*SCWA COVID-19 Phase 1 Response Plan*

*SCWA COVID-19 Phase 2 Response Plan*

*SCWA COVID-19 Phase 3 Response Plan*

*SCWA COVID-19 Phase 4 Response Plan*

 

Important SCWA Forms:

Temporary Telecommuting Policy

Equipment Loan Agreement

COVID-19 Isolation Form

COVID-19 Quarantine Form

 

Health Department Guidance 

Testing Facilities

Executed Letter from CEO - Essential Workers to be Tested

Obtaining an Order of Quarantine 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Poster

Face Coverings Guide

Department of Health Interim Guidance for Public and Private Employees Returning to Work Following COVID-19 Infection or Exposure

Guidelines for N95, P95 and R95 Masks

Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel 

Expert Resources

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)

COVID-19 Testing Information

Guidance from CDC

Disinfecting Your Facility if Someone is Sick

How Coronavirus Spreads

Share the Facts

What To Do If You Are Sick

The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for Americans  

Interim Guidance for Quarantine Restrictions on Travelers Arriving in New York State Following Out of State Travel  

People Who Are at Risk for Severe Illness  

Where Can I Receive a Rapid COVID-19 Test?

If you are in need of a COVID-19 test due to development of symptoms, proximate contact with a positive case, or travel restrictions please see the list of facilities below that perform rapid testing. With the rapid tests you are able to receive your results within 15 minutes of the test. Please call ahead before as some facilities act on a first come first serve basis.

List of testing Facilities with Rapid Testing

When Can I Return to Work After Testing Positive for COVID?

If a positive case is seeking information and/or testing to end isolation period, advise that Suffolk County Dept. of Health Services approval is required but additional testing may not be required if following criteria are met as established by the CDC:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  •  At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.

Individuals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms may discontinue home isolation when at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test and have had no subsequent illness.

Testing may be needed for those who are immunocompromised.

All callers who identify as positive case seeking information on discontinuation of isolation can be referred to 854-0333 for discussion with public health nurse.

 

Additional Call / Text Resources:

Suffolk residents can text "covidsuffolk" to 67283 to receive the latest developments from Suffolk County Department of Health Services, or call 311.

The Empire Plan Resources

The Empire Plan provides a NurseLine which has registered nurses available to answer health-related questions/concerns 24/7.  The NurseLine can be reached by calling the NYSHIP phone number on the back of your insurance card: 1-877-769-7447 and choose option 5.

NEW- Remote Telehealth Services-If you are concerned about leaving your homes to receive medical care or therapy services, The Empire Plan will cover telehealth visits at no cost. See the attachment for additional information and step-by-step instructions to register. As you will see in the attachment, when booking an appointment, you will be asked for a credit card in order to move forward, however your card will NOT be charged as long as you use the coupon code below.  For additional assistance, call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program.  

 

NYSLRS Disability Retirement- COVID-19

NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time in-service death benefit.

If this should become something an employee may need to consider, either they or Human Resources would need to file the disability retirement application. If an employee does not recover after applying, the disability retirement application would be effective upon death. If the member recovers, the disability retirement application can be withdrawn prior to approval.

Forms can be faxed to 518-474-3510 or 518-473-8190 or emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit at disprocessing@osc.ny.gov.  If Human Resources submits a disability retirement application on an employee’s behalf, the member or the member’s spouse, must file a Pension Payment Option Election Form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. The option election form must be notarized. An option election form cannot be filed by Human Resources.

For more information, visit the Disability Benefits Page (osc.ny.state.us/retire) on the NYSLRS website or call the NYSLRS Contact Center at 866-805-0990.

Eligible employees may also file for service retirement. However, a service retirement must be on file with NYSLRS at least 15 days prior to the retirement date, and a service retirement cannot be cancelled if the date of retirement has passed.

 

CCA COVID-19 Support- Webinars

Our Employee Assistance Program, CCA@YourService is fully open, operational and ready to support you during these trying times.  Below are some pre-recorded webinars you can access anytime.  For a full list of pre-recorded webinars, log on to www.myccaonline.com (company code: SCWA)  

 

From the Desk of Kara Hahn, Deputy Presiding Officer, Suffolk County Legislator, Fifth District- 3/20/20

New York State has ordered all non-essential businesses to close on the evening of Sunday, March 22nd. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and utilities are considered essential and will not have to close.

New York State has launched a new email system to provide daily updates about COVID-19. Additionally, Suffolk County has begun providing COVID-19 updates through SMS text messages.

To sign up, please visit: https://now.ny.gov/page/s/coronavirus-update to enroll in the State’s notification program and/or text COVIDSUFFOLK to 67283 to get updates texted to your mobile device from Suffolk County.

New York will implement a 90-day moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants. We will do all we can to help those financially suffering because of the #COVID19 pandemic.

For assistance in finding child care please contact the Child Care Council of Suffolk hotline at 646-926-3784. We are prioritizing child care for essential workers, including health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees and others who are critical to keep our essential supports operational. 

On Monday, all sit-down bars and restaurants, casinos, gyms and theaters were closed until further notice, with an allowance for sit-down establishments to provide takeout, grab-and-go and delivery during the period of this closure. On Thursday, all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys were closed.

´╗┐Beginning Saturday, all barbershops, hair salons, tattoo or piercing salons, nail salons, hair removal services and related personal care services will be closed and on Sunday, all remaining non-essential businesses are to be closed.

Grocery Retailer Senior Shopping Hours updates-March 20, 2020

Dollar General 8-9am-Daily

Stew Leonard 7:30-8:00am-Daily

Stop and Shop 6:30-7:30am-Dail

Uncle Giuseppe’s 7-8:00am-Daily

Giunta Meat Farm 6:30-7:30 M/W/F

Target 8-9am Wednesdays

´╗┐Walmart 6-7am Wednesdays

For Employees

New York State has directed ALL non-essential businesses to close by Sunday evening, and, if possible, for employees to work-from-home. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.

New York State has also approved legislation guaranteeing job protection and pay for New Yorkers who have been quarantined as a result of novel coronavirus. According to a summary of the legislation:

  • Employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income less than $1 million will provide job protection for the duration of the quarantine order and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.
  • Employers with 11-99 employees and employers with 10 or fewer employees and a net income greater than $1 million will provide at least 5 days of paid sick leave, job protection for the duration of the quarantine order, and guarantee their workers access to Paid Family Leave and disability benefits (short-term disability) for the period of quarantine including wage replacement for their salaries up to $150,000.

Employers with 100 or more employees, as well as all public employers (regardless of number of employees), will provide at least 14 days of paid sick leave and guarantee job protection for the duration of the quarantine order.

COVID-19 Testing

New York State has opened a Suffolk County Mobile testing site. Testing is BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. If you have symptoms and need to get checked, please call the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065 to be screened over the phone.

Sign-up for SMART 911

Suffolk County is encouraging residents to sign up for SMART911, which allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders well in advance of any type of emergency situation.

The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables the County to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. We can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history. Additionally, Smart911 gives allows our community the chance to be proactive by letting officials, emergency operators and first responders know what our residents needs are how best to provide services in a time

If you are in need of Emergency Services, the Suffolk County Police Department is requesting residents who dial 911 to disclose any and all health concerns or symptoms in order to help protect responding officers and emergency service workers.

Managing COVID-19 Related Stress and Anxiety

The disruption COVID-19 has had on society and the normal routines of our daily lives has been profound. If you are having issues dealing with the added stresses that are result of COVID-19, the CDC on its Manage Anxiety & Stress page, recommends:

  • Taking breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Taking care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Making time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connecting with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.

Guidelines for N95, P95 and R95 Masks

 

Messages from the CEO:

October 13, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

October 6, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

September 29, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

September 21, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

September 15, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    0                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

September 8, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    41

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    93

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

August 24, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   4                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    37

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    86

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

August 18, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    37

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    86

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

August 10, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    36

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    86

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

August 3, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    36

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    84

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

July 27, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   4                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    35

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    81

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

July 21, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    0                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    34

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    79

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

July 6, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    0                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   0                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    34

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    79

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

July 2, 2020

To all Employees:

We are about to head into a Fourth of July celebration like no other, as perhaps best exemplified by the community of Montgomery, Ohio. The Cincinnati suburb has come up with a novel way to honor our country’s independence with a celebration in perfect keeping with our times: they are holding a “reverse parade” in which the parade units are stationary and the paradegoers drive past them, safely separated from others in their cars.

Yes, everything right now is upside down and backwards. And every one of us is eager to get out, to break the restrictive routines we’ve been required to adhere to during the pandemic. But please, please celebrate safely. We all have the responsibility to each other, as SCWA employees and as citizens, to enjoy the holiday while still avoiding crowds, wearing face coverings when close to others and keeping a bottle of sanitizer close at hand. New York is now in a great place in relation to other places. Let’s keep it that way.

I hope you have lots of fun with your friends and family—safely.

June 29, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    32

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    78

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

June 22, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   4                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    31

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    74

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

June 19, 2020

Today marks the 155th anniversary of Black Americans in Texas being notified that the United States Civil War had ended and enslaved people were free.  This occurred two years AFTER the Emancipation Proclamation.  Juneteenth honors the history and achievements of African Americans and recognizes the continuing commitment to the principles of liberty and equality for all people.

The Water Authority has historically provided training programs for employees related to diversity and inclusion. However, the murder of George Floyd and other incidents across the nation require us all to reexamine our efforts.  Here at the Water Authority, the Board and I strongly believe it is important to recognize this day and pledge to you our unwavering commitment to engage this issue.  We all play a role and have a responsibility to be the best that we can be by understanding the hardships and losses suffered by African Americans in their struggle. The events of the last several weeks have exposed deep divisions in America but also an inspiring commitment for structural change. 

We are presently developing thoughts on how we can put words into action. Action that is sustainable, ongoing and more than just symbolic.  The Board and I believe it is our responsibility, as a leading utility, to recognize these struggles and to ensure we have equality and a respectful workplace.  Our approach will be multifaceted and include training, employment, community and social engagement. I ask all of you to reach out to me with your thoughts on this important matter and be assured you will hear from us over the coming weeks with a solid plan to move the Authority forward. This may be a difficult path to travel but that’s not  a reason to take a first step. This is an invitation, join us.  

Thank you!

June 17, 2020

Good Afternoon –

Below you will find SCWA’s COVID Phase 2 Response Plan.  The Plan is effective immediately.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

SCWA COVID Response Plan Phase 2

Jeff Szabo

Chief Executive Officer

June 17, 2020

To all Employees:

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit with full force in mid-March, SCWA responded and instituted health and safety measures designed to protect our workers and the general public. These measures ensured we were able to fulfill our vital mission—providing a high quality and uninterrupted drinking water supply to approximately 1.2 million Suffolk residents.

These measures—which you are well familiar with by now—have become standard protocol as we welcome back to the office the 150 or so employees who performed their duties from home during the pandemic’s peak. It is now the norm to see SCWA employees cross to the other side of a hallway to keep the appropriate amount of space between themselves and another employee, or stop at a sanitizer dispenser to scrub their hands, or wear one of the variety of masks and face coverings we’ve made available. This diligence got us through the toughest stretch and kept us remarkably intact as a workforce.

