distancing techniques. Ultimately, you should plan your meetings based on the operational need, legal obligation and/or regulatory function of the department. Have hand sanitizer available.
How does the City clean and disinfect its facilities?
The City has increased the number of hand sanitizer stations in high-traffic City buildings. The City and its cleaning contractors will continue routine cleaning. Janitorial staff and contractors have also been instructed to increase the frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces, such as elevator buttons and door handles. The City is also placing hand washing reminders from the CDC in all City cleaned or contracted buildings. We are asking employee to do their part to keep your workplace clean. Now more than ever it’s crucial to develop and practice good health habits that prevent the spread of germs. Employees are advised to keep their individual workspaces clean. Please consider regular cleaning of your keyboards, phones, and individual desks. If you have questions, please contact your supervisor.
Sick time and leave policies
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act)
When can I use accrued sick time?
If you or your family member is sick, you may utilize your accrued sick leave. Please follow all normal policies and practices and ask you supervisor if you have questions.
What if I come to work when I am sick?
Managers are being advised to send sick employees home.
What if I don’t have any sick time?
If you have exhausted your accrued sick leave, there may be other options such as sick leave advance, short term disability or other benefits. If you are not eligible for paid leave, you may need to take time off. Please follow all normal policies and practices and ask your supervisor or contact the HR Solutions Center if you have questions.
What if my child’s school or care provider is closed?
If you need to stay home to care for a dependent, you should take vacation, compensatory time off or personal leave. Please follow all normal policies and practices and ask you supervisor or contact the HR Solutions Center if you have questions.
Should I go on my planned business trip?
All non-essential business travel is suspended at this time. As always, business travel should be limited to critical City business. Employees with pre-planned business trips should contact vendors to discuss cancellation and reimbursement policies for travel. Any business essential travel must be approved through your chain-of-command up to and including the Chief of Staff.
What do I do if I have traveled to an area where COVID-19 is spreading?
If you travel to high risk areas (as identified by the CDC) they may be subject to a minimum of a 14-day quarantine upon return. If placed on quarantine the employee may be allowed to work from home, if eligible. If they are not eligible, we may place the employee on a leave of absence if it is determined that they cannot return to work.
Personal Travel Guidance
With Spring Break upon us, employees may have travel plans and may inquire what to consider. The City of Colorado Springs will not direct or restrict employee activities or travel while they are off duty or on vacation. However, employees may want to consider the following guidance provided by the CDC:
Coronavirus and Travel in the United States - CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, if there are other travelers with COVID-19. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.
Things for Employees to consider before travel, provided by CDC:
Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be at higher risk of exposure if you travel there.
Contact the HR Solutions Center with any questions regarding your benefits.