Federal Manager's Daily Report

New York - Jan 2020: A woman wearing a medical mask checks in passengers at a China Eastern desk at JFK international airport in New York on Jan. 29 2020. The outbreak of the coronoaviruis is centered in China's Wuhan region where the death toll climbed to over 400 as of Feb. 4, with more than 20,000 confirmed cases in mainland China. Some countries and international airlines have suspended or limited air routes to China, including American Airlines, United, British Airways, and Lufthansa. Image: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

OPM has issued its first set of guidance, with more to come, on prevention and response in the federal workplace to the spread of Coronavirus, a potentially deadly viral infection that emerged recently in China and that has been spreading rapidly to other countries, including the U.S.

“Although the risk of contracting 2019-nCoV [the technical name for the virus] remains very low, agencies should remind employees to use good health habits such as hand washing and encourage sick employees to seek medical treatment and use sick leave or other appropriate workplace flexibilities.

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Where necessary, agencies should consider implementing social distancing, including the use of telework,” a memo says.

OPM said it will “continue to work closely with the CDC to provide updated information on 2019-nCoV to federal agencies and employees as it becomes available.

In addition, OPM has established a working group of key agencies to determine what human resources guidance is needed to assist employees and agencies in dealing with concerns about exposure to 2019-nCoV.

OPM plans to issue any necessary guidance as soon as possible to assist agencies in meeting two equally important goals:
(1) the safety of the federal workforce, and
(2) the continuity of operations.”

The memo also points to information from the following sources: 
CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
OSHA – https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/novel_coronavirus/
State – https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

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