Now, though, we face an entirely different challenge—as New York’s infection rate plummets and we all get back to a semblance of a regular life, we run the very real risk of prematurely abandoning the safety measures that got us through the worst of the pandemic. As this virus could spike again in New York at any time, and is expected to return for a second wave this fall, we must remain just as vigilant as we were at the peak. And that means not just here at work, but at home and out in public, too. You are here for just a portion of the day; we all owe it to each other to practice the same safety measures when we’re home with our families or out with our friends.

In short, we need you healthy to continue the incredible track record we’ve established during this ordeal, to continue our vital mission. To that end, Phase II of our COVID-19 Response Plan has been implemented, which focuses on the transition of our remote workers back into their work stations and offices, and the safety protocols that will help ensure this transition is accomplished safely.

It’s hard to imagine anything more challenging than what we’ve already been through, but staying vigilant when the virus has largely been beaten back and life is somewhat normal again may be an even greater challenge. But I know we can do it.

June 15, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   3                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    30

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    71

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

June 3, 2020

To all Employees:

We live in trying times, and have plenty on our plate to deal with every day. Under normal circumstances, every one of us must navigate the challenges of managing our responsibilities at home and work. The COVID-19 pandemic threw us all into uncharted levels of fear, anxiety and stress. Most recently, the unrest caused by the killing of George Floyd has led to protests all over the country, including on Long Island, where residents have marched peacefully in multiple communities. We can only hope that the circumstances now unfolding help to ensure a society in which all Americans can enjoy the same protections under the law and are entitled to the same justice. Now more than ever, we all have the responsibility to be compassionate, tolerant and seek the good in others.

We care about your well-being, and all employees have access to our Work/Life Assistance program through CCA@YourService. CCA’s certified counselors are available 24/7/365 to support you and your family through this difficult time. CCA has made a variety of webinars available on topics including financial planning during COVID-19, communication during stressful times and more. They also provide an “Aware Mindfulness Channel” which features a variety of short audio exercises for improved well-being and tension release.

To access these resources, log on to www.myccaonline.com (company code: SCWA) and click on “COVID-19 Virtual Support Offerings” on the top left.

The one aspect of our collective recent experiences that has stuck with me more than any other has been the resilience and professionalism exhibited by our staff, the entire SCWA family. We have not only survived but thrived in the toughest of situations. We have put aside the extraordinary stress of the moment to focus on ensuring our personal safety, the safety of our families, and the uninterrupted supply of high quality drinking water to Suffolk residents. My sincerest hope is that we can all, for the good of the country and each other, endeavor to do our part to extend that professionalism to the cause of justice for all Americans.

Thank you, as always, for your hard work and dedication.

June 1, 2020

Good Afternoon-

Appropriately enough on the first day of a new month, SCWA reached an important milestone today in our efforts to continue to perform our essential duties during the COVID-19 pandemic: every employee impacted by the virus is back at work.

As of this morning, for the first time since the pandemic began, we have zero employees out of work due to either infection or presumed infection and zero employees out on precautionary quarantine. In total, to date, we have had just over 100 employees impacted by the virus, including 29 who at one point or another were either positive or presumed positive.

This, of course, does not mean we’re out of the woods, not by a longshot. But it’s a remarkable gauge of everything we’ve been through—even more remarkable considering that we  have continued to provide high quality drinking water to our customers all throughout the pandemic.

Thank you.

May 26, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    1                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   0                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    29

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    72

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 26, 2020

Good Morning –

Linked here you will find the Board approved COVID Response Plan – Phase 1.  Please take a moment to review the policy and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

May 21, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    28

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    71

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 21, 2020

To all employees:

The Suffolk County Water Authority and its staff have been tested like never before over the last several months. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended virtually every aspect of all of our lives, including the working environment here at SCWA.

Now that the COVID-19 curve has been flattened and we’re getting closer every day to meeting all criteria for loosening pandemic restrictions, it is time to start planning a transition for remote workers to return back to the office or work station.

 

A New SCWA Workplace

I want to assure everyone that your workplace is taking every possible precaution to protect your health. To adapt to the new circumstances in which we all now live, SCWA has made substantial changes to our workplace to ensure a safe environment for all SCWA employees.

In a lot of ways, those who have been working remotely may not even recognize the workplace they left.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have adjusted the way we go about performing our job functions as constantly evolving circumstances dictate. For instance:

 

  • We are in the process of renovating office spaces in order to increase physical distance between employees;

 

  • We have staggered shifts and breaks to accomplish the same goal;

 

  • A personal supply of hand sanitizer is now not only available on request from Stores, but we will very soon have hand sanitizer dispensers in prominent locations in all SCWA buildings;

 

  • The wearing of face coverings in areas shared by multiple employees is now standard protocol;

 

  • Shared spaces are wiped down with disinfectant at least daily;  

 

  • We are also in the process of installing plexiglass barriers between work stations to ensure at least a five-foot high protective wall between cubicles;

 

  • The excused time provisions of our precautionary quarantine protocol are more generous than the state requires, and we have ensured that anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 is sent home promptly.

 

  • We have allowed employees to work from home, though, as a public authority, we were not required to do so.

 

A Unified Workforce Focusing on Safety

Most of all, we as a unified workforce have readily adopted the measures recommended by health professionals to protect our health and the health of others, such as frequently washing our hands and maintaining at least a six-foot distance between ourselves and others. I think you’ll see very quickly that these measures, though required, are practiced willingly by your fellow employees.

A Blueprint for Our New Workplace

The SCWA Board is expected to approve on May 21, 2020 Phase I of our plan to transition workers back to the workplace, an action that will formalize many of the measures noted above and provide a blueprint for a complete transition to our changed workplace.

Working to Meet Individual Employee Needs

Human Resources is working with department heads on this transition. Every employee’s unique circumstances will be taken into consideration; if you have medical or child care concerns or if you have another compelling reason to continue working remotely, we will seek to accommodate your needs if possible, so long as doing so does not impede our ability to operate efficiently.  

Your department head or supervisor will be in touch with each remote worker soon to discuss this transition. You have my word we’ll do everything within our power to ensure that if you are returning to the office, your return will be a safe one.

We’re in this Together to Provide a Vital Service

The COVID-19 virus is scary. But we have an essential job function, providing a vital supply of high quality drinking water to our customers. They’re depending on us, and so we’re depending on you to do your part to reacclimate to your new work environment.

Please know my door is always open if you have any questions about this transition or suggestions for any additional safety measures.

May 20, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    27

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    72

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 19, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    27

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    71

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 18, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    26

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    72

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 15, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    4                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    25

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    71

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 14, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    4                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    25

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    70

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 13, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    25

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    71

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 12, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    4                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   3                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    24

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    69

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 11, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   3                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    22

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    68

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 8, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    6                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    22

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    68

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 7, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    7                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    70

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 6, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    7                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   1                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    70

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 5, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    7                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   3                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    68

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 4, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   5                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    65

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 1, 2020

To all Employees:

It’s been brought to my attention that one of our employees received a bill for $120 after taking a COVID-19 test. Please keep in mind that tests are free in New York if ordered by a healthcare provider or administered at a testing facility.

After contacting the facility, the employee was advised that an incorrect diagnostic code was used (a mistake made not just in regard to our employee’s bill but on the bills of hundreds of other people). So please keep in mind that if you were tested for COVID-19 and you receive a bill, you should contact the facility to have the issue corrected so you do not have to pay for the test.

Also, the additional supply of bandannas has arrived, so we now have enough on hand for everyone to get one. If they’re not already available at your office, they will be within the next couple of days.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

May 1, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:   3                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    65

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 30, 2020

To all Employees:

There may not be a lot of good news in the world right now, but I have some great news to report about SCWA, its financial management and its standing in the financial community.

Earlier this week, SCWA secured a very low 3.077% interest rate on an $87 million bond offering that will help us to fund vital capital projects, including new water mains, wells and treatment systems that remove contaminants such as PFOS, PFOA and 1,4-dioxane from the drinking water supply. This news comes right after two major bond ratings agencies, S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings, Inc., affirmed SCWA’s AAA bond ratings, the highest ratings possible.

Think about that: AAA bond ratings in the middle of a pandemic and a brutal economy. It’s not only an extraordinary testament to the strength of our financial management, but also directly benefits our customers, as sterling bond ratings bring low borrowing costs, which help us to keep rates among the lowest of large water suppliers in the country.

Both Fitch and S&P issued analyses of our management practices and fiscal standing that are filled with superlatives about our low rates; the expectation that we will thrive even during the pandemic; our solid debt service coverage ratios; and our strong financial management, among other highlights.

I encourage you to read both the S&P and Fitch analyses, which are attached above. I think they’ll make you very proud of where you work.

April 30, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:     5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:   20

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    65

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 29, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:     5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    2                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:   19

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    65

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 28, 2020

To all Employees:

  • Our bandannas have arrived! We have 500 on hand, so supply should be sufficient for nearly every employee to get one from the current stock, but if you do not get one, 200 more will be here by next week. They are made of a washable microfiber cloth that is comfortable to wear. We are in the process of distributing them to supervisors, and they should arrive at your office or work station by tomorrow. At that point, supervisors will distribute them to you. For employees working from home, supervisors will either hold on to yours until you return to work or work out arrangements with you to pick you up your bandanna. I hope you’ll wear yours proudly—they are in SCWA colors and feature our logo.

 

  • As noted by Donna Mancuso this morning, it is imperative that you return empty spray bottles of disinfectant cleaner to the Storeroom, as bottles of disinfectant are hard to obtain right now. The Storeroom does presently, however, have concentrated disinfectant on hand that they are mixing and distributing in spray bottles, so the more spray bottles that are brought in, the more we can distribute for your use. The bottles are being distributed with the label attached above, so if the bottle has this label, the product is safe for use on hard surfaces such as tables, floors, doorknobs and steering wheels.

 

  • If you have the opportunity, look out your window for a glimpse of the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds, who will be doing a joint flyover to salute our front line COVID-19  responders. They are scheduled to fly right over SCWA headquarters in Oakdale between noon and 12:30 p.m.

 

  • A huge thanks to the SCWA employees who turned out early this morning for a photo shoot for a full-page ad that will appear in Newsday’s LI Life section this Sunday, May 3, to assure our customers that their water during the pandemic is of the same high quality as ever and to thank all SCWA employees for making sure that is the case. The SCWA employees to appear in the shoot were Tim Kilcommons, Phil Malone, Jason Edmondson, Kevin Hough, Ty Fuller, Dawn Warren, Emily Lowe, Alexandra Nuzzo, Rich Reinfrank, Yang Li, Alexandra Zaweski and Meghan Cameron. Make sure to look for the ad this Sunday to see your co-workers and read our message to our customers and employees. One note: it’s unclear at this point which employees will be in the final photo or photos used for the ad, but anyone who doesn’t make it into the ad can be assured a photo with them in it will be used in SCWA publications, social media or on our website.  

