Wisconsin DWD Emergency Information
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
As we settle into our new work at home environments and our socially distanced office environments, we are beginning to move into our new business-as-usual routines. To continue our health and safety objectives in this sustainability phase of our COVID19 response, please read DOA Secretary Brennan's email below for updated COVID19 guidance regarding the proper use of face coverings.
Thank you for your continued hard work serving the people of Wisconsin.
DWD Incident Management
Message from DOA Secretary, Joel Brennan
As the COVID-19 virus has reached community spread levels throughout the United States, specific regional travel restrictions are no longer relevant. All in-state business travel, regardless of location, has been limited to essential operational needs where no reasonable alternative is available. Regarding personal travel, all employees should follow the Safer at Home order.
Employees with the following symptoms are typically sick and you should contact your health care provider. In most cases, you will be advised to self-isolate by staying home and not coming to work until they are free of fever (>100.4°F), signs of a fever, AND respiratory symptoms (for example, cough, shortness of breath) for at least three days (72 hours) without the use of fever-reducing medicine AND seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared:
- Flu-like symptoms* [fever of 100.4° F or higher (with an oral thermometer)
- Cough or sore throat*
- Headache or body aches
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Symptoms of acute respiratory illness (fever of 100.4° F or higher using an oral thermometer), coughing, shortness of breath*
* Denotes COVID-19 Symptoms
Finally, the Department of Health Services has released guidance related to the use of cloth face coverings. Employees of DOC, DHS and DVA should follow the specific direction given by the agency and may be required to wear other masks, or personal protective equipment, if available. Where other direction is not in place by an agency, employees can wear clean, work appropriate, fabric face coverings, or masks, to work but are not required to do so.
Simple cloth face coverings may be helpful in slowing the spread of the virus to others. This is particularly true for people who may have the virus and do not know it. However, wearing a cloth face mask does not replace DHS recommendations for physical distancing and frequent hand washing. Key points include:
- Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Make sure the mask covers your mouth and nose with no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Do not touch your mask while wearing it; if you do, clean your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp.
- Always wear your cloth reusable mask with the same side facing outwards.
- Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Continue staying at least 6 feet away from other people.
- Continue following the recommendations for social distancing: avoid crowds, stay at home as much as possible, and just leave for essential tasks (e.g. work, grocery shopping, going to the doctor, getting medications).
The DHS COVID website has additional information about using cloth face coverings as masks including making, wearing, and washing of the masks.
JOEL BRENNAN | Secretary
Department of Administration
Main: (608) 266-1741
Monday, March 23, 2020
State employee colleagues,
We appreciate everyone’s continued dedication during these unprecedented times and the COVID-19 pandemic. As Governor Evers announced today, it is critical that Wisconsin residents stay at home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is vitally important that we take the steps necessary to control the spread of COVID-19, ensure our state employees are safe, and maintain our ability to provide essential government services.
Beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all non-essential state employees shall work from home. Public access to state buildings will be restricted to those areas in which the public is accessing essential services. Employee access to the buildings will be maintained as if it were a weekend.
Additionally, effective March 25, 2020, we are adjusting the emergency administrative leave program to reflect these additional steps that are necessary to preserve public health. Non-essential employees, who are unable to work from home as determined by their supervisor, will be eligible to use up to 80 hours of paid administrative leave. Non-essential employees, using emergency administrative leave under this provision, must be available to work as directed by their supervisor and may be directed to support various activities around the state’s COVID-19 response efforts.
We understand this is a stressful time for many of us. It is important to know you aren’t alone and that we can and will provide support in the days to come. The following resources are available to all state employees:
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources remain available to state employees. These comprehensive, confidential services include financial consultations, as well as counseling that can be provided over the phone and/or face-to-face for the topics of:
- Stress, depression, and personal problems
- Balancing work and personal needs
- Family and relationship concerns
- Alcohol or drug dependency
- Workplace conflicts
- You can call 1-800-985-5590 to speak to a trained crisis counselor. English speakers can also text TalkWithUS to 66747.
- If you elect coverage through Employee Trust Funds (ETF), they have compiled important links onto one landing page.
- Call 211 or 877-947-2211 to be connected up with nonprofit and government services in your area, including food pantries.
Emergency Administrative Leave
The state is authorizing for certain employees the use of up to 80 hours of paid administrative leave to cover pandemic-related time away from work. Eligible employees include:
- All non-essential limited term employees except those limited term employees hired in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or
- All permanent, project, and appointed employees with no available leave balances other than future legal holiday, or
- All non-essential permanent, project, and appointed employees who, as determined by their supervisor, are unable to telework.
Note: Employees who are required to be present for operational necessity are ineligible unless the employer directed them home for flu-like symptoms or the employee is under quarantine at the direction of a health care provider or the employer.
Accordingly, eligible employees may record up to a total of 80 hours, or prorated portion thereof, of paid administrative leave during the period of this public health emergency. This leave may be used by eligible employees for:
- Providing self or family care in relation to the pandemic, including but not limited to self-quarantine, self-isolation, being sent home with flu-like symptoms, care of an immediate family member, and child care due to school/day care closures, or
- Covering normal work hours for those employees who, as determined by their supervisor, are unable to telework. Employees utilizing administrative leave under this provision must be available to work and may be assigned duties related to the state’s COVID-19 response.
JOEL BRENNAN | Secretary
Monday, March 23, 2020
Hello DWD Staff,
Thank you for all of your hard work over these last few weeks. We understand that this is a rapidly changing situation and we appreciate your continued exceptional service to the people of Wisconsin.
Governor Evers will share additional instructions over the next 24 hours. In the meantime, we are asking all DWD employees to diligently take steps to prepare to work from home.
Starting today, we are asking anyone who can work from home to please work at home. Please speak with your supervisor and develop a plan that works for your team and ensures that we are still able to provide the agency's essential functions.
Again, we understand that this is a rapidly changing situation. We appreciate everyone's hard work and understanding during this time.
If you have additional questions, please go to the DWD Emergency Information Website for the most recent updates pertaining to our employees. The website is http://dwdemergencyinfo.wi.gov and is printed on the back of your employee ID. Remember to also continue going to the DWD Work Web and public internet pages for the links to DWD's COVID 19 response, guidance, and FAQs.
Thank you for your continued service.
Caleb Frostman, Secretary
Sunday, March 15, 2020
We wanted to let you know that all state office buildings and our leased DWD buildings are open and DWD is servicing the public. We understand the situation regarding COVID-19 taking place in Wisconsin and throughout the country continues to change and we will continue to communicate as updates occur. In alignment with DOA guidance, all teleworking must be approved by your supervisor, so if you are not planning or unable to be in the office, please contact your direct supervisor immediately and develop a work plan.
Direct all COVID-19 questions to: COOPPlanningCOVID19@dwd.wisconsin.gov