Employee Guidance Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This page contains the latest Center-wide communications on COVID-19.  All previous messages are archived here.


General COVID-19 Resources

 Learn more about the CDC’s guidance for infection control in schools and childcare programs here.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the DHEC website or the CDC website.

Telehealth resources in SC.


April 8, 2020

GGC’s administrative team continues to meet regularly to review the latest information regarding COVID-19 and discuss operational changes for the Center. Our goals are to keep all of our employees safe and healthy while continuing to provide important GGC services to the families who depend on us. We are grateful to all of you who are pulling together in difficult circumstances to keep each other well, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect your jobs and financial security during this situation.

We are extending current policies (distributed on 3/26) regarding work schedules and PTO, through April 30, unless state and federal guidelines change. Reminders of these policies are below:

WORK SCHEDULES AND PTO

  • All employees who are able to work remotely should be doing so. If you are not working from home, but feel that your job could be done effectively from home, please discuss this with your supervisor.
  • Employees who are working regular or modified schedules as instructed by their supervisor, either onsite or remotely, will continue to be paid as if they worked a regularly-scheduled work week and will not need to use PTO.
  • Employees who are absent from work because of circumstances covered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be paid according to these new regulations. See FFCRA poster or contact HR for details.
  • Employees who have pre-planned PTO, need FMLA or other federally-mandated unpaid leave for reasons other than that associated with COVID-19, or wish to take time away from work for other reasons, will need to use PTO. This will need to be approved by your supervisor as usual and must be recorded in the time system following the normal process.

FACE MASKS

As announced yesterday, employees who are in the office must wear a face mask/covering anytime they are unable to socially distance from coworkers. This should begin immediately but will be enforced beginning Monday, April 13.

INFECTION PREVENTION STRATEGIES

We continue to stress the importance of frequent hand washing and maintaining a social distance of at least 6 feet between you and others at all times. If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home and notify your supervisor and HR as soon as possible.

If you have questions about your individual situation or have any concerns with how health and safety are being handled in your work area, please address those with your supervisor, division director, HR, or directly with me.

I am proud to be associated with each and every one of you as you display incredible teamwork and resolve through a very challenging situation!

Stay well!

Steve Skinner

 

April 7, 2020

Expressing Concerns

GGC remains committed to the safety of our patients and our employees during this current pandemic environment. In a very short period of time, we have had to implement changes to your work schedules and work environments to adhere to federal and state mandates put in place to lessen exposure to and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. At the same time, we are trying to meet the needs of the patients we serve and maintain the financial security of our employees while keeping ‘business as usual’.

Since our plans have had to continuously change as the situation around us evolves, we have asked supervisors and directors to evaluate processes, essential duties, and how work can continue while maintaining social distancing. If you have concerns about your duties, your work environment, or social distancing in your area, or around the Center for that matter, we encourage you to voice any concerns to your immediate supervisor. If you believe your concerns are not being addressed, please contact your divisional director, HR, Dawn Puderbaugh Hodges or Dr. Skinner.

Human Resources: tkay@ggc.org or jstill@ggc.org

Dawn Puderbaugh Hodges: dhodges@ggc.org

Dr. Skinner: sas@ggc.org

 

GGC Face Mask Guidelines

GGC is committed to protecting the health of all of our employees.

The CDC has issued guidelines recommending the use of face masks or coverings in public settings, as many individuals who carry and can transmit the COVID-19 virus remain asymptomatic.

GGC is implementing a face mask requirement in all offices for employees who are unable to completely socially distance themselves while at work. This requirement will go into effect no later than Monday, April 13. Face masks/coverings are not necessary when you are alone in your office, and masks are not a substitute for social distancing where that is possible.

GGC does not have sufficient masks to provide for all employees, and the CDC does not recommend wearing medical masks, as those should be reserved for healthcare professionals who are treating patients directly.

The CDC guidelines on face coverings, along with a video with instructions on making a simple face covering from household items, can be found here.

More information from the CDC, including how to wear and wash face masks, as well as a few other templates (including both sewn and no-sew versions), can be found here.


 

'Home or Work' Order

Yesterday, SC Governor Henry McMaster issued a ‘Home or Work’ order that goes into effect today (Tuesday, 4/7) at 5 pm. The order requires that residents across the state stay at home unless engaging in ‘essential activities’ which include traveling to or from work, visiting family, exercising, or obtaining medical care or necessary supplies (food, medicine, etc.).

You can read the full order here. Allowed activities are found in section 1E (page 8).

While it does not require that employees carry a letter from their employer, in the event you are stopped by authorities during your commute into work, GGC has created letters confirming your status as essential employees. If you are coming into the office, we suggest that you carry a copy of the letter along with your employee ID badge in your vehicle. Division directors and supervisors have been asked to provide copies of these letters to all employees who need to be in the office.