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 28, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce. Our numbers are continuing to trend in the right direction with more employees coming back to work:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    5                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    4                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    18

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    63

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 27, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:     6                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    4                                             

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:   16

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    62

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 24, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce. The numbers continue to move in the right direction, with more and more employees coming back to work:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    7                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:     9                                 

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    15

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:     56

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 22, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our workforce. As with yesterday, the numbers are trending in the right direction, with fewer employees in mandatory isolation or precautionary quarantine and more returning to work:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    11                                                       

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    15

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    10

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    49

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 21, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

Below is a snapshot of where we stand. As you can see, more employees are being cleared to return to work every day:

 

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    12                                                       

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    21

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    9

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    43

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 20, 2020

To all Employees:

 

  • Safety Supervisor Nick Swain is preparing “care packages” for our work-from-home employees, with each kit containing three surgical masks and a thermometer (and he is wearing personal protective equipment as he’s putting the packages together as a safety precaution). The packages are being mailed to employees’ homes upon request, so if you would like one, please email Nick at the email address below.

 

  • As noted by Governor Cuomo in his briefing today, there’s much to be optimistic about in the fight against COVID-19, as both statewide deaths and hospitalizations are down in recent days. But the shutdown of schools and businesses considered to be non-essential have been extended to May 15, which should remind all of us how incredibly important it is to remain vigilant with the practices we’ve adopted to protect ourselves, our co-workers and our loved ones during this ordeal. (For a quick review of those practices, please see the link to the video sent out via text on Friday).

 

  • Many employees have sought latex gloves to wear during the workday. If you’re working in the field and wearing work gloves, it is not necessary to wear latex gloves under them unless you have open cuts or sores. If you do not have a job that previously required wearing gloves, you do not need them now. COVID-19 cannot penetrate healthy skin; it enters the body through mucous membranes, which are in your eyes, mouth, and nose. Latex gloves may help remind you not to touch your face, but do not provide additional protection against the virus. 

 

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nick Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 20, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

Below is a snapshot of where we stand:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    11                                                       

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    28

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    8

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    37

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 17, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

Below is a snapshot of where we stand:

Employees Positive or Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    7                                                       

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    29

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work:    4

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    31

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 16, 2020 

To all Employees:

As you know, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Suffolk County Water Authority implemented a number of temporary policy and procedure changes to protect the health of our employees and ensure our continued ability to provide a high quality and reliable drinking water supply to our customers.  One such change allowed employees to work from home. Close to 150 employees from nearly all departments have participated in this telecommuting initiative.

The initiative has proven to be a workable, short-term means of continuing productivity while protecting employee safety during these unprecedented times, with supervisors overseeing and resolving any issues that come up and employees submitting work logs and summaries accounting for work performed. Although telecommuting is not ideal, our employees—both those working from home and those supervising them—have made it work to the benefit of our customers. 

Some employees working from home have asked when they will report back to their SCWA office. Please know we are evaluating conditions on a daily basis, and although the curve of new positive COVID-19 cases in New York may have leveled off, we may still have a long way to go before the danger of COVID-19 subsides to a degree that we can safely return employees to their work stations. We will be relying on direction from Governor Cuomo and scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as to when it will be safe to resume standard operations.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and please stay safe. And a special thank you to our Information Technology staff for their efforts in assisting telecommuting employees with technical issues that have arisen during the work-from-home initiative.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 15, 2020

To all Employees:

Below are updates regarding face coverings and organization-wide temperature-taking:

  • As noted yesterday, Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order that goes into effect at 8 p.m. tonight requiring all employees working for an essential business (such as SCWA) to be provided with and wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. Today, the governor indicated that this approach would be expanded in a new order requiring that all New Yorkers wear face coverings in all public settings in which they cannot keep six feet away from others. The order is expected to take effect this coming Saturday. (SCWA, as a reminder, has already instituted internal policy requiring employees to wear face coverings when working within six feet of each other whenever possible to protect the health of all employees.)

 

  • We will also be expanding our temporary policy regarding taking the temperature of employees prior to beginning their workday to all departments to the greatest extent possible.  Our considerable efforts to distance employees from each other through measures such as shifts that begin very early in the morning or end late at night may not make it possible or practical for everyone’s temperature to be taken. But we’d like to see as many employees as possible get in the habit of being checked for a fever by a supervisor every day. We believe this practice will not only help to track employees who may have COVID-19 symptoms, but just as important,  it should help to assure employees that their co-workers are healthy, and thus give employees greater peace of mind in coming to work every day. As noted, digital thermometers are now available at all offices; if you do not have one readily available, please check with your supervisor or contact Safety Supervisor Nicholas Swain.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 15, 2020

To all Employees:

 

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

 

Below is a snapshot of where we stand:

Employees Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    8                                                                                                                                                               

Employees Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    2                            

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    27

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work by the SCDHS:    1

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    26

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 14, 2020

To all Employees:

Two important updates for you today:

  • Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order, which will take effect tomorrow, Wednesday, at 8 p.m., requiring all employees working for an essential business (such as SCWA) to be provided with and wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. As we made clear yesterday, masks are now available at all offices. This order is subject to enforcement by local governments or local law enforcement, so please make sure to abide by it. Also, as a reminder, it is essential that employees wear face coverings when working within six feet of each other whenever possible. Doing so will protect your health and the health of your co-workers.

 

  • All offices have access to the digital infrared forehead thermometers distributed this week. As noted, those working on Production Control and Construction/Maintenance crews are required to have their temperatures taken every day prior to beginning work, but I strongly encourage all employees to avail themselves of the thermometers now available in your office via your supervisor. It’s another way we can all do everything possible to ensure a healthy work environment.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 13, 2020

To all Employees:

A brief update on masks—I’m happy to announce that the first half of our order of 20,000 surgical masks has arrived. All offices will be supplied with these masks within the next day or two. Employees will be allowed to take as many as five masks each, with supplies replenished when possible.

Please keep in mind that health officials have indicated that face coverings made out of bandannas, tee shirts and scarves are just as effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 as surgical masks. We have ordered a supply of bandannas that will allow us to give one to any employee who wants one, but with supplies tight, we do not yet have a delivery date. In the meantime, if you would like to construct your own face covering, please view this brief tutorial offered by U.S. Surgeon General  to see how easy it is to make one.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 9, 2020

To all Employees:

At certain times during the year I look forward to reaching out to all of you and wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday.  But this is not a typical holiday greeting. How could it be? What you’ve all been through over the last six weeks has been unprecedented and downright scary. You’ve had to adjust to ever-changing circumstances, sometimes on a daily basis. You’ve had to do your level best to balance work and family concerns, striving always to make it all work and to keep everyone you love healthy.

As we enter the three day weekend I ask that you  try to set some time aside to relax and reflect and give real thought to what really matters in life. Turn off the news, put down your phone and appreciate the people you are with.

So please know how much the Board members and I appreciate your dedication, your adaptability, your hard work, your creativity. I hope you have a healthy and happy holiday weekend, that you’ll find creative ways to enjoy yourself and that you’ll enjoy the warmth and love of your family.

You deserve it. 

April 9, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information on facial masks/coverings and an update on our successful effort to equip departments with thermometers:

  • We have just received a shipment of 200 KN95 masks. In accordance with established protocol, these masks will be made available, as needed, to employees working in close contact with the public. To whatever degree possible, we will also make them available to employees with severe underlying medical conditions and anyone else who feels they are at a higher health risk from the impacts of COVID-19. Please contact Safety Supervisor Nick Swain to request a mask if you fit this criteria. (Please note that underlying medical conditions must be reported to Chief Human Resources Officer Donna Mancuso.)

 

  • As noted in a bulletin on Tuesday, sufficient numbers of surgical masks have been distributed to all offices to provide at least one for any employee who wants one. We have an additional 20,000 on order, but as we do not yet have a delivery date due to tight supply, please reuse your mask if possible. Also, please keep in mind that health officials have made it clear that face coverings made out of bandannas, tee shirts and scarves are just as effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19 as surgical masks.

 

  • We have also ordered enough bandannas (featuring the SCWA logo) for any employee who would like one. We will advise when the bandannas arrive (the current estimate is eight to ten working days, but again, it’s difficult to predict with supplies of bandannas also very tight right now.)

 

  • We have also secured (and are picking up today from a Long Island business) 25 digital infrared forehead thermometers that will be distributed promptly to all offices for employee temperature taking. As noted yesterday, all employees who work on a crew will be required to have their temperature taken at the beginning of shifts.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 9, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

As of this morning, this is a snapshot of where we stand:

 

Employees Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    4                                                                                                                                                                

Employees Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    5                             

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    43

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work by the SCDHS: 1      

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    11                              

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 8, 2020

To all Employees:

As you know, we’ve made strenuous efforts since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the safety of all Suffolk County Water Authority employees through a wide variety of comprehensive measures, including work-from-home arrangements for nearly 150 employees; alterations to shifts to have fewer employees working in a given space at a given time; not requiring employees to punch in at time clocks and allowing them to go directly to vehicles; constant cleaning and sanitizing of work spaces; precautionary quarantines with paid excused time terms that are more generous than required by New York State; and daily messaging about the steps we all need to take on our own to provide a safe work environment, such as practicing social distancing, washing hands frequently, wiping down shared work spaces with disinfectant and, most importantly, not coming to work in the first place if you are feeling sick.

I want to thank all of you who have taken these measures to heart and have done everything you can to protect your own safety and the safety of your co-workers so we can continue to do what we’ve always done—ensure that 1.2 million Suffolk residents have a reliable supply of high quality drinking water.

However, still to this day, despite everything mentioned above, we continue to have employees showing up to work with COVID-19 symptoms.  This is highly irresponsible and risks infection of fellow employees. Simply put, showing up to work sick not only jeopardizes the health and safety of SCWA employees but also jeopardizes our ability to continue to perform our essential function.

As such, in the coming days we will be initiating new measures to protect the health of SCWA employees. Since they are sometimes required to work in close proximity to each other, all employees who work on a crew in Production Control or Construction/Maintenance will be required to have their temperature taken by their supervisor at their trucks every morning before going into the field with forehead thermometer kits assigned to each employee. All supervisors should wear goggles, masks and gloves during this process to protect employee safety.

These employees will also be asked the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission-approved questions pertaining to employee health, which are:

Do you have a fever?

Do you have chills?

Do you have a cough?

Do you have shortness of breath?

Do you have a sore throat?

Do you have a severe headache?

Is anyone in your immediate household experiencing any of the above symptoms?

Have you been in close contact with anyone experiencing any of the above symptoms?

Employee answers to each question will be recorded every day on a checklist maintained by his or her supervisor. There will also be a place on the checklist to record the employee’s temperature.

Those whose temperatures are above 100.4 degrees F (the temperature at or above that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a fever) will be required to leave, and will not be allowed to return to work until their temperature is below 100.4 degrees. The status of employees whose temperatures are below 100.4 degrees but exhibit, or acknowledge having, one or more of the symptoms in the list of questions will be at the discretion of their supervisor.

