This document will be valid through July 31, 2021. Every month, this document will be updated with guidelines pertaining to Covid-19 and the office. The next update is planned for release by August 1, 2021.
Can staff work at the Webster office:
Illinois fully reopened under Phase 5 as of June 2021. A fully reopened state means:
* Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. Under Phase 5, all sectors of the economy can resume at regular capacity.
* Phase 5 also marks the return of traditional conventions, festivals, and large events without capacity restrictions. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume across all industry settings.
* Phase 5 removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors.
Working from home is an option but we hope with less restrictions, we can see more staff members in the office. In the fall of 2021, we will be placing mandatory office hours for staff, more information will follow closer to September. What we are trying to limit is having the same small group of employees continue to run errands for staff because they just happen to be onsite. We cannot continue to spread our onsite staff as thin as possible. There may be some departments where mandatory office hours will be required now, please check with your department head for detailed information whether there are mandatory office hours for your division.
Mask or No-mask:
Under Phase 5, starting June 11, vaccianted staff will have the option to be maskless while working onsite. Please note that to be the safest enviorment possible for those that remain unvaccinated, we will need at least 75% of staff to be vaccinated, we must madate unvaccinated staff to continue to wear masks while onsite for their own safety. In the mean time, we will continue to push for the 75% amount by requesting the following information:
- HR collects confirmation that at least 75% of staff is vaccinated by using this FORM.
- This information will be kept confidential within HR.
- We cannot single out those that are not vaccinated so the more employees that are vaccinated the safer it is for those that are not vaccinated. The people most at risk to get Covid are really the people that are not vaccinated. If you are vaccinated you can be maskless around vaccinated/unvaccinated people and be fine but not 100% safe. If the majority of people are vaccinated, at least 75%, the chances of those that are not vaccinated is much smaller to get sick since most people have the vaccine.
- If you are unvaccinated, you must continue to wear your mask while indoors/outdoors HOWEVER there may be employees that choose to keep their masks on who are fully vaccinated. It does not mean they are unvaccinated and simply feel safer, please do not discriminate or be biased against those that continue to wear masks until they feel a level of personal safety. This is very important as we cannot discriminate or pinpoint those that are unvaccinated or use the usage of a mask as that person being "unsafe" to be around.
- To be fully vaccinated means 2 weeks have passed since the second dose of Moderna/Pfizer or only dose of the J&J vaccine.
- Pros must continue to wear their masks in resident homes but have the option to be maskless when at the office. Todd will finalzie any changes to this condition.
- Realty agents should go by guidelines provided by CAR (Chicago Association of Realtors) but can be maskless while in the office as long as they have been vaccinated.
- For visitors - there will be signage at the office stating masks are optional for vaccinated visitors. We will not be asking visitors to show proof of vaccination. The front desk are choosing to wear their masks when interacting with the public and HR would advise employees to wear masks when interacting with the public while onsite at the office as we cannot verify if they are truly vaccianted.
- For onsite meetings, we urge managers and Boards to continue to meet online whenever possible. In those cases where a Board insists on an onsite meeting, we ask all participants, including Westward360 team members to continue to wear masks during the Bridge Phase but once Phase 5 is in effect, masks can be optional for all participants. We cannot mandate non-employees to provide proof of their vaccine card at this time.
Vaccination Sign Up
We'd like to start off by stating that your employer is in no way demanding or forcing you to receive the vaccine. This is a personal decision between you and your healthcare provider, however, we would like to assist in the process if you decide to move forward with getting vaccinated. Also, since the option to remove masks is based on whether a person is vaccinated or not, the employer will request proof of the vaccination in order to maintain a 75% vaccinated rate for both US offices in order to remove the mask mandate for staff while not interacting with the public during the Bridge Phase.
All Illinois residents over the age of 12 are eligible to get vaccinated. We have three options that are available but its always best to check with your county for the most current information on the vaccine process. There are now enough vaccines available that many locations are offering walk in service and no appointment is needed.
- Chicago residents can visit zocdoc.com/vaccine.
