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Employees who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after the final dose of their vaccine) are no longer required to wear face coverings in the workplace.
Vaccinated employees may continue to wear face coverings if they choose to do so.
Employees who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a mask in the workplace until they are fully vaccinated. If you are interested in receiving the vaccine but have not yet, you can schedule an appointment online.
Employees in the following scenarios must continue to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status.
The table at the link below was developed in consultation with the Loudoun County Health Department. The table provides potential scenarios an employee can use to evaluate what steps they should take if they come in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. For questions related to the use of paid leave, please refer to question #3 below.
Aside from EPSL and EFML as explained in the response to Question #2 above, the County is operating under its normal policies and procedures governing the use of sick leave and teleworking while sick. Employees and supervisors should follow the relevant policies and their department’s normal protocols. Generally, if an employee is feeling sick or displaying cold or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, coughing, body aches, shortness of breath, etc., the employee should stay home, refrain from teleworking, and use accrued sick leave or other available accrued paid leave to cover their time out of the office.
The chart above is intended to be a summary of relevant County policies and is not intended to include every possible scenario or policy requirement. Links to relevant County policies can be found below. However, where the policy is inconsistent with guidance provided in this FAQ, please follow the guidance detailed in this FAQ. In addition to the County’s Human Resources policies and procedures, employees must follow their specific department’s procedures and protocols regarding requesting leave and telework.
Employees who are sick should stay home and use paid sick leave to cover their time away from the office. Supervisors and managers have the discretion to send home an employee who reports to work sick or who is displaying cold or flu symptoms (such as fever, chills, coughing, body aches, shortness of breath, etc.). Please note, merely experiencing these symptoms does not mean that an employee has COVID-19; it only means that the employee is sick and should go home. Supervisors and managers who intend to send an employee home should speak with the employee privately and should not discuss with other employees that the employee was sent home or why.
If the employee is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms and is in the process of seeking a medical diagnosis, the employee may be able to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL). EPSL is available to cover the first 80 hours (full-time employees working 40+ hours per week) or two weeks (part-time) based on the number of hours worked, on average, over a 2 week period, for time out of the office due to illness. All employees regardless of employee type (regular, temporary, or unclassified) who are sick and seeking a medical diagnosis are eligible for this leave, with the exception of healthcare providers and emergency responders. Once this leave type is expended, the employee will use accrued sick leave and other paid leave (if sick leave is not available) if more leave time is needed. The employee should follow the guidance of their healthcare practitioner as to when to return to work.
Managers do not have the authority to unilaterally require an employee to provide a doctor’s note “clearing” the employee to return to work. The request for a medical note must be coordinated through the Department of Human Resources, Employee Relations Division. Return to work certifications are typically required of employees who are on approved Family Medical Leave or Workers’ Compensation, employees who are subject to the County’s Fitness for Duty process, and employees who are on leave as a reasonable accommodation.
Employees should follow the guidance of their healthcare practitioner as to when they are well enough to return to work. The CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Employees who have concerns about health issues in the workplace should report these concerns to their immediate supervisor, a department manager, or the Department of Human Resources. Employees should not confront other employees with regard to their health status or the health status of a family member. Supervisors and managers who receive reports of such concerns should call the Department of Human Resources, Employee Relations Division, to seek guidance.
If the employee is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms and is in the process of seeking a medical diagnosis, the employee may be able to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL). EPSL is available to cover the first 80 hours (full-time employees working 40+ hours per week) or two weeks (part-time) based on the number of hours worked, on average, over a 2 week period, for time out of the office due to illness. All employees regardless of employee type (regular, temporary, or unclassified) who are sick and seeking a medical diagnosis are eligible for this leave, with the exception of healthcare providers and emergency responders. Once this leave type is expended, the employee will use accrued sick leave and other paid leave (if sick leave is not available) if more leave time is needed.
If an employee becomes seriously ill and exhausts all paid leave accruals, the employee should contact the Department of Human Resources, Benefits Division, at 703-777-0213 to discuss possible eligibility for short-term disability and/or donated leave. Approvals of short-term disability and donated leave will be subject to existing eligibility requirements and restrictions. Information related to short-term disability and donated leave can be found here:
Employees suffering from an illness of ordinary life, such as a cold or flu virus, should not be required or allowed to work from home in lieu of taking sick or other accrued paid leave. However, as noted in the chart above, an asymptomatic employee who has been placed under a self-quarantine order from the Health Department will be required to work from home until the order to self-quarantine ends or until the employee becomes ill. If the employee becomes ill, the employee must advise management of their illness, at which point the requirement to telework will end and the employee may be able to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), or in the alternative, the employee must utilize their accrued paid leave.
It depends. Family Medical Leave is federally mandated, unpaid, job protected leave that covers a period of incapacitation due to a “serious health condition.” Generally, minor ailments such as the cold and flu are not considered serious health conditions that are covered by Family Medical Leave. However, depending on factors such as the length of absence needed to recover, the number of visits or treatments required by the healthcare practitioner, the need for an overnight stay in the hospital, and/or any health complications that may arise, an employee with who is diagnosed with COVID-19 may qualify for Family Medical Leave. An employee with COVID-19 should contact the Department Human Resources, Benefits Division, at 703-777-0213 to discuss possible eligibility for Family Medical Leave. Employees can apply for Family Medical Leave through FMLA Source, the County’s Family Medical Leave vendor. To determine eligibility, FMLA Source will request a medical certification from the employee’s healthcare practitioner with information relevant to the employee’s specific situation.
More information on FMLA policies is available on the employee intranet or HR Liaison (PDF).