If an employee is directed to leave work and feels he or she may have COVID-19, the employee should seek a test for the virus. If health officials feel the symptoms  are serious enough to warrant a test, the employee should notify our Human Resources department and will be put into paid excused quarantine, and subject to follow all quarantine rules. If the employee does not seek to take a test or a test is denied by health officials, the employee will be required to use his or her own accruals while not at work. Our HR department will check to see how the employee feels the day after he or she leaves work.

This policy will be expanded to other departments as needed.

Please continue to do everything you can to help us to keep all SCWA employees safe.

April 8, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. As noted yesterday, Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

As of this morning, this is a snapshot of where we stand.

Employees Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                                                                                                                                          

Employees Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    4                                                      

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    37

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work by the SCDHS:  0

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    10

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.  Please remember, if you don’t feel well STAY HOME.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 7, 2020

To all Employees:

Below is the latest information regarding COVID-19 as it relates to our employees and workplace. As each situation has numerous distinct details that make it different from any other, to keep these updates as simple as possible, I am providing below basic summary information; Donna Mancuso will continue to provide details of specific situations via email to employees of any department or office impacted either directly or indirectly by the COVID-19 virus.

As of this morning, this is a snapshot of where we stand. I will continue to update you on changes to these figures on a regular basis.

Employees Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                                                                                                                                                 

Employees Presumed Positive for COVID-19 and Currently in Mandatory Isolation:    3                                  

Employees Currently in Precautionary Quarantine:    26

Employees Formerly Positive or Presumed Positive Cleared to Return to Work by the SCDHS:  0

Employees Formerly in Precautionary Quarantine Cleared to Return to Work:    9

Please note that precautionary quarantine refers to employees who have not tested positive, but have been in close or proximate contact with someone who has, and are thus being directed to quarantine out of an abundance of caution.

Thank you for all your efforts work to keep our workplace safe and our water flowing to our customers. Please continue to practice all measures recommended to help protect the safety of all SCWA employees and the general public—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others whenever possible; washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water and/or using hand sanitizer; wiping down all shared surfaces with disinfectant; and refraining from touching your face.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 6, 2020

To all Employees:

A great deal of focus in our communications during the COVID-19 outbreak has been on workplace safety, the actions we’re all taking to protect our health and the health of our co-workers, whether it be through social distancing, working from home, working on spread out shifts, wiping down surfaces with disinfectant, washing our hands frequently or other measures.

But since the virus may, unfortunately, be found in many familiar places we all go to, such as delis and convenience stores, I want to place a particular emphasis today on taking actions to protect the health of your fellow employees through your choices about where you go on breaks during the workday. As health professionals have made clear this week, we are at or approaching the anticipated peak of the outbreak in New York. That means, as health professionals have also said this week, it is more important than ever to avoid locations where many people congregate, such as the businesses referenced above as well as supermarkets and pharmacies. This is the time we all have to be extremely vigilant about where we go.

So, it’s as good a time as any to brown bag your lunch. Or avoid that mid-morning coffee trip, or that irresistible egg sandwich. With a little luck, we’ll be back to frequenting our favorite spots very soon. But right now, skipping such places could be the difference between staying healthy or getting sick, and/or getting co-workers sick.

I hope you’ll follow this advice, and thanks as always for all your hard work in keeping our operations going.

Also, an update on the surgical masks referenced last week—we are still expecting delivery imminently and are developing a distribution plan, but in addition or instead, depending on your preference, you can also use your own face coveralls to help stop the spread of the virus, such as bandanas, scarves or tee shirts. Every bit helps. We ordered bandanas today, and will advise when they arrive for those who would like one.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 3, 2020

COVID-19 Isolation Information SC Health

COVID-19 Quarantine Information from SC Health

Quarantine Guidance (updated April 2020)

To all Employees:

There’s been a tremendous national focus this week on the use of facial masks during the COVID-19 outbreak both as self-protection and to protect others around you. As such, I wanted to provide the latest information we have on the use of masks in the SCWA workplace.

First, to reiterate a point made earlier this week, we have on hand a supply of N95 and P95 masks that are being distributed to employees on an as-need basis, prioritized by the degree to which the employee is engaging with the public or contractors. You are free to contact Safety Supervisor Nick Swain about the availability of such masks, but please understand that we do not have sufficient supplies at this point to make them available to all office staff. For those who are using them, please reuse the masks in accordance with the guidance document that was distributed and is available on the employee portal.

We do have some very good news on the surgical mask front—Storeroom Manager Bill Martin has secured 20,000 masks that should be available by the middle of next week. These are considered to be disposable masks. These masks are primarily designed to protect other individuals, not the wearer. Surgical masks stop infected droplets coming from the wearer’s nose or mouth; they’re not designed to prevent the acquisition of the virus from others. And it is extremely important to note that the wearing of a surgical mask should not replace the need to practice social distancing; they are not needed if you’re working in an office and your co-workers are at least six feet away. However, we will distribute these masks to department heads as soon as they become available, and they will be available to any employee who requests them.

We will continue to adapt to any new directives or guidance coming from the federal, state or local governments regarding masks. As of today, there are still a wide range of opinions from health professionals on the efficacy of wearing masks by the general public to stop the spread of COVID-19. New York City is now urging anyone out in public to use a face coverall, meaning some means of protecting their face, preferably a scarf or homemade mask or bandanna (in order to ensure that health professionals have the official masks they need to perform their duties). Such initiatives may soon be the norm in Suffolk.

A couple other important points on other topics:

  • It is essential that all employees familiarize themselves with the guidance documents linked above regarding proper quarantine and isolation protocol. Please do not wait until you may be in a situation in which you’re asked or directed into quarantine. Knowing all the do’s and don’ts of properly quarantining or isolating will help you protect your family and your co-workers.

 

  • We have a new cleaning contractor in place, and we have verified with them that they are taking all possible precautions against the potential spread of COVID-19. Any cleaning employee that does not feel well will not be allowed in any SCWA office, and all of the cleaning contractors employees have been notified of this via signage in their offices and direct letters. They are also using gloves while working and disinfecting shared surfaces in all of our offices every night.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 2, 2020

To all Employees:

We’ve been sending you a lot of information since the COVID-19 outbreak began, but there are a few points that are so vitally important to the health and safety of our employees and our ability to continue to supply a vital resource to our customers that they need to be repeated again and acted upon by all SCWA employees. Every single day, all day, no exceptions.

  • If you are feeling sick, you absolutely, positively need to stay home. Situations have come up in various offices in which employees are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 and coming to work anyway. This has to stop. As noted in a bulletin earlier this week, any employee with significant enough symptoms to require a COVID-19 test as authorized by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services or in close contact with another individual experiencing symptoms will be given paid excused time until the test results are available.  If the employee or close contact is positive, the employee will receive paid excused time for a 14-day quarantine period. We are taking these steps—which are more generous than even the state is requiring—to protect the health of all SCWA employees. So if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone else who has, tell Human Resources immediately. And do the right thing by keeping away from the workplace until your health status has been cleared by health professionals.

 

  • If you are coming to work at an SCWA office, keep your distance from others. Despite all the warnings we all hear every day at the workplace and in the media, there are still a considerable number of SCWA employees not practicing social distancing from others. Health professionals have been crystal clear that one vital means of protecting your health during this outbreak is to keep at least six-feet away from others at all times. By making work-from-home arrangements for more than 100 employees and allowing shift changes to reduce the number of employees in a given place at the same time, we have made it far easier to maintain this practice. For everyone’s safety, please do your part and remain the appropriate distance from all other employees.

 

  • Wash your hands, with warm water and soap, frequently. We can’t say this enough—viruses such as COVID-19, according to health professionals, are transmitted through the mouth, nose and lungs, which are all examples of mucous membranes. Your hands are not mucous membranes, and viruses cannot penetrate unbroken skin. Viruses are broken down by soap and warm water, which is why it is so important to wash your hands frequently. The only way for a virus to be transmitted from a surface you touched is to subsequently touch your eyes, mouth or nose afterward. So washing your wands frequently, particularly before and after touching a shared surface, such as a doorknob, is essential in protecting you from COVID-19. Please refer to these resources for further information: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-basics

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+conditions+prevention+and+treatment/infectious+diseases/ways+infectious+diseases+spread

One additional point on this topic: It is ok until further notice to keep doors within offices propped open to avoid touching doorknobs when the doors are within a secure facility. To protect everyone’s security, do not prop open doors leading to an area accessible to the public.

Thank you for your hard work and your continued attention to these important safety precautions.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

April 1, 2020

To all Employees:

As we all get used to our incredibly unusual “new normal,” I hope you’ve had time to reflect on the nature of the work you do and its importance to the lives of the 1.2 million people we serve. Everywhere around us, daily life has been impacted by COVID-19, perhaps even transformed. And yet one thing has not changed—we continue to provide a high quality and reliable drinking water supply, even in this, the most challenging of times.

Though we all have our minds on so many things right now, I hope you’re able to take a moment to take some satisfaction in your role in providing this vital resource. I know not a day has gone by when I haven’t marveled at the quick adaptation everyone has made to the blizzard of new protocols under which we are now operating. Like you all, I’m sure, I look forward to getting back to our usual operational procedures, whenever that becomes possible. But this situation has certainly provided a unique opportunity to see what we can do when it becomes necessary to keep pumping the water under the most trying circumstances.

On behalf of the Board, I greatly appreciate all the great work you’re doing as well as the observations you’ve made and questions you’ve posed since this ordeal began. Please continue to do so to the employees referenced below and we will continue to answer them.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

March 31, 2020

To all Employees:

Empire Telehealth Virtual Appointment

I want to update you on a number of topics concerning the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • In order to ensure we are taking every possible precaution in protecting our employees, any employee experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and approved by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to take a COVID-19 test or an employee in close contact with someone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and taking a COVID-19 test will be given paid excused time until test results are available. The employee will be required to provide the name and relationship of the individual approved to take the COVID-19 test if other than themselves.  If the employee or the close contact tests positive, the employee will receive paid excused time for a 14-day quarantine period, beginning from the date on which a doctor or the SCDHS indicates that symptoms began. If the employee or close contact tests negative, the employee will be required to return to work immediately. Please note that this policy pertains strictly to situations involving COVID-19. This  policy will help ensure that employees who feel they may be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are in close contact with someone else who does will stay home and therefore protect the health of other SCWA employees.

 

  • We’re very encouraged by reports we’re getting of employees showing symptoms of sickness and deciding to stay home, as we’ve strongly encouraged. However, when you are in such a situation, please make clear to your supervisor if you are staying home due to symptoms associated with COVID-19. This will allow us to take the any necessary precautionary measures to protect other SCWA employees. (A series of standard questions are being developed to help supervisors interact with employees to obtain accurate and consistent information in such situations).

