This is an extended follow up to the brief staff meeting this afternoon regarding novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19, aka coronavirus 2019.
As you know, our state is facing some new challenges now with novel coronavirus. Mark and I have been on a series of what seems like daily calls and emails with Secretary Crowfoot, his team and our sister agencies at the Natural Resources Agency, keeping us apprised so that we can provide you timely and accurate information. While the situation with the coronavirus is rapidly evolving, our highest priority is the health, safety, and well-being of you, park visitors, and our community. As public service workers and citizens of this planet, we have a responsibility to minimize the risk to the most vulnerable populations in our community. This includes the elderly, the immunocompromised, those without access to adequate healthcare, and those who cannot afford to be out of work while under quarantine.
What we’re doing
- In respect to Government Newsom’s latest Executive Order N-25-20, we’re looking into setting up tele/video conferencing for our upcoming board meetings and any other public meetings (we would still have a physical location for people to attend in person, they’d just have an option to access the meeting via tele/video conference)
- The RMC and WCA will follow the guidance set forth by CA Dept of Public Health, with direction from Resources, including protocols on non-essential gatherings, throughout at least the month of March:
o Large gatherings that include 250+ people should be postponed or cancelled
o Smaller gatherings held in venues that do not allow social distancing of at least six feet per person should be postponed or cancelled (however, these gatherings will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine whether there is a low/high risk for COVID-19)
o Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for COVID-19 should be limited to no more than ten people
- Our janitorial staff, Briteworks, have been advised to ensure they thoroughly disinfect high-touch areas, such as door handles, hand rails, etc.
o For even more thorough cleaning, please clear your desks before you leave your shift so Briteworks can wipe down desks, tables, etc.
o If you haven’t done so lately, use disinfecting wipes to gently clean your keyword, mouse, phone, and other individual-use tools and equipment.
- Additional hand soap and disinfecting wipes have already been ordered
What you can do
Please follow these recommendations from CA Dept of Public Health:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds (what’s 20+ seconds? “Happy Birthday” twice, the chorus of “Take on Me” by A-ha and hold the last note longer, the chorus of “Jolene” by Dolly Parton, or sing the chorus of “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees)
- Use hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol where available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or elbow
- Avoid handshakes and hugs, including hand hugs
We ask that if you are sick or feeling unwell, please avoid coming to work until you are recovered (utilize leave balances as appropriate and notify your supervisor). If you are ordered to self-quarantine by CDC/Public Health, must stay at home to care for someone with COVID-19, or must take care of children because their school(s) closed due to COVID-19, please let your respective supervisor/HR know asap so we can look into Admin Time Off (ATO), leave time and/or telework.
We recognize that private sector employers in some regions have directed staff to telework. The State of California has not provided that direction to date, but we are prepared to assess telework options for employees on a case-by-case basis at this time. If you believe you have the need to telework, please consult your respective supervisor and/or HR.
Finally, in challenging times, it is especially important that we all support each other and be the best colleagues that we can be toward one another. The circumstances we are facing, both with the virus and its economic impacts, may get worse before they get better but it is worth remembering that our state and society have made it through tough times before and we will make it through this challenge together as well. Also, because the situation is fluid, we appreciate your flexibility and immediate attention to this matter.
Thanks for all you do,
Salian Garcia (she/her, pronounced “Sally-Ann”)
Staff Services Manager I
Rivers and Mountains Conservancy
Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority l City of Azusa-RMC Joint Powers Authority l San Gabriel River Discovery Center Authority
Address 100 N. Old San Gabriel Canyon Road Azusa, Ca 91702 www.rmc.ca.gov
Phone 626.815.1019 x110