Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is a novel type of coronavirus (COVID-19) that has spread to over 100 countries. There are over a hundred thousand cases worldwide and thousands of deaths. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic on March 11, 2020. Governor Evers declared this a Public Health Emergency in Wisconsin on March 12, 2020. County Executive Parisi declared a County Emergency on March 16, 2020.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, please monitor your official county email and the sources below for more information.

If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice.

The resources below are designed to provide common answers to frequent questions from county employees.
For information on guidance to the public, please consult https://covid19.countyofdane.com

Administration

  • Read the Dane County COVID Administrative Practice Manual: The full policy is available here. The Questions and Answers Document is available here.
  • The Department of Administration has Issued an Update to the Travel Restrictions, Self-Monitoring, and Return to Work: Read that policy here.
  • Travel: All non-essential travel should be suspended.
    • On March 10, 2020, the Department of Administration recommended that employees do not travel domestically to states with more than 10 cases of COVID-19. We developed a policy that required that employees that traveled to states with more than 10 cases would not be permitted to return to work for 14 days after returning to Dane County.
    • On March 16, 2020 the Department of Administration updated that policy based upon updated guidance from Public Health. If any employee chooses to travel to a state that has on-going community transmission of COVID-19, as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the date prior to your travel, the employee is required to inform their supervisor, and will not be allowed to return to your workplace for 14 calendar days after your return to Dane County.
    • As of 3/24/2020 - states with community spread include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
    • For more information, view the memo about the policy or read the Frequently Asked Questions about the March 16 update. View the Temporary exception to the Employee Benefit Handbook.
  • Workers Compensation: If an employee is injured while working – even while working from home – Dane County’s self-insured Workers’ Comp program will cover medical bills and lost time related to the injury. If an employee is injured, please follow these guidelines: https://admin.countyofdane.com/risk-management.

Health & Wellness

  • Follow Preventative Measures: These are important no matter where you are. Stay home if you are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Please cover your cough with your elbow – not your hands. Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people. If you are in an office, close your door. Keep a distance of 6 feet from others where possible.
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing: Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects. Encourage employees to clean and disinfect their workstation. While Facilities Management will be focusing on disinfecting common surfaces, additional cleaning can help. In response to several departmental requests, Facilities Management has outfitted all of the public-facing reception areas in the buildings we serve with Disinfecting Kits for departmental staff to utilize between routine FM cleaning visits.
  • Wellness Information: During the pandemic, it is important to focus on your physical and mental health. M3 - the County's insurance agent has put together this list of resources

Information Management

  • Using Citrix to Work from Home: Many of Information Management's calls are about setting up a laptop or home computer to work from home. First, please contact your supervisor or your Department's security contact to make sure you are approved for remote access. Second, before users can remotely login to Citrix, users must have an Entrust gridcard and PVN setup. Information Management has put together a step-by-step instruction guide on how to setup Entrust. Third, after users are setup with an Entrust gridcard and PVN they should download the appropriate client. Instructions for both Mac and Windows machines, including links to download the appropriate client are available at: https://www.connect2dane.com/citrix. After downloading the client, users can establish a connection using https://www.connect2dane.com/app-access.
  • Forward your voicemail to another phone: If you are working from home and not in the office, please forward your voicemail to an appropriate phone. Information Management has put together the following instructions to do so. Please note, you must start this process from your office. Also, you can check your county voicemail at any time from any place. Simply call your work number, wait to hear your greeting, press the star/asterisk (*) key, and then enter your voicemail passcode.
  • Information Management is maintaining an additional site to answer other common questions here: https://dane-intranet.connect2dane.com/im-updates
  • Use Dane County Webmail: If you are in Citrix, you can use outlook as if you were on your County device. If you are not in Citrix, use the County's webmail for county email. DO NOT FORWARD YOUR EMAIL TO A PERSONAL ACCOUNT.
  • Open Records: There's been some concern that the use of Citrix exposes employees personal devices to open records. When Employees are using Citrix and County Webmail, Dane County will use the information on these county services in order to answer the open records request. Employees simply do not lose their right to privacy because they work for Dane County -- and/or work remotely for Dane County. When working from home, County Employees should use county services.