 

  • As noted yesterday, we are distributing N95 and P95 masks to employees in the field on an as-needed basis, prioritizing field employees who regularly interact with the public. We do not have enough masks to provide them to any employee who would like one at this time, but are actively seeking additional masks. For those who do have masks, please follow the guidelines distributed yesterday on how to properly care for the masks so they are suitable for reuse.

 

  • Some of you have asked about SCWA protocol regarding employees returning to the workforce after a period of quarantine pertaining to the COVID-19 virus. Once an individual has undertaken a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, he or she is considered to be safe to return to work so long as the employee has secured the approval of the SCDHS to do so.

 

  • We encourage you to please take advantage of the Empire Plan’s telehealth benefit, through which you can access health services remotely. LiveHealth Online provides access to a video visit with a board-certified doctor or licensed therapist right from your smartphone, tablet or personal computer. Please see the attached guide to register. When booking an appointment, you will be asked for a credit card in order to move forward, but your card will not be charged as long as you use this coupon code: NYSHIP. For additional assistance, call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program.

 

  • Labels for the chlorine solution developed by Production Control to disinfect hard surfaces (other than computer equipment) are being circulated to all offices today. If you have a bottle of the solution, please affix one of the labels to it, so it is readily identified as 3% CL2 solution. We are currently seeking small plastic bottles to use for the NYS Clean hand sanitizer obtained by the Emergency Services Office over the weekend. Once bottles have been secured, we will fill and label them and distribute them to all offices. In the meantime, if you have empty sanitizer bottles you would like refilled, you can call Storeroom Manager Bill Martin and make arrangements to have your bottles filled.
  • It is essential for all employees to practice what are now the familiar measures to help ensure the safety of everyone—maintaining at least a six-foot physical distance between yourself and others; washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using sanitizer; wiping down shared surfaces with disinfectant; refraining from touching your face. This protocol is even more important when employees choose to go to areas in which members of the public congregate, such as delis and convenience stores. Please follow the practices for everyone’s safety.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

March 30, 2020

To all Employees:

I’m pleased to let you know that our request for additional emergency supplies from Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services has been successful—our Emergency Management Office picked up the additional supplies on Saturday. Among the supplies are 12 gallons of the new NYS Clean 75% alcohol hand sanitizer. We are in the process of working on the logistics of making the sanitizer available in smaller bottles for employee use and affixing the bottles with labels resembling the official state label. This will distinguish the hand sanitizer from the disinfecting chlorine solution developed by Production Control for use on hard surfaces (this product, too, will have its own label, which you should start seeing in the next couple of days. This should be used to sanitize tables, doorknobs, railings and steering wheels, but not on clothing or computer supplies or hands. It is indicated on the front label that the product is made of 3% CL2 solution).

We also received 30 boxes of surgical gloves and a supply of N95 masks that, along with the P95 masks we already had on hand, will be distributed to employees on an as-needed basis. For those of you who will be using the masks, I am attaching a guide developed by SCWA with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to show you how to properly and safely reuse the masks (with supplies still very tight, all employees should reuse their masks unless they need to be discarded in accordance with the guidelines linked HERE).

Please direct any questions about the masks or gloves to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com and any questions about the disinfectant spray or hand sanitizer to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Please contact Donna Mancuso with any questions concerning COVID-19 and the workplace.

March 27, 2020

To all Employees:

I’m writing to keep you apprised of the latest developments regarding SCWA employees connected to the COVID-19 virus and actions that have been taken to address each situation.

A Facilities employee alerted us this morning that she has tested positive for COVID-19. She was tested for COVID-19 as she was not feeling well on Wednesday, March 25. The employee was last in the office on Tuesday, March 24. She indicated that she had limited interaction with anyone else in the building and has been keeping the recommended six-foot distance from others at all times.

The Suffolk County Department of Health Services has indicated that since the employees was not exhibiting any symptoms when at work on Tuesday, and since she kept a six-foot distance between herself and others in the building, a precautionary quarantine is not necessary for other employees in the building. All surfaces have been wiped down with disinfectant.

An employee of the Customer Service Call Center has a son-in-law who has tested positive for COVID-19. Her daughter is currently experiencing symptoms and is considered an “A” contact since they all live together (I’ve again attached above the NYSDOH’s COVID-19 contacts guide for your reference). The SCWA employee is currently not experiencing symptoms. At this time she is considered a “B” in the contacts guide. If you were working in the Call Center over the past eight days, you are considered a “C” and no action is necessary at this time. If the employee begins to develop symptoms or is tested and receives a positive result, we will consult with the SCDHS for guidance on any further actions that may be required. I will be sure to keep you apprised of any developments.

A Purchasing employee reported that a daughter who lives with her has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has been alternating between working from home and working at the office. Her last day in the office was March 25, when she worked for three hours in the morning. She received the news about her daughter that afternoon. She reported having a headache, but no other symptoms at this time. She has been in touch with the SCDHS and is waiting for an appointment for a test. She also indicated that she has been keeping the proper physical distance from all employees and worked at her desk most of the time she was in the office. Fellow employees subsequently disinfected all shared surfaces.

All Purchasing employees have been told to work from home until we receive further results. All employees of the Technical Services building are considered “C” contacts in the attached guidance document; there is no need for them to quarantine at this time. If the employee tests positive or becomes symptomatic, we will be contacted and receive guidance from the SCDHS as to how to proceed.

As a reminder, please make sure to keep at least a six-foot distance between you and others at all times, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, wipe down your office space and/or company vehicles with disinfectant daily and, most importantly, please for the sake of the health of all SCWA employees, do not come to work if you feel sick.

Please know that Facilities is working with our new cleaning contractor, who starts this weekend, to sanitize each of these three buildings—the Technical Services, the Customer Service Coram and the Facilities building. This is not a recommendation of the health department, but is being undertaken out of an abundance of caution to do everything possible to protect the health of SCWA employees.

If you have any questions about any of the situations above, or if you yourself begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, please contact Human Resources.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com.

March 25, 2020

To all Employees:

CDC - Resources for Households

A few important issues I wanted to bring to your attention today:

  • It is critically important during this emergency period that we all reassure the public that their water is perfectly safe to drink. As noted in prior bulletins, SCWA treats the drinking water supply with trace amounts of chlorine at our pump stations to prevent the growth of pathogens such as the COVID-19 virus. We are all, every one of us, responsible for making sure the public understands this. Everyone has enough to worry about without having to unnecessarily worry about their drinking water supply or unnecessarily stock up on bottled water.
  • You’ve heard this before, but it can’t be stressed enough: Every employee should endeavor to wipe down their desks, computers, phones and doorknobs on a daily basis with disinfectant wipes. Field staff has been provided with the disinfectant solution prepared by Production Control and should be wiping down their dashboards, steering wheels and door handles at the beginning and end of shifts or whenever else it may be necessary. It is essential that we all do our part to help protect the health of all SCWA employees. Specific guidance on steps to follow to properly disinfect surfaces is attached in the document above.
  • To reiterate: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and health officials have made it clear that disinfectant wipes and chlorine/water solution will thoroughly disinfect the surfaces referenced above. A professional cleaning is not necessary to ensure worker safety.
  • If during the course of the outbreak you are stopped in your vehicle and asked why you are not home, please show them your SCWA identification badge and let the officer know that you work for a company providing an essential service. Please let us know if you encounter any difficulty in getting to work.
  • Critical guidance documents on a wide variety of COVID-19 related topics are now featured prominently on the employee portal. Please use this tremendous resource.
  • In regard to your personal health, please make sure to let Human Resources know if you are not feeling well. For everyone’s well-being, it is essential that we are all communicative about the state of our health, particularly if any of us are experiencing symptoms associated with the virus, such as fever, shortness of breath or a cough.
  • Some important information I want to pass on from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles: all licenses, non-driver IDs and registrations with an expiration date of March 1, 2020 or later have been extended and all DMV offices are closed and road tests suspended until further notice. So if you have a license that is about to expire and had been concerned about the potential ramifications on your ability to drive to and from work or at work, it is not an issue.
  • As noted by Benefits Specialist Nora Cairo yesterday, please know that there are tremendous resources available to you during this very stressful time.  To access our work/life assistance program, CCA@YourService, 24 hours a day, call 1-800-833-8707 or log onto the website myccaonline.com (the web ID is SCWA). Webinars on relevant topics are also held every week. You can register for individual webinars at the below links:

PARENTING DURING COVID-19 – MARCH 26 @ 11am
PARENTING DURING COVID-19 – MARCH 30 @3pm
WORKING REMOTELY – MARCH 31 @ 2pm
STRESS MANAGEMENT – APRIL 1 @ 10:30am
WORKING REMOTELY – APRIL 1 @ 2pm
STRESS MANAGEMENT – APRIL 2 @ 3pm
WORKING REMOTELY – APRIL 3 @ 11am

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com

March 24, 2020

To all Employees:

Though we’re all enduring extremely difficult circumstances in managing our work duties and family responsibilities while also adapting to new routines to avoid the virus that has upended our lives, one positive aspect of this situation is the creativity and resilience being displayed by SCWA employees throughout our company.

For instance, a bunch of innovative employees joined together to come up with and put into motion a clever—well, solution. The solution in this case is 44 ounces of 15% strength chlorine used at our pump stations to prevent bacterial growth in our water supply diluted with 55 gallons of water. The result? A handy, self-made disinfectant product available for your use (see photo below) in spray bottles we had on hand in Stores to disinfect hard surfaces, including doorknobs, railings, tables and steering wheels (but not to be used on computer equipment, clothes or carpets).

cleaning_solution

As of today, nearly 50 bottles had been distributed to employees with another batch ready to go out. Ten five-gallon jugs have also been provided to various locations to refill empty spray bottles. The solution is being manufactured at the Coram, Westhampton and Bay Shore offices.

This clever and extremely practical idea came from Emergency Managers Phil Thompson and Rich Bova. Phil and Control Center Supervisor Andrew Donnelly coordinated manufacture of the product in conjunction with Production Control. In addition to those three, Bob Cataldo, Chris Dervin, Rob Krudop, Kris Zimmer, AJ Clare, Paul Kondracki and Chris Niebling played various roles in planning, manufacturing, figuring mixture strength and distribution.

There’s even a label for our in-house product in development. More on that in the coming days. For now, if your office or work station would like a bottle, please contact Andrew Donnelly in the Bay Shore office, AJ Clare at Coram or Kris Zimmer in Westhampton.

We have also, as you probably know, been very creative in enabling approximately 100 employees to work from home to help employees address child care needs and to decrease the number of employees in any given office to encourage social distancing. I’m proud to announce that early returns from the Call Center have indicated that staff members have been able to keep levels of productivity in addressing customer calls at the same level they produce in the office. This is very gratifying to hear.

Reports are also positive from other departments utilizing work-from-home arrangements, and shift changes to allow employees more flexibility in the hours they work have not only proven to be effective, but have helped to protect employee health by freeing up vehicles for individual use, rather than sending employees out two-to-a-vehicle. I want to thank you all for efforts in making these arrangements work out, with a special thank you to IT for all they’ve done if facilitating work-from-home arrangements. Your efforts have helped us to both protect the health of our employees and keep the water flowing to our customers.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com.

