Based on the weekly updates regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it is clear that we should be preparing for a spread of this illness, including the potential that it may spread in the community in Hawaii. Federal agencies and employees should seek guidance from their agency leadership.
FEDERAL CORONAVIRUS WEBSITES:
Social media accounts to follow/share include:
Things to Think About for Federal Agencies and Federal Employees:
Questions for consideration:
· Have you considered lines of succession? If employees in key roles become ill, are others prepared to cover those duties? Do you have any choke points or single points of failure?
· Transmission of COVID-19 is generally through contact. If social distancing/quarantine is required, how will your agency accomplish its mission?
· If your agency will use telework as a strategy, are telework agreements in place and current?
· For public facing agencies, how will you ensure service to the public if employees become ill?
· Can telework be expanded to cover employees who are not currently eligible to telework?
· Will your network be able to handle the traffic if everyone is required to telework? Have you conducted a stress test of your systems?
· How will you communicate decisions to employees regarding telework and/or return to your work site?
· How will you communicate with employees during any time the regular work site is closed?
· How will you communicate any changes in service or operating hours at public service sites to the public ?
These questions are a starting point, but there may be other considerations that your agency may need to include in your plans. Please review your plans to identify any gaps or necessary updates.
Please note: This is an advisory only to REVIEW your plans. Preparation is important and we need to take steps now so if it becomes necessary to activate plans, we can continue with as little disruption as possible.
From the CDC’s “Prevention and Treatment” page:
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
•Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
•Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
•Stay home when you are sick.
•Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
•Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
•Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
•CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
•Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
•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.
•If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
Have you had your seasonal flu shot? This has been a particularly severe late flu season in Hawaii. A flu immunization won’t protect against the COVID-19 infection, however it might help keep you out of the medical system or hospital, and Hawaii’s health infrastructure and resources could be stressed if community spread of COVID-19 develops here.
Would you like to sign up to receive emergency notifications from the HPFEB? Go to our contact intake form here: