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April 2020 Newsletter
A Message From the Administrator

I want to say thank you to all of those who are doing their part to slow the spread of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus by complying with Governor Little’s Stay-At-Home Order. As this situation is rapidly changing and brings uncertainty to the state, it is important to remember that we are all in this together and we need to commit ourselves to keeping each other safe and preserving the resources within our communities.

DHR has been working hard to provide a hub for all workforce related guidance. These resources can be found on the DHR webpage, specifically the COVID-19 Workforce Guidance tab. Here is where you will be able to find the most updated documents, policies, communication, and templates for your agency. 

In collaboration with the Office of the Governor, DHR is hosting weekly calls with HR Leadership, Directors, Agency Heads, and University Presidents to quickly address all questions and barriers agencies are experiencing. DHR’s top priority is to continue sending the most updated information to agencies as they navigate this situation. 

Many changes have happened since the first confirmed case announced by Governor Little on Friday, March 13. It is important to stay current through credible resources with updated and accurate information. Be sure to check the Governor’s Official Resources for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) website frequently for up-to-date information regarding the total situation of the pandemic in the state. 

As your agency moves forward, please continue to make contact and communicate with your agency’s DHR consultant for questions and workforce guidance.

Stay well!

Warmest regards,

Susan E. Buxton
Administrator
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Effective April 1, 2020, congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA provides expansions to the FMLA, which includes an additional qualifying event, and establishes a new law, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) for qualifying employees. The expansions of the FMLA and the EPSLA expire on December 31, 2020.

Agencies are required to update their mandatory posting related to these expanded rights related to FFCRA by April 1, 2020 (unless otherwise directed, postings should be removed no later than January 1, 2021). Mandatory postings are available at: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/posters.

Because this is a new law and further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division is forthcoming, Agencies should consult with their assigned legal counsel, DHR and the material published on the DOL website.

For specific information regarding the FFCRA and how it provides benefits and options to employees, please refer to page 10 of the Statewide COVID-19 Policy.
 
Idaho Division of Human Resources Update: COVID-19 Information, Workforce Guidance, and FAQ
As the COVID-19 situation rapidly changes nationally, it is of the upmost importance to stay informed through credible sources.

The Office of the Governor has been diligently updating the Idaho Official Resources for Novel Coronavirus webpage with updated information and announcements of upcoming press conferences. Governor Little’s staff has also been timely in the release of additional information on the Office of the Governor’s webpage and Press Releases webpage.

Although communication is always forthcoming, we strongly suggest the public to continue referring to the above webpages for the most updated and accurate information of the COVID-19 situation in Idaho.

DHR has created a tab within their own site titled COVID-19 Workforce Guidance. This is where state employees are able to find the most updated and accurate statewide and federal workforce guidance. 

Resources on this page include:
  • Governor’s Office Guidance Documents
  • DHR Guidance Documents
  • Temporary Rules and Amendments Related to COVID-19
  • Rule Waivers Related to COVID-19
  • Communication Templates/Samples and Forms 
  • Resources with Tips for Teleworking Success
  • Resources to Successfully Manage Telework
  • FAQs
  • Additional Resources from credible organizations

Please always refer to DHR’s COVID-19 Workforce Guidance webpage for the most updated and accurate information. 
 
DHR has moved all face to face trainings to an online format amid COVID-19 concerns. Should CDC recommendations of social distancing continue past April, we are at the ready to facilitate May trainings online as well. DHR will be utilizing Zoom Meetings for online learning. Participants registered for training courses will be sent information on how to join the Zoom meeting for their appropriate class.
 
The following DHR courses have been moved to an online meeting:
  • Supervisory Academy: April 9th, 16th, and 23rd  and April 28th, 29th, and 30th
  • Respectful Workplace: April 14th online via the DHR website
  • Certified Public Manager Program (must be currently enrolled):  April 1&2, 14 & 15, and 21 & 22
  • To register/view these classes and all classes offered by DHR, visit https://dhr.idaho.gov/trainings/.
The Statewide Cybersecurity Mandatory training was due by yesterday, March 31st. Cyber-attacks have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began and we must be even more vigilant in protecting our state network and infrastructure. Monthly phishing tests will also continue and are scheduled through the remainder of the calendar year. 
 
If you have any questions about our online facilitation plan, please contact Ashleigh Lopez, DHR Chief Learning Officer, at Ashleigh.lopez@dhr.idaho.gov.
Office of Group Insurance Update:
 MDLive & EAP Resources

(Images provided by the Office of Group Insurance)
MDLive is a covered service under the medical plan for all enrolled members.This benefit allows state employees to access a doctor or counselor 24/7 from their home, office, or on-the-go. 

Several agencies have reached out for materials they could provide to their employees about MDLive’s telehealth service. Please see the below flyer available from the Office of Group Insurance.
The EAP is available to all employees and their dependents regardless of their enrollment in any other benefit. You can access this benefit 24/7 by phone, email or on the mobile app.  https://ogi.idaho.gov/counseling/
 
Members can refer to the plan documents on the OGI website, https://ogi.idaho.gov/medical/, for specifics about the copay or cost-sharing for this service based on their plan type.
April 2020: Wellness
The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is anxiety-producing and the constant uncertainty can have a negative impact on mental health. With so many unknowns, now is the time to focus on what you can control and prioritize the things that truly matter. Use our helpful resources to keep your well-being at the top of your list.

April’s focus is maintaining well-being during uncertainty.  
 
Health Matters Heroes
This year, Health Matters created a nomination based award called the Health Matters Hero. Starting in January 2020, individuals were able to make nominations for the award. The first Health Matters Hero was picked for February 2020.

A Health Matters Hero inspires those around them and contributes to a culture of well-being for fellow State of Idaho employees.  They lead by example and are a model to other employees; consistently exhibit behaviors that support physical, mental, and social well-being; and actively support the well-being of those around them.
 
Nominate someone you know who is making a positive impact on health and well-being within their workplace to be the next Health Matters Hero.

April Health Matters Hero: Pete Petersen

Read Pete’s story! 
 
March Health Matters Hero: Stephanie Holt
February Health Matters Hero: Allison Palmer

Read Allison’s story!
April Blood Drive
Please continue to donate blood!
The American Red Cross is currently facing a severe blood shortage. Governor Little is calling on Idahoans to make appointments to donate blood as soon as they can. “As a long-time blood donor and supporter of the American Red Cross, I urge healthy citizens of Idaho to step up and help their neighbors by making an appointment to donate blood as soon as possible,” Governor Little said. The blood shortage could impact patients who need surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients suffering from cancer.
 
Donating blood is a safe process and people should not hesitate to give or receive blood. There have been no reported cases of any respiratory virus being transmitted by blood, including this coronavirus (COVID-19). Watch this video on the safety and need for blood donations

Additional precautions to ensure the health of donors and staff include:
  • All donors are temperature-screened before being permitted into the blood drive. If bodily temperature is above 99.5°F, the donor is asked to donate another time instead.
  • All Red Cross staff are asked to check their temperature before presenting to work, and will not report for work if they are showing any symptoms or test above 99.5°F.
  • Blood donors are asked to use hand sanitizer before and during the donation process.
  • Staff wear gloves throughout the donation process, changing gloves between every donor.
  • Donor beds are sanitized between every donor.
  • Medically-recommended space between donors wherever possible.
Eligible and healthy donors are strongly urged to make an appointment at https://www.redcrossblood.org/ or attend the upcoming State employee blood drive:
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