March 23, 2020

To all Employees:

We are all experiencing an unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and the scenarios that may arise in terms of personal contact with others. But to keep this as simple as possible, I want to reiterate the points made in the guidance document from the New York State Department of Health attached above and distributed to you last week. Please make sure you are familiar with the guidance document’s contents, as it provides key information that may prove beneficial if you encounter such a situation in your workplace.

View the Guidance Document here

As the document notes: “If an asymptomatic employee calls their supervisor and notifies them that they are required to stay home in quarantine because they were a contact of a confirmed case, the contacts they had at work are considered ‘contacts of a contact’ and therefore not at risk. These ‘contacts of a contact’ are not required to be in quarantine and should be permitted to continue to work, following recommendations for social distancing as appropriate.”

This scenario applies for as long as the employee who had been a contact of a confirmed case remains asymptomatic for COVID-19.

We are receiving guidance from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services on a daily basis, and will continue to update you on any new important information. We all need to rely on health professionals for their expertise on this matter. Please, for the sake of everyone’s health and safety, follow the guidelines provided and do not spread any information that is not from an official source.

Thank you for your cooperation and for continuing to ensure that our customers have a safe and reliable drinking water supply.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com.

March 23, 2020

To all Employees:

In regard to the message I sent to you on Friday, we have learned that the Construction/Maintenance employee exposed to the COVID-19 virus through a domestic partner has been confirmed as positive for the virus. As noted on Friday, the employee and all other employees with whom he had contact during recent shifts are now in mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days. And to reiterate what I wrote on Friday, all trucks utilized by the employee and those in quarantine have been cleaned and sanitized professionally out of an abundance of caution.

I contacted all of those in quarantine, including the employee who tested positive. All have been given guidance offered by the New York State Department of Health about mandatory quarantine, what to do and what not to do.  All are in good spirits and are trying to follow the guidelines, which include not leaving their property; sleeping alone; keeping a log of everyone they have been in contact with in the period leading up to the quarantine; and understanding that they are not currently eligible to take a test for COVID-19 unless they begin to show symptoms (fortunately, to my knowledge, none others have, to date).

We have taken every possible necessary and recommended precaution to protect the health of the employee and all SCWA employees, and we are now awaiting further instruction from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services regarding any further needed steps. 

Let's all continue to diligently take all possible measures to keep everyone safe, including staying home if you feel sick, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as a fever, shortness of breath or a cough; washing hands thoroughly with soap frequently; and maintaining a six-foot distance from others whenever possible.

The adaptations you have all made in the past two weeks to adjust to our new reality are incredible. On behalf of the Board, I want you to know how proud we are of all you are doing to make sure a safe and reliable drinking water supply continues to be delivered to all of our customers.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com

March 20, 2020

Below are responses to two other important questions that came in this afternoon:

I understand that there are aspects of SCWA that are essential. Who determines that all of the employees are considered essential?

Governor Cuomo today signed an executive order mandating that 100% of the workforce must stay home until further notice, beginning this Sunday evening, exempting essential services. Listed among the exempted essential services are utilities, which confirms our position that all SCWA employees are considered essential. The governor’s statement also mirrors guidance provided yesterday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which, in a document entitled “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” lists water suppliers as among those essential to continued critical infrastructure viability.

You can view information about Governor Cuomo’s announcement at this link: https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home.

The Department of Homeland Security’s guidance document on essential services is available here: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce.

 

In regard to the new state law, will SCWA pay the employees up front and be reimbursed by the state? If so, will we be handling this with a tracking number, similar to how we handle FEMA emergency expenses? Is there any paperwork required to be completed by the employee?

Yes, SCWA will pick up the up-front cost of any accruals covered by the new law with the expectation of being reimbursed by the state. The law covers those employees who are directed by the Suffolk County Department of Health Services to quarantine. Such employees are entitled to excused days with pay for the duration of the quarantine period. To be clear, the law does not cover employees who have asked to work from home or employees who have childcare issues and have chosen to stay home. It also does not cover employees who are sick with a cold, flu or potentially COVID-19 virus and stay home by choice. If, however, such employees test positive for COVID-19 and as a result are directed by health authorities to quarantine, they would be covered by the law.

We are currently developing new codes within SAP and Time Clock Plus to track time taken off due to COVID-19 so that if it is ultimately determined that we are entitled to reimbursement, we will have records to provide to the appropriate agencies.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com.

March 20, 2020

To all Employees:

A few key points I want to emphasize this afternoon:

  • Please make use of the employee portal during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Here, in one place, you can find everything you need to know about the situation and how it relates to SCWA, including: all of the update messages that have been sent to date; video updates (one to date, but more to come); a PowerPoint presentation outlining all temporary SCWA policies enacted during the crisis;  and vital forms, including the one you need to apply for work-from-home arrangements.

 

  • The shortage of paper consumers are experiencing in the stores applies to us here at SCWA, too. If using a restroom facility that has an electric hand dryer, please use it instead of wasting paper towels. This will help a great deal in conserving paper products.

 

  • Employees with access to SCWA vehicles have been instructed on proper cleaning procedures when driving our vehicles, including wearing gloves and disinfecting door handles, steering wheels and dashboards. It is absolutely essential that all employees wipe down with disinfectant any vehicle they used while on duty before turning the vehicle in at the end of a shift.

 

  • Production Control is preparing our own disinfectant supply and it should be ready for distribution this afternoon. The solution, which will be loaded into on-hand spray bottles and refilling jugs, will consist of 1/3rd of a gallon of chlorine mixed with enough water to fill a 55-gallon drum. The solution will stain, so is only appropriate for use on hard surfaces, such as steering wheels, doorknobs, railings and desktops. It should not be used on clothes or carpets.  

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

If you have any questions of a general nature pertaining to COVID-19 and SCWA protocol that you would like answered either directly or in an all employee bulletin, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com. Workplace safety-related inquiries should be directed to Nicholas Swain at nicholas.swain@scwa.com. Questions pertaining to work-from-home arrangements should be directed to Donna Mancuso at donna.mancuso@scwa.com.

March 20, 2020

To all Employees:

We have encountered our first direct contact with the COVID-19 virus and so I want to apprise you of the situation and what we’re doing about it.

Yesterday, we were notified that the domestic partner of a utility employee working out of our Oakdale Construction/Maintenance office tested positive for COVID-19. The employee was tested for the virus yesterday and we are awaiting results of the test from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services (they expect to have the results within the next two days).

The employee started noticing symptoms identified with COVID-19 on Wednesday, March 11. He continued to work until Saturday, March 14. He has not been to work since.

After a consultation with the health department, it was determined that nine C/M employees with whom the employee had been in contact during the relevant time period would be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days, and they are now doing so. (In accordance with the new state law referenced in yesterday’s message, they will not be charged any accruals during the quarantine period).

Once we have the results of the employee’s test, nurse practitioners from the health department will conduct any further investigation that may be necessary to protect the health of SCWA employees and the general public health. In the meantime, all trucks and equipment utilized by the employee and those in quarantine are being thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. (We are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution; the health commissioner has said that standard bleach and water is sufficient to disinfect a potentially impacted area).

I want to reiterate the importance of staying home if you are feeling sick and have symptoms identified with the COVID-19 virus, such as a fever or shortness of breath. It is critically important that we all every day take measures to protect our health and the health of everyone around us. We provide an essential service for 1.2 million Suffolk residents, and we need to make sure we stay strong, healthy and able to continue to provide a safe and reliable water supply.

I want to emphasize also that we are all in this together. We can be conscious of our safety while at the same time doing everything we can to support each other. This is a time like no other in SCWA history; let’s do everything we can to be a unified workforce undertaking a shared, albeit very unusual, experience.

If you have any questions about this situation of anything else related to COVID-19, please email Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com.

March 19, 2020

To all Employees:

I want to bring to your attention an important question that came in today and the answer to it:

As I understand it, the federal coronavirus bill called for 2 week sick pay for those who have to be quarantined if necessary. Can this be used instead of sick/vacation time if a SCWA employee has to be quarantined? What about the New York State law which gives the same to State workers? As a Public Utility Company can we qualify as State workers? We do belong to the State Retirement System.

The New York State law, which was signed by Governor Cuomo yesterday, does indeed cover SCWA workers. What this means is, effective immediately, if you are on a mandatory quarantine due to COVID-19, SCWA will provide you with at least 14 days of excused time with pay. The amount of excused time will not exceed your quarantine period and only be granted for your work days.

March 18, 2020

To all Employees:

A quick update on a couple of issues:

  • The front counter at the Coram Customer Service center will be closed to the public beginning tomorrow until further notice. A sign is going up today alerting customers that they may still pay their bill via scwa.com or by using our automated payment system.

 

  • Field personnel beginning most likely tomorrow will have card access to all buildings for the purpose of accessing the restrooms.

 

Below are answers to several more questions that have come in since yesterday’s bulletin:

With schools closed, parents without childcare may need to be home with their children. While I am 100% open, willing and capable of working from home, I was advised that may not be possible due to SCWA system inability. If true, this will lead to parents staying out of work for an extended period of time. Due to this, are we able to apply for family medical leave act to care for our loved ones during this epidemic? 

There is no “system inability” preventing work-from-home arrangements; SCWA has put into place procedures to allow as many employees as possible to work from home and our IT staff will be available to support employee tech needs that arise from this initiative.

Current FMLA policy from the federal government covers serious medical conditions requiring hospitalization or on-going care from a healthcare provider. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 but has mild symptoms, they will be directed to stay home by their healthcare provider but will likely recuperate without additional medical care. Staying home due to childcare issues is not covered under the current FMLA regulation. However, if the federal government or state government makes changes that apply to us, we will adjust.

 

What is SCWA policy for employees who have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus but are not showing any symptoms?

SCWA is following the New York State Department of Health guidelines for such situations, as outlined in the pamphlet distributed with yesterday’s briefing: “If an asymptomatic employee calls their supervisor and notifies them that they are required to stay home in quarantine because they were a contact of a confirmed case, the contacts they had at work are considered ‘contacts of a contact’ and therefore not at risk. These ‘contacts of a contact’ are not required to be in quarantine and should be permitted to continue to work, following recommendations for social distancing as appropriate.”

With one exception: notifications should be made to Human Resources, not your supervisor.

 

I’ve noticed that, in an obvious well-meaning attempt to prevent many hands from touching doorknobs, some doors at our facility have been propped open, which could lead to security issues. Has the propping open of doors been sanctioned? What is SCWA policy in this regard?

Doors at all SCWA facilities should remain closed for security purposes. Please continue to make sure that you wash your hands frequently, particularly before and after touching a doorknob, to help ensure the health of all SCWA employees.

 

We encourage you to continue to share with us any questions you have about this unfolding situation. Please continue to submit questions to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com.

