Safety standards for resuming in-person activity
Beginning in March, UC ANR implemented remote work protocols to protect the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, program participants and our communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to your collective efforts, we've been able to continue most of our work while supporting community efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus by restricting in-person contacts.
As you know, some County Health authorities have begun to modify local shelter-at-home orders and relax restrictions on low risk activities. To ensure that we continue to protect the health and safety of our people and our communities, we have developed UC ANR Safety Standards for Resuming In-Person Activity, Stage 2 to outline protocols for our programs and work locations. The safety standards are informed by state, county, and UC best practices, and are intended to help UCCE county directors, REC directors and statewide program leaders plan for the eventual resumption of some in-person activities. For those counties that have authorized return to in-person activity under Stage 2, UC ANR directors are now required to document their plans for in-person work activity with the ANR Emergency Response team based on the Safety Standards. Local plans may vary from county to county, and may change over time to be more or less restrictive as the impact of reopening unfolds.
It is important to remember that the State is allowing for the resumption of limited onsite operations.UC ANR employees and volunteers who can still work/engage remotely, should continue to do so until the Governor completely lifts California's stay-at-home order and UC ANR advises it is appropriate to return to in-person operations.
ANR directors contributed to the development of the Safety Standards, and we've asked them to help address your questions and concerns and to reinforce the steps being taken to provide a safe working environment. In general, ANR will be taking a slow and deliberate approach to expanding in-person activities, and most of us will continue to work remotely for the immediate future.
Work approval letters
A number of ANR employees and volunteers have continued to perform essential in-person activities while the shelter-at-home orders have been in effect. We documented these approved activities via individual letters that were issued by my office in April. Those letters are effective through May 30, 2020. The approved essential activities may continue beyond May 30; we will not be issuing updated letters. Beginning June 1, all employees approved for in-person activity will be documented through the new protocols outlined in the Safety Standards.
I'd like to thank everyone for following safety protocols, modeling best practices and providing leadership in your communities. Continuing this commitment to health and safety will help us all eventually get back to “normal” operations sooner rather than later.
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