Thank you all for our commitment to GGC and our patients.

Stay safe and well!

*Remember to wash your hands often, stay 6 feet apart from others, and stay home if you are sick!


 

April 6, 2020

At today’s Monday morning meeting, GGC’s administrative team provided an update on GGC operations in response to COVID-19. We have provided a summary of the discussion to keep everyone informed.

  • Modified scheduling for all divisions had been implemented through the end of this week; however, as the COVID-19 situation continues, divisions are extending plans beyond this week. Division directors and supervisors will communicate any changes to their teams directly.
  • Dr. Skinner shared that GGC’s goal is to maintain all employee positions and pay for as long as possible. GGC has applied for funding through a government program to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Patient visits and lab testing numbers have been down significantly over the past few weeks. GGC is working on several plans to increase both patient visits and lab testing.
    • Clinical staff are reaching out to currently scheduled patients to offer to see them in their home through telegenetics. All offices are currently seeing patients through telegenetics.
    • Some current patients are choosing to wait and be seen in person, so other available telegenetics slots can be filled by reaching out to the backlog of patients, no matter which office they were scheduled for initially. A workflow and plan for this is in progress.
    • Clinicians are reviewing previously seen patient cases where whole exome sequencing is the next step and considering moving forward with that testing.
  • Friday morning case conference and ‘Syndrome of the Week’ meetings will resume this Friday.

And don’t forget… wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing (keep 6 feet between you and others), and stay at home if you feel ill. 

Thanks to you all for your flexibility and cooperation during this time of uncertainty. 

As always, if you have specific concerns or questions, please discuss those with your supervisor. 

 

March 30, 2020


GGC Operational Status Update slides


March 26, 2020 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Employee Rights Poster

Dear GGC Family,

I want to keep everyone informed of the current GGC plan and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I realize that many of you are anxious and scared for your safety, the safety of your families, and your financial security. I and the rest of the GGC Administrative Team share your concerns and are meeting daily to review all COVID-19 information available and are adjusting the GGC response as needed. Our primary concern is the safety of our patients and our employees. At the same time, we are trying to meet the needs of the patients we serve and maintain the financial security of our employees.

I want to thank each of you for your flexibility and cooperation as we have implemented many changes to work schedules and the work environment in order to protect each other. We will continue the current efforts to have as many as possible working remotely, the use of split and staggered shifts, the use of telehealth for patient visits and the use of video-conferencing to maintain social distancing. We also ask each of you, whether at home or at work, to wash your hands well and frequently and to practice social distancing. Please try to maintain at least a six-foot distance between you and your coworkers. If you are ill, please stay home and seek medical advice. Your supervisor or division director will notify you if there will be any changes to your current work schedule or arrangements. Our current operational plans and modified work schedule will be maintained until April 10th, unless new factors necessitate further changes.

There has been new Federal legislation that will provide additional options regarding how PTO is handled effective April 1, 2020. Please see the information below and the attached poster for clarification.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act- April 1, 2020

Recent federal legislation designed to assist employees with absences from work related to COVID-19 becomes effective April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. GGC does fall under the scope of this act and the regulations will apply to our employees. The attached document outlines the rights of an employee who may become ill from the virus and/or may be impacted by certain circumstances resulting from the prevalence of the virus in our community.

Employees who believe their situation falls within these guidelines should discuss with their supervisor and HR so that steps can be taken to facilitate proper and timely pay.

Use of Paid Time Off (PTO) - April 1, 2020

  • At this time, employees who are working regular or modified schedules as instructed by their supervisor, onsite or remotely, will continue to be paid as if they worked a regularly-scheduled work week.
  • Employees who are absent from work and whose circumstances fall under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be paid according to these new regulations. See the above paragraph and attached information.
  • Employees who have pre-planned PTO, need FMLA or other federally mandated unpaid leave for reasons other than that associated with COVID-19, or wish to take time away from work for other reasons, will need to use PTO. This will need to be approved by your supervisor as normal and be recorded in the time system following the normal process.
  • Employees who have questions or concerns about their individual situation should address those with their supervisor, division director or HR.

We do not know how long these changes will last. We do not know what additional actions may be needed as this situation continues to evolve. We will continue to monitor all information closely and will continue to act to protect our patients and our employees. We will also continue to try to serve our patients safely through telehealth and maintain your financial security.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your supervisor, HR or me.

Stay safe, stay well, but stay apart,

Steve 


Please keep in mind that as the situation changes, our response and policies may change as well.
Future changes to operations will be communicated via email and will be shared on this page of the GGC employee portal. 


Previous employee messages (listed below) are archived here. 

  • March 23, 2020 Update
  • March 16, 2020 Update

 


 


 

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