March 18, 2020

Good Morning -

In response to concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, SCWA is enacting the following temporary policy, effective immediately until further notice:

SCWA Union Employees presently working any Monday-Friday shift between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM are not required to punch-in / punch-out using TimeClock Plus.  Employees must report to work at their regularly scheduled start-times and notify a supervisor they are present and ready to work.  Employees should avoid congregating in large groups and are directed to begin regular work duties as quickly as possible.  Employees must adhere to their regularly-scheduled leave times, and must inform their supervisor of departure.  This temporary policy does not apply to those working night or weekend shifts, only M-F, 8AM-5PM shifts.

March 17, 2020

To all Employees:

A number of excellent new questions about SCWA protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak have come in since yesterday’s update, and many of them (coincidentally) related to a topic that senior staff has been working diligently on this week: a workable policy that will allow as many employees as possible to work from home while still allowing us to maintain the continuity of our vital operations.

We expect to have a work-from-home policy in place by tomorrow, and we will provide the complete details about the new policy as soon as it is finalized. In the meantime, below are the responses to your latest questions, including those referencing work-from-home situations.

 

If one of the crew members you work with has tested positive for COVID-19, will we be notified? And does the whole crew that has been exposed go into quarantine for 14 days?  Also, is anyone monitoring crews as to who is working with who? Construction/Maintenance crews change every day and symptoms take between two and 12 days to surface.

Yes, you would absolutely be notified, and yes, the whole crew would  likely need to be quarantined. In that situation, we would need to retrace our steps and determine who was a part of any crew that the positive-testing employee worked on.

The New York State Department of Health officers guidance on when a quarantine is needed that may help you envision a scenario relevant to your work situation: Person A is diagnosed with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. If Person B had close or proximate contact with Person A, Person B would be subject to mandatory quarantine. However, Person C, who is a contact of Person B, is NOT at risk of infection and not subject to quarantine unless Person B develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for the virus.

 

Governor Cuomo mandated that all town governments reduce their non-essential employees by at least 50% by working from home.  We are not a town government, but is SCWA considering non-essential employees the option of work from home?  I don’t think any type of group setting is smart right now.

Yes, as noted above, such a policy should be in place by tomorrow.

 

What are our options as employees if co-workers continue to come to work sick/coughing and are not sent home?

It’s important to keep in mind that not every cough or sneeze from a fellow employee indicates that the employee has COVID-19; they could very well have allergies or a common cold. However, in the interest of protecting everyone’s health, if you feel that a fellow employee may have symptoms of COVID-19, you can report your observations to Human Resources and that office will initiate the appropriate steps to determine whether a health safety issue exists.

I also want to reiterate that we strongly, strongly encourage employees to follow the social distancing guidelines health professionals are recommending, both at the workplace and elsewhere. Try to avoid congregating with other employees whenever possible. Don’t spend time in a crowded shape up room; instead, get to your truck as soon as possible and your supervisor will come to you to assign work. Use common sense strategies to protect your health and the health of your co-workers.

 

Although I believe that we all play an essential role here at SCWA,  who are really considered to be “essential employees”  in the event that there is a mandatory shutdown, as in Italy?

While we consider all SCWA employees to be essential, in the spirit of the cooperation with Governor Cuomo’s request (referenced above), we are going to have as many employees as possible work from home to help protect public health.

 

What are the IT requirements for working remotely?

This will be covered in the upcoming work-from-home policy, but in general terms, you will likely need to use your own computer and have internet connectivity. Our IT department will be available to provide support as you set up a telework station.

 

I’m concerned about getting sick from using the Time Clock Plus swipe/keypad that is being used by so many employees. Is there anything that can be done about that?

We encourage you to wash you hands after swiping in.

 

We encourage you to continue to share with us any questions you have about this unfolding situation. Please continue to submit questions to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com.

March 13, 2020

To all Employees:

Below are the answers to the questions you’ve asked since yesterday morning about the COVID-19 virus and SCWA protocol during the outbreak. Please note that the questions you submitted may have been edited for clarity and/or combined with other similar questions from other employees.

I hope this is helpful and please feel free to send any additional questions to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com.

Please post this message for those without email accounts.

 

Has it been discussed how to handle our business in the event of widespread school closures? I’m sure there are a lot of employees with young children in school that will have a hard time coming to work because they will not have child care.

Yes. We are currently developing a procedure for employees, both management and union, to request a shift change during the COVID-19 outbreak to allow employees, whenever possible, to change their work hours that allow them to look after their children in the event of school closures.   An HR form will be available for employees to request a shift change, likely by this afternoon.  Please note that a request will only be granted if it specifically pertains to the virus and when it does not impact our ability to ensure the continuity of our vital operations.

This plan would have the additional benefit of limiting the number the employees in a given office at a given time, which in and of itself will help to protect the safety of our workforce.

 

When a person comes into work sick, not knowing if it’s a just a common cold, allergies or COVID-19, will they be either mandated to go home or mandated to stay at work?  

If an employee is sick, they should stay home, particularly if he or she has symptoms associated with the virus, such as a fever, shortness of breath or cough. If a supervisor has reason to feel that an employee has such symptoms, the supervisor may tell the employee to go home for the safety of other employees. As to the second point, no, there is no circumstance in which an employee would be directed to stay if he or she is sick.

 

If an employee is sick, will he or she be required to see a doctor and bring in a doctor’s note certifying that the person does not have the coronavirus or flu? 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical professionals have asked citizens to be mindful of not overwhelming already overtaxed medical staff. With that in mind, there is no requirement that an employee bring in note certifying they do not have the virus. However, if an employee does have the virus, he or she will need to be cleared by a doctor to return to work.

 

Will the Water Authority implement a policy and infrastructure to allow employees to work from home in order to ensure public safety? I understand this is not a solution for all employees but it will be for anyone working in an office.

We have been evaluating the feasibility of this for weeks. We provide an essential product that sustains human life, so we need to do everything we can to ensure as many of our employees as possible are working. If it becomes necessary to do so, we expect that we’ll allow employees to work from home where possible. We are already in the process of testing out work-from-home scenarios.

 

What is the Authority’s position on employees who have been out of the country or even traveled within the country recently as to their return to work? 

SCWA supervisors do not have the authority to ask employees about recent travel. However, for the safety of all, we encourage employees to voluntarily alert Human Resources about recent travel if they feel it’s relevant.

 

If an employee were to contract the virus and must stay home for any length of time, will the Water Authority require us to use our own time?

Yes, employees will be required to use their accruals.

 

If someone is mandated to stay home for two weeks, but doesn’t have the sick/vacation time to do so will the Water Authority provide the sick time to cover them?

No, but the federal government is reportedly contemplating stimulus legislation that may include such measures. It’s simply too early to say what provisions any stimulus package may or may not include.

 

Should we not allow customers in to use our restrooms since they can’t come into the office? 

Customers are only allowed to use bathrooms that do not require entrance into a secured area. This means customers may use the bathroom in the common area of the Coram building in front of the counter. SCWA is renting portable toilets and placing them at PC Bayshore, Oakdale, and Westhampton. They will be placed near the location used by delivery companies to deliver goods to SCWA, such as chlorine, lime or pipe fittings so that delivery people don’t need to use a SCWA bathroom.

 

To avoid everyone getting sick at the same time, can we try having as many employees as possible not come into the offices at all? By utilizing Clevest, we can just work out of our trucks with our computers.

We’re not going to ask employees to not come into offices at all, but we strongly advise  employees to avoid congregating in breakout rooms or other work stations whenever possible and, if you are a field worker, to get into vehicles and out into the field as soon as possible.

 

Are the cleaning people wiping down doorknobs and surfaces with disinfectant?

Yes. Cleaning staff have been advised that we require them to pay special attention to the doorknobs and frequently touched surfaces and to wipe them down each night with disinfectant. But we also encourage all employees to keep their own work spaces disinfected in order to help protect the health of all SCWA employees. We are also using our best judgement in providing disinfectant supplies to office and field staff while ensuring that our supplies last as long as possible until supply keeps up with demand.

 

At what point should someone decide to stay home? For instance, I felt a little under the weather the past few days and had a few symptoms of sickness.

If you feel sick, you should not come to work, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms the CDC has indicated are associated with the virus, such as fever, shortness of breath or a cough.

 

If the most common form of infection from COVID-19 is from respiratory droplets spread by a person’s cough or sneeze, why does the CDC not recommend wearing a facemask to protect from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases?

Here’s how one health expert, Dr. Payal Kohli, answered this question for a news station in Denver: “Surgical masks are not recommended at this time by the CDC to prevent transmission of coronavirus. This is because surgical masks, which are largely ineffective in preventing transmission of COVID-19, are relatively loose-fitting and only protect from large respiratory droplets. They are not effective in filtering or protecting against small respiratory droplets that can carry coronavirus and cause infection. Some experts believe that the masks may actually increase the risk of transmission due to improper use, more frequent touching of your face to reposition the mask and a false sense of security of protection, making it less likely that you would wash your hands.”

 

What medication is prescribed for an infected person?

According to the CDC, there is no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, so treatment currently consists of supportive care to help relieve symptoms and, for severe cases, care to support vital organs.

 

If you have no symptoms of COVID-19, should you get tested as a precautionary measure? If so, is the test covered by our Empire Plan? Do most doctors have testing supplies? Should we have children tested as well?  

If there’s a medical reason for a doctor to request the COVID-19 test, then absolutely SCWA health insurance will cover it. The other questions are more appropriately handled by health professionals. Employees are encouraged to go to www.cdc.gov. The site has comprehensive information, including commonly asked questions, about COVID-19.

 

If an employee in the office you work in is confirmed with COVID-19, will all employees they work with be quarantined? And if so, will quarantined employees be asked to use their own accruals, or will they receive their salary without having to use accrued time?

Any employee confirmed with COVID-19 will be referred to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, which will make a determination as to what subsequent steps should be taken to protect the health of other employees. Presently, any employee that may need to be quarantined would be required to use their own accruals, unless funding to cover such employees is approved by the federal or state government.

 

If someone who works here, or a spouse, or friend, or acquaintance comes in contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19, what should they do?

Report it to Human Resources. It will be referred to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for a determination as to how to proceed.

 

Can COVID-19 traverse our distribution system and if so, what methods are in place that eliminate the threat?

No. SCWA water is disinfected with chlorine at pump stations, and a virus such as COVID-19 would not survive the disinfection process.

 

Will SCWA have a COVID-19 testing clinic on site for employees, if/when it becomes available?

We do not at this point expect to host an onsite testing clinic for the virus.

 

Will SCWA have a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on site for employees, if/when it becomes available?

No. We anticipate we will rely on guidance from the New York State Department of Health and Suffolk County Department of Health Services regarding proper vaccination protocol.

 

If an employee becomes ill, does SCWA have a plan to sanitize the site where they work?

Yes, we will absolutely sanitize work sites at which an employee has become ill from COVID-19.

 

Is there a “shelter in place” plan for SCWA employees should it become necessary to keep staff on site?

We do have cots, blankets and towels in place for such a contingency, but in such an outbreak as this, health officials would likely be more inclined to have employees isolate from other employees at their homes rather than congregate at a work site overnight.

