COVID-19 Related Staff Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
  1. What preventive measures should I take?
    District employees should adhere to safety measures including maintaining social distancing to the fullest extent possible, wearing a protective face covering such as a mask or face shield, and frequent hand washing. District employees should also conduct a daily health check utilizing the Staff Self-Screener Tool , and stay home from work if not feeling well.

  2. What do I do if I am a Confirmed or Suspected Case, or if I am a Contact of a Confirmed/Expected Case?
    Employees should refer to the appropriate Confirmed-,Suspected-,Contact-Flow Charts  for specific guidance. Anytime an employee has had a confirmed positive test, is symptomatic, or has been in contact with a confirmed or suspected case, they should immediately contact their immediate supervisor for specific instructions on appropriate steps.

  3. What are my leave options if I have to quarantine or isolate for a COVID-related reason?
    Please refer to the chart that is included in the Confirmed-,Suspected-,Contact-Flow Charts document for various leave options for staff members. In many cases, employees may be eligible for Family First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) leave for up to ten (10) days. FFCRA leave expires on December 31, 2020, and time off for FFCRA leave does not count as service time for PSERS.

    FFCRA Informational Bulletin from US Department of Labor

  4. Is Work-from-Home (i.e. Remote Work) an option for me if I have to quarantine or isolate?

    1. Administrators, Support Staff, and Confidential Employees: The determination of whether or not remote work is a feasible option for an employee who must quarantine or isolate will be determined on a case by case basis by the immediate supervisor of the employee based on whether the essential job functions of the employee during the time of quarantine or isolation can be performed remotely and an whether an plan to accommodate essential functions that cannot be performed can be made without putting undue hardship on the District.

    2. Teachers and other Non-Teaching Professionals: Please refer to the Administrative Regulations that have been developed for work-from-home criteria for Professional Staff during a pandemic or local health emergency for guidance.

  5. What should I do if I am in need of a leave or accommodation due to having an underlying condition that puts me at higher risk?
    Any need to take a professional leave of absence or to have a reasonable accommodation made based on health reasons should be first discussed between the employee and their healthcare provider. Appropriate medical certification will be required to determine if the employee has an ADA qualifying disability that would require a reasonable workplace accommodation or leave of absence is warranted. If an employee believes they qualify for an accommodation or leave, they should contact the Assistant Superintendent’s office or the Administrative Assistant for Human Resources (amanda_keefer@southwesternsd.org) to arrange a meeting.

  6. How will my privacy be protected if I am a Confirmed or Suspect case?
    Through the District’s contact tracing efforts, which follow all CDC and Department of Health guidelines, the privacy of all parties involved is protected at all times. Identifying information will only be shared with employees with a need to know (supervising administrators and appropriate district health professionals). Potential contacts will be informed that they have potentially been exposed to a confirmed or suspected individual, but names will not be shared.

  7. Will I be informed if I was in contact with an individual at work who is a Confirmed or Suspected case?
    Any members of the school community that are identified as a contact of a confirmed or probable case will be notified as such, as well as being notified as the appropriate steps that must be taken based on CDC and DOH guidance, while protecting the confidentiality of the individual who is the confirmed or probable case.

  8. What do I do if I have to travel out of the state for a period longer than 24 hours during the time when the states out of state travel order is in place?
    On November 25, 2020, the PA Department of Health issued an order requiring any out of state travelers over age 11 entering PA (including state residents returning home from out of state travel) to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test (within 72 hours of return) or to quarantine for 14 days upon entering/returning with limited exceptions. These exceptions include those traveling for the purposes of work or medical reasons, military personnel under a directive of a military authority, travel that is required to comply with a court order (such as child custody), and individuals returning to PA who were outside of the state for less than 24 hours. For more information, visit PA DOH COVID-19 Information for Travelers page.

    Although the District cannot prevent employees from traveling out of state in their personal time, it is the District's stance that we are strongly encouraging everyone to avoid out of state travel that is non-essential or not necessary in order to help mitigate the risk of spread and to keep our community safe.

    If you must travel out of state for a period that extends beyond 24 hours and does not meet one of the exceptions identified by the state, please take the following steps:
    1. Prior to traveling, inform your direct supervisor so that appropriate plans can be made for the period of time you may need to quarantine or need to stay home while awaiting negative test results, including work from home options (may be available depending on the essential functions of your job and/or modality of instruction the District is in at the time) or other leave options.
    2. Prior to returning to work, complete and submit the Employee Return From Travel Form.


Non-Essential Professional Travel:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in an effort to protect the risk of exposure and safety of students and staff, approval of non-essential professional travel is suspended at this time. For specific information about non-essential professional travel, please refer to the Non-Essential Professional and Educational Travel Memo issued on August 01, 2020.

Telemedicine Option:

South Western's health care plan includes the ability to use Telemedicine through American Well (AmWell) and/or Doctors on Demand (DoD). This may be an appealing medical consultation option for employees, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the district's QHDHP, the deductible has to be met first and then members would pay a $20 copay for Telemedicine services. However, in response to the national COVID-19 pandemic, Highmark is expanding the scope of the cost-share relief program for contracted telemedicine services and virtual medical visits. The Program will waive cost-sharing and copayments on all services under AmWell or DoD (general medicine, behavioral health and telederm) for 90 days. If you are unsure how to contact a telemedicine provider, please call the Highmark customer service number on the back of your ID card.

Telemedicine Options; Further Information:

Helpful Links & Resources:

 

Additional Resources/Services:

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357
  • Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline – 1-888-772-7227
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline – 1-800-799-7233

 

Wellspan Employee Assistance Program:

All South Western employees continue to have access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Wellspan. Additionally, the Wellspan EAP has developed a comprehensive resource site for coping with the uncertainty and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view Wellspan EAP's COVID-19 resource site.

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