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Guidance Regarding State Employee Exposure to COVID-19

davidwicaiBlog, COVID19

Executive Branch agencies are to follow the Utah Department of Health’s lead with respect to identifying employees who may be at risk for contracting COVID-19. That guidance will be based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Guidance for Risk Assessment.

If an employee has traveled to a Level 3 area (as designated by the CDC) or been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19:]

If a state employee is returning from a Level 3 area or was exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the employee will need to follow the CDC guidelines for symptoms and isolate themselves for 14 calendar days after returning to the United States or following their exposure. During this time, management has two options:

  • Require the employee to telework (if the job allows for telework), or
  • Place the employee on paid administrative leave (OA).

Note: If management determines teleworking is a viable option for an employee but the employee refuses, the employee will still need to isolate and use their own leave (annual/sick/comp/excess time) or go on leave without pay for the 14 day period.

If management learns an employee plans to voluntarily travel to a Level 3 area (as designated by the CDC)

If an employee voluntarily travels to a location that is designated Level 3, they will need to comply with the 14 calendar day isolation requirement upon their return to the United States.

During this time, management has two options:

  • Require the employee to telework (if the job allows for telework), or
  • Place the employee on paid administrative leave (OA).

Note: If management determines teleworking is a viable option for an employee but the employee refuses, the employee will still need to isolate and use their own leave (annual/sick/comp/excess time) or go on leave without pay for the 14 day period.

Management cannot mandate that an employee cancel their trip. However, they must inform the employee that per CDC guidelines, they will be held to the 14 calendar day isolation period upon their return.

If an employee chooses to voluntarily isolate themselves regardless of potential exposure

If an employee who has no risk factors for COVID-19 (i.e., no travel to a Level 3 area, no exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19) chooses to voluntarily isolate themselves from the workplace, management will allow the employee to telework if that is an option. If teleworking is not an option, management will require the employee to use their own leave (annual/sick/comp/excess time) or go on leave without pay.

If an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 during the 14-day isolation

Instruct the employee to contact their HR Director or HR Specialist who will evaluate the use of sick leave/FMLA as appropriate. The employee should then follow instructions from their physician or the public health agency monitoring their care for the remainder of treatment.

Contact Information for Utah Department of Health:

If you have any questions regarding isolation, or any additional health-related questions on COVID-19, please refer to the Utah Department of Health or call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.