If there is reason to believe that the employee’s illness arose out of their employment and was contracted in the course of performing their duties, such as a healthcare worker or first responder who provided care to a patient with the COVID-19 virus, the employee must file a workers’ compensation claim and the claim will be forwarded to SmartCasualtyClaims, the County’s third-party administrator, for a compensability determination. Paid leave for an employee who has filed a workers’ compensation claim related to COVID-19 must be coordinated by department management through the Risk Management Section of the Department of Human Resources.
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) applies where the employee is caring for an individual whose healthcare practitioner advises the individual to quarantine or isolate. All employees regardless of employee type (regular, temporary, or unclassified) are eligible from day one of employment, with the exception of healthcare providers and emergency responders.
The DOL has defined an “individual” under this section as an employee’s immediate family member, a person who regularly resides in the employee’s home, or a similar person with whom the employee has a relationship that creates an expectation that the employee would care for the person if he or she were quarantined or self-quarantined. “Individual” does not include persons with whom the employee has no personal relationship
After exhaustion of EPSL, the normal sick leave policy and procedures apply for employees caring for an immediate family member, defined as the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent and any of these relations as a step. EPSL does not apply where the employee is caring for an individual who is exhibiting symptoms, and the sick leave policy will apply for employees in this situation. The employee would need to follow their department’s normal procedure for requesting sick leave and the use of such leave is subject to applicable County policies. Employees may be eligible to utilize Family Medical Leave, if their family member’s illness meets the definition for a serious health condition. The employee should contact the Department of Human Resources, Benefits Division, at 703-777-0213 for more information on the use of Family Medical Leave to care for a family member.
Employees covered by the County’s medical insurance plan have access to Cigna’s Virtual Care services 24/7/365 days of the year, including holidays and weekends. Virtual care services can be used in place of seeing a physician in-person for minor medical conditions and costs less than emergency room or urgent care visits. Virtual care services can be a good option when you need to limit exposure to the public and for reserving emergency rooms for true emergencies. All virtual care visits are with board-certified physicians. Covered employees should take the time now to register for virtual care services prior to using the service. Register for Cigna’s virtual care network MDLive in any one of the following ways:
The employee or covered dependent must provide their name, gender, date of birth, email and Cigna ID# to register and create an account. You will also be asked to provide some medical history including drug allergies and a form of payment (such as a credit card). For individuals enrolled in the OAP or POS plans, an office visit copay will be charged at time of visit. For individuals enrolled in the HRA or HSA plan, the discounted cost of the visit will be applied to the deductible until satisfied.
The County offers resources available to employees and members of their household who may need emotional support. Call Lytle EAP at 800-327-7272 or visit www.lytleeap.com, click “Work/Life Website Login,” and then create a new account with the company code “lcgovt” for access to online resources. Counselors are able to assist 24 hours a day. Employees and members of their household are provided up to four (4) confidential counseling sessions (public safety employees are provided up to eight (8) confidential counseling sessions). This benefit is available to all regular employees and long-term temporary employees who work longer than 90 days.
Employees who are covered under the Cigna medical plan who have exhausted their counseling sessions with Lytle or who wish to seek counseling directly through Cigna’s network may utilize Cigna’s behavioral health services to receive three (3) face-to-face counseling sessions at no cost. If additional counseling sessions are needed, continuation of services may occur at the normal copay for OAP/POS plans or applicable coinsurance for the HRA/HSA plans after the deductible has been met.
To access services visit myCigna.com, Review My Coverage, Employee Assistance Program. You can call 877.231.1492 for referrals or go online, search the provider directory and obtain an authorization. You can also call Cigna customer service at 800.244.6224. If there isn’t a number on your card, call Cigna Behavioral Health at 800.274.7603.
To minimize any financial impact for testing, Cigna is providing coverage at no cost to the covered members for COVID-19 testing including applicable office visit copays and other lab fees. COVID-19 testing has been designated as an essential benefit and coverage is at 100% through our health plan. Cigna continues to review their coverage position as the coronavirus pandemic expands.
On December 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reiterated its endorsement of 14 days of quarantine for close contacts of a person with COVID-19, but provided options to localities to consider shorter quarantine periods based on local circumstances and resources. You may have heard about this as this topic was widely reported in the news media over the last day, which may cause confusion among employees about how the news impacts the County. In short, the news does not change anything locally.Loudoun County policies and procedures for quarantine have not changed as a result of the information published by the CDC on Wednesday. Consistent with the CDC’s and Virginia Department of Health’s current guidelines, the County continues to recommend that people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19 stay home and away from others for 14 days after the last contact with the person who has COVID-19. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of a COVID-19 positive person for a cumulative period of at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. Learn more about when to quarantine on the CDC’s website.The County’s general requirements for the mandatory reporting of COVID-19 in the workplace and procedures (PDF) for returning to work following illness or known or possible exposure to COVID-19 remain unchanged. These details are posted on the Employee Intranet, under COVID-19 Emergency Standards.The Virginia Department of Health and the Loudoun County Health Department continue to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on our region and local community. Any changes to the County’s policies and procedures that impact employees and the workplace will be announced by the Department of Human Resources.Please feel free to email Employee Relations Manager Geneva Douglas or HR Risk Manager Rebekah Bofinger should you have any questions regarding these policies.
If you have a question related to the specific operations of your department, your best resource for information would be your Department Director, supervisor, or other member of management within your department. For Human Resources related questions, you are free to call the Department of Human Resources’ main number, 703-777-0213, between normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.). You will be routed to the appropriate staff member to best assist you.