- Once there, users will be asked to confirm their location and eligibility. When it gets to the section asking if you work in any of the listed capacities, you will choose "Other eligible frontline essential service."
- If eligible under Illinois guidelines, Zocdoc will show nearby vaccination locations and their real-time appointment availability.
- Eligible patients will then be able to select a date, time, and location, and instantly book an appointment online. If no appointments are available, residents can sign up to be notified when new options come online.
- There will be embedded translation support for more than 100 languages, including Spanish.
- For those working or residing in Cook County, you can sign up through Community Vaccination Program at vaccine.cookcountyil.gov
- If you sign up for text alerts, the site will send a text 24 hours before appointments will become available to sign up so get those text alerts.
- All residents: Walgreens Covid Vaccine, it's best to sign up first thing Monday morning since that is when they release their appointments, follow this link to schedule: https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/covid-vaccine.jsp
Covid Sick Leave:
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements.
Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Covered Employers: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees..
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Eligible Employees: All employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.
Notice: Where leave is foreseeable, an employee should provide notice of leave to the employer as is practicable. After the first workday of paid sick time, an employer may require employees to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving paid sick time.
Qualifying Reasons for Leave:
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
- is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
- has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
- is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
- is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
- is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19; or
- is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.
Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for expanded family leave if the employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19.
On April 1, 2021, under the American Rescue Plan (ARP) employers that would voluntarily continue offering the sick pay can do so until September 30th, 2021. All eligible employees will receive 80 hours of covid sick time to use between April 1 to September 30, 2021 and any previous balance of covid sick pay does not carry over. HR may ask for confirmation of test results as well as information pertaining to a quarantine prior to approving leave.
Below is a list of the safety precautions we must all make when working at Webster throughout Bridge Phase that is still in effect with the advisory:
1. Wear a facial mask or covering while working with the public. You need to have your mask on, not under your nose, not under your chin, and not holding it in your hand. All visitors/guests stopping by Webster will be required to wear a mask during the Bridge Phase but the mandate will be dropped to optional use during Phase 5.
2. Stay at home if you feel ill or have come into contact with someone with Covid-19. If either of those situations come up, please inform your supervisor and HR immediately. As we move into flu season, we would like to highly recommend to receive a flu shot for the 2020-2021 season.
3. The front desk are has been setup with plexiglass dividers. Additional dividers may be placed in common area as more team members return to the office.
4. We will provide disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer stations throughout the office. You need to get into the habit to disinfect all common items that are touched throughout the day. Disinfect prior to use and disinfect after use. This is in addition to the daily office cleanings that will also incorporate additional cleaning of high-touch areas.
Covid-19 Testing Overview
Not everyone needs to be tested. If you do get tested, you should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional. Considerations for who should get tested are:
- People who have symptoms of Covid-19
- People who have had close contact (within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with someone with confirmed Covid-19
- People who have been asked or referred to get testing by their healthcare provider.
Two kinds of tests are available for Covid-19: viral tests and antibody tests.
- A viral test tells you if you have a current infection.
- An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection.
If you are looking for a testing site located in the state of Illinois, please click on this link which will provide testing centers: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing. In addition, if you have health insurance, you can also try immediate care clinics, your doctor's office, Walgreens and CVS. We always recommend you contact the center before going to get tested as some have requirements prior to setting up the test.
Your healthcare provider will always be the best person to inform you of your quarantine length. if you are vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine if exposed. If you test positive, the recommended time of quarantine is 14 days. If you had exposure to Covid either by a co-worker, family, friend or randomly exposed, instead of the standard 14-day quarantine it has been recommending, the CDC now says that exposure warrants a quarantine of 10 or 7 days, depending on one's test results and symptoms. While the agency says a 14-day quarantine remains the safest option, it acknowledged this length placed difficult demands on people. You should still watch closely for symptoms — such as fever, a cough or a loss of taste or smell — for a full 14 days after exposure. If you do not develop symptoms, you only need to quarantine for 10 days; if you test negative, that period can be reduced to just one week.
Self Quarantine for Travel
If traveling out of state, please click on this LINK to review the travel advisories for the city of Chicago.