Employee Resources

Message From County Administrator

Published:  March 30, 2020 at 9:40 AM

It is hard to believe that we are embarking on Day 13 of the County’s Shelter in Place Order.  This Health Order requires that most people stay home unless they are engaged in certain “Essential Activities.”   This is a critical intervention to reduce harm from the spread of the coronavirus in our community.  You can find out more about the Health Order here: https://socoemergency.org/order-of-the-health-officer-shelter-in-place/.

As County employees, we have experienced more than our share of emergencies and I am always amazed at the passion, dedication and selflessness of our workforce.  Every time we are called upon to stand up and take these challenges head on, you all respond with such grace and compassion.   I am very proud to be part of the County family!

As of March 27, we had 1,530 employees working from home on essential services, along with another 1,740 performing essential functions working in their offices or the field.  That represents over 76% of our workforce actively supporting services to the community.  In addition, we have approximately 745 employees available to be deployed as Disaster Service Workers. 

As we know, this emergency is very different than the emergencies we have dealt with in the past.  There is a lot of fear in our community, our nation and the world.   Yet, it is important to remember that our community has the ability to change the course of this pandemic at the local level through staying home and practicing social distancing.  As County employees, we are essential workers under the Public Health Order.  We are actively promoting telework for County employees who are able to perform essential work remotely.  For those of us that need to come into county facilities or be deployed out in the community, it is critical that you practice the guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • Social distancing
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

I wanted to share with County employees that I expect the Public Health Officer to issue an extension to the Shelter in Place Order early this week.  Currently, the local Public Health Order has an end date of April 7.  Our local Public Health Order is generally consistent with the Governor’s Order; however, the Governor’s order has no end date.  Last week, the local school districts announced that schools would be closed through May 1st

We know that the extended closure of schools impacts many of our employees.  On March 18, 2020, the President signed and passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the Act’s provisions take effect April 1, 2020.  The Act makes changes to FMLA.  One significant change relates to leave time for parents who have childcare needs as a result of school, daycare or caregiver closures. Human Resources will send out additional information about the Act as well as other important leave and pay information this week. Please stay in contact with your supervisor and check the Employee Resources page on the County website for updates. 

In closing and in honor of tomorrow’s recognition of Cesar Chavez, I wanted to leave you with a quote that I thought was especially poignant:

History will judge societies and governments and their institutions, not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”  Cesar Chavez  

Please take care of yourselves and your loved ones!    

Sheryl  

Sheryl Bratton
County Administrator

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