March 12, 2020

To all Employees:

Over the past few days the Suffolk County Water Authority has initiated a number of temporary protocol measures designed to help protect both our employees and our customers from the further spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. As these measures are unprecedented in our organization and were necessarily put into motion quickly, we understand that you may have questions about them. As such, I encourage you to submit any question you have about these protocols or any other aspect of the COVID-19 situation by noon on Friday and we will prepare responses to your questions and distribute the questions and answers to all SCWA employees prior to the weekend. (You of course may continue to submit questions any time after that deadline for an individual response as well). 

Management staff - Please post this message for those without email accounts.

Please submit all questions either via email to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com or by voicemail to extension 2396.

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication during this challenging time.

Messages from Human Resources

October 15, 2020

Please see attached memo regarding travel during the pandemic. You may remove the previously dated memos from the bulletin boards and replace with the attached.  Be sure that all employees are reminded of the requirement to advise their supervisors and HR of any planned travel.

All resources related to COVID are also located on the employee portal for your reference.

Stay healthy!  Donna

September 29, 2020

Hello everyone - Employees who were working remotely have returned to the workplace. We have assured them that safety protocols have been put in place in our COVID Response Plan. This includes the requirement that every employee must wear a mask or face covering when in common areas including hallways, restrooms, kitchen areas (unless you are eating or drinking), shared vehicles, in an elevator, or anywhere where 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained. This is a requirement of all employees.

Supervisors, managers and directors should ensure that all employees follow this protocol.

Thank you!  Stay well!

Donna

September 2, 2020

Please see the attached memo regarding Temperature and Symptom Checks for Employees. Thank you.

Donna

August 26, 2020

Hello Everyone -

The guidance from the CDC, NYS and Suffolk County Health Departments regarding COVID-19 can be found on the employee portal for your reference. The information includes:

  • quarantine and isolation information,
  • return to work guidance after exposure,
  • locations for rapid tests, and
  • travel guidance for essential workers.

The 3 Phases of the Authority’s COVID Response Plans are also available. We have included recorded videos from the Chairman, CEO, Safety and HR as well as recorded webinars from CCA on various topics to assist you in managing during these difficult times.

As the guidance changes, HR will continue to update the portal. If you are unable to access the portal, please contact HR and someone will assist you.

Please be reminded that you must keep a 6’ social distance from others in the workplace. Your coworkers may be asymptomatic. We have had employees come to work feeling well and then the following day become ill with symptoms. HR must contact all employees who were in close contact with that employee for 48 hours prior to them exhibiting symptoms or receiving a positive test. If you were in close contact with an employee for longer than 10 minutes and they receive a positive test, you will need to be quarantined. If you are unable to maintain the 6’ distance, you must wear a face covering. Face coverings are still required in public by Executive Order and you must wear a face covering at work while in common areas including lunch rooms, hallways, restrooms, etc.

It is your personal responsibility to check for travel restrictions to other states or countries. If you must travel, please contact HR for guidance so that you may return to work as soon as possible. Please be reminded, as per Executive Order, excused time is not available for quarantine due to travel.

If you have any questions, please contact me or another member of HR. Thank you and stay safe and healthy! Donna

August 18, 2020

 

Please see the attached memo on Employees - Take Care of Yourselves! Vacation Time and CCA Offerings. Thank you. Stay healthy! Donna

August 10, 2020

Please find the attached updated memo regarding Travel - Reminder Regarding Quarantine Restrictions. Thank you! Donna

July 23, 2020

We’ve received several complaints from employees in the past few weeks. Please be reminded:

  • Face Coverings should be worn in all common areas and at any time you cannot maintain a 6’ distance from others. The face covering should cover both the nose and mouth.
  • Be considerate of your coworkers and always remember to change the OCCUPIED/VACANT sign back to VACANT upon leaving the restroom.

Thank you!

July 2, 2020

Please see the attached memo on Travel Plans - Notification of Quarantine Restriction. Thank you!

Donna

June 12, 2020

Hi everyone - Employees who were working remotely are returning to the workplace. We have assured them that safety protocols have been put in place in COVID Response Plan Phase 1. This includes a requirement that every employee must wear a mask or face covering when in common areas including hallways, restrooms, kitchen areas, shared vehicles, in an elevator, or anywhere where 6’ social distancing cannot be maintained. This is a requirement of all employees. 

Supervisors, managers and directors should ensure that all employees follow this protocol.

Thank you! Stay well!

Donna

June 2, 2020

Please see the attached announcement on Appointments for Meetings with HR Staff. Thank you.

Stay well - Donna

April 17, 2020

Hello everyone – HR was advised by an employee in PC of feeling ill with symptoms of COVID-19. She had not been in the office for several days. She saw a doctor and a test was administered. She is presumed positive and is required to quarantine.

As this employee was not at work for 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms, she has advised HR that she did not have close or proximate contact with anyone at work. Please advise your employees who do not have email.

HR will keep in contact with the affected employee and advise of her expected return to work.

Stay well – remind everyone to PLEASE STAY HOME IF THEY ARE FEELING SICK - keep 6’+ distance at all times, if it is necessary to work closer than 6’ for more than 10 minutes, employees must wear a mask. Use the disinfectant spray on high-touch areas – wear gloves when needed – wash your hands before touching your face -  and do not congregate. If any employees start to experience symptoms, please contact HR as soon as possible.

Emily – 2278

Alex – 2012

Nora - 2213

Joanne – 2225

Maria – 2392

Mike – 2230

Donna – 2219

 

Thank you and stay well! 

-Donna Mancuso

April 17, 2020

Hello everyone – Two employees – one in East Hampton and one in Huntington - arrived at work this morning not feeling well. When the supervisors took their temperature readings and asked questions regarding their symptoms, they admitted they did not feel well. HR spoke with both of them, sent each home and advised each to see a doctor and obtain a test. Both had symptoms of the COVID virus and upon evaluation by a medical professional, they were both tested. They are presumed positive. They have been advised that they must adhere to mandatory quarantine guidelines.  Both employees were at work two days prior to exhibiting symptoms of chills, severe headache, sore throat and cough.

CM management staff advised HR of the co-workers who were in close contact of the employees from date of symptoms and 48 hours prior to symptoms. HR has spoken with each of the employees who were in close contact and they have been precautionarily quarantined. This means that they are quarantined in their home for 14 days from the date of exposure to the employee in question. They are not able to leave their property. They must sleep in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom from their family members. This is a mandatory requirement of the health department. HR is providing this information to each affected employee. Please be advised that the Authority is able to bring back employees after 7 days of quarantine as they are essential workers but only if they do not exhibit symptoms. They are required to wear a mask for the remaining 7 days while at work.

HR will keep in contact with all affected employees and advise of their expected return to work.

As not everyone in CM has access to email, please post this notice or distribute to your employees. If you have a group text, use this method to make sure that everyone in your department is aware of the steps we have taken.

Stay well – remind everyone to PLEASE STAY HOME IF THEY ARE FEELING SICK - keep 6’+ distance at all times, if it is necessary to work closer than 6’ for more than 10 minutes, employees must wear a mask. Use the disinfectant spray on high-touch areas – wear gloves when needed – wash your hands before touching your face -  and do not congregate. If any employees start to experience symptoms, please contact HR as soon as possible.

Emily – 2278

Alex – 2012

Nora - 2213

Joanne – 2225

Maria – 2392

Mike – 2230

Donna – 2219

-Donna Mancuso

April 16, 2020

Below is a list of supportive programming being offered by CCA@YourService for the week of 4/20.

To register for a session, click on the associated link. You may register for more than one session, if you’d like! Please note that multiple session dates and times are offered for each topic to accommodate schedules and maximize participation.

**It is best to dial-in to these webinars from a phone, if possible.  The sound quality have proven to be better than using your computer/device speakers. 

COVID-19 Stress Management – instructor-guided support group where participants can share challenges and gain strategies for managing stress.

April 20 @ 12:00pm EDT

April 22 @ 1:00pm EDT

April 23 @ 1:00pm EDT

 

Social Distancing: Alone, But Not Lonely – instructor-guided support group where participants can make connections and gain strategies for coping with social separation and loneliness.

April 21 @ 3:00pm EDT

 

Grief During COVID-19 – recognizing that our losses may come in many shapes and forms, this instructor-guided session provides a forum for sharing both old and new ways to navigate the grieving process.

April 23 @ 3:00pm EDT

 

Financial Planning During COVID-19 – instructor-led webinar providing guidance around managing your money during these challenging and uncertain times.

April 21 @ 1:00pm EDT

April 24 @ 12:00pm EDT

 

Aware Live Mindfulness Sessions – the practice of mindfulness can help you release tension, regain focus, and reset for improved well-being. These 10-minute, live sessions are an opportunity to experience these benefits for yourself. 

 

Tuesday 4/21

12:00pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7403500379112206093

12:30pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7647947102734276109

 

Wednesday 4/22

9:00am EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/192253312801842445

9:30am EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8081741823303895565

4:30pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6110316375189908749

5:00pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4453691001712842253

 

Thursday 4/23

3:30am EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1057545874117407501

4:00am EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4287529505988469773

5:00pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3546873184751201037

5:30pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4588875956348014861

 

Friday 4/24

12:00pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/138581752053997582

12:30pm EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8129282506916067342

 

Please be reminded that CCA@YourService is available 24/7 to provide emotional and practical support to you and your family members.  We will make the webinars that are recorded available on the Employee Portal as we obtain them.

 

Confidential toll-free helpline: 800-833-8707

Confidential member website: www.myccaonline.com (Company Code: SCWA)

 

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 15, 2020

We have received very positive feedback in regards to the COVID-19 webinars hosted by CCA@YourService.  While CCA is doing everything they can to accommodate participant’s schedules, the planned times of these webinars may not coincide with your schedule.

Therefore, we have uploaded recorded versions of these webinars on the Employee Portal under “Coronavirus Resources” so employees can access them anytime.  All you need is an internet connection and your credentials to log on to the Employee Portal.

 

Recorded Webinars

Stress Management

Parenting During COVID-19

Caregiving During COVID-19

Working Remotely

Social Distancing

 

As they are available, we will continue to upload recorded CCA webinars.

As always, if you have any questions please contact me at ext. 2213.  Be well!

 

Please post for those who do not have access to email.

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 13, 2020

As a result of local authority’s requirements to social distance, many people may be in search of delivery services which would allow them to obtain important items such as groceries, prescriptions, etc. while limiting their exposure.

Linked here is a valuable list of services that provide the delivery of pharmacy prescriptions, groceries, meal kits, food from local restaurants and free/low cost food.

 

Please note that each organization’s capacity and delivery time-frames change frequently.

 

Stay well!

 

Please post for those who do not have access to email. 

 

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 13, 2020

As concerns over COVID-19 continue to dominate headlines and cause volatility in the market, employees may be looking for financial planning support as it relates to their retirement savings through the NYS Deferred Compensation 457 Plan (NYSDCP). 

Due to social