Leave

  • Sick Leave Changes: Employees will be permitted to go negative up to what they would earn in the payroll year 2020. Additionally, sick leave and supplemental sick leave can now be used to cover your time away from work while taking care of your children in the absence of childcare.
  • COVID-19 Emergency Leave and COVID-19 Emergency Leave for Emergency Responders and Health Care Workers:
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020 provides that employers with an existing sick leave policy create an Emergency Leave benefit to their employees in addition to what is already provided.
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act exempts Emergency Responders and Health Care providers from receiving this leave.
    • County Employees who are Emergency Responders and Health Care Workers will receive a separate county benefit to provide this leave. Departments employing Emergency Responders and Health Care Workers can deny an employee's use of this leave.
    • County Employees will receive 10 days (80 hours) of COVID-19 Emergency Leave, effective April 2, 2020.
    • For employees who work less than 1.0 FTE, this amount will be calculated based on the average number of hours worked in the prior six months.
    • This emergency leave is available to LTEs – Provided that they have worked for Dane County for the previous 30 days.
    • Employees can use this leave if any of the following apply:
      • The employee has a COVID-19 diagnosis or is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
      • The employee is quarantined (including self-imposed quarantine), at the instruction of a health care provider, employer, or government official in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
      • The employee is caring for an immediate family member who has COVID-19 or is under a quarantine related to COVID-19.
      • The employee is caring for their child or other individual who is unable to care for themselves due to COVID-19 close of their school, child care facility, or other care program.
    • Employees may begin recording COVID-19 Emergency Leave beginning in Pay Period 9B.
    • This leave time will cease on 12/31/2020.
    • This is a one-time Emergency Leave grant. Once the leave is exhausted, employees will not be able to receive additional emergency leave.
    • This time will not accrue.
    • Emergency Responders and Health Care workers who are unable to use this leave will be able to cash it out at the end of the payroll year.
  • Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act:
    • President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18, 2020. This law creates a new Emergency Family Medical Leave and expands the law (referred to as the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act or EFMLEA).
    • Under EFMLEA, Dane County is required to provide 12-weeks of leave to employees to care for the son or daughter (under 18 years of age) of the employee if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider of the child is unavailable due to the public health emergency.
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act exempts Emergency Responders and Health Care providers from receiving this leave. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act exempts Emergency Responders and Health Care providers from receiving this leave. Emergency responders and health care workers are ineligible to use this leave.
    • Employees are able to take this leave starting April 2, 2020.
    • The Department of Administration has updated the Leave of Absence Form. Employees should submit that form to their supervisor and then to Employee Relations. Employees wishing to use the EFMLEA should check “EFMLEA” as the reason for the leave. Leave of Absence Form.
    • Under EFMLEA, the first 10 days of an employee’s leave may consist of unpaid leave, but an employee may choose to substitute any accrued paid leave (vacation, holiday, sick leave, etc.), including the COVID-19 Emergency Leave for such unpaid leave.
    • Following that 10-day period, Dane County will provide employees with Paid EFMLEA for the duration of the leave at rate not less than 2/3 (two-thirds) of the employees regular rate of pay and the number of hours the employee would otherwise normally be scheduled to work. During this time, County employees may not substitute for their accrued leave in order to earn 100% of the time.
    • Limited Term Employees, are eligible for this benefit, provided that they have worked for Dane County in the last 30 days. This leave is available for LTEs.
    • Intermittent use of EFMLEA is permitted.
  • Leave Grid: Employee Relations has put together a leave grid to help you better understand the leaves available.

Flexible Spending

  • Flexible Spending Program: Employees who participated in the dependent care or medical reimbursement flexible spending program in 2019 will now have until June 30, 2020 to submit claims for reimbursement. This is an extension of the March 31, 2020 deadline.
    • Participants can file 2019 claims without documentation prior to the runout deadline if they’re having trouble getting documentation. Employee Benefits Corporation (EBC) can’t approve claims without documentation, but by filing before the deadline, employees can later email them documentation along with a copy of the claim denial within 180 days and EBC can reprocess the claim at that time.
    • EBC encourage participants to submit their claims online or via their mobile app. Electronic claims are guaranteed to get to them, and they send a verification email as soon as they receive the claim. EBC is not able to verify receipt of claims sent via US mail, email, or fax; participants receive verification of those claims only after the claim has been processed.
    • Please contact EBC if you have any questions. Phone: 608-831-8445, Email: participantservices@ebcflex.com
  • Additional Flexible Spending Information: The recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allows you to use your flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA), or Section 213 health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to pay for over-the-counter medications and menstrual care products—without a prescription. See what's eligible.
    • This change is retroactive to January 1, 2020. If you purchased these items earlier in 2020 and saved your receipts, you can request reimbursement by logging into your ebcflex.com account, or by using our mobile app for Android or Apple.
    • Please note that your Benefits Card may not immediately work for these purchases. It could take up to 4-6 weeks for your card to work for these newly-eligible medications and care items. Each retailer implements these changes on their own timeline. Until these products are added, you may need to pay for these expenses and request reimbursement from your account by submitting a claim online and having the funds deposited directly in your savings or checking account. Make sure to save your receipts!
    • If your childcare circumstances have changed as a result of COVID-19, you can change your Dependent Care FSA election to match. Make sure to do it within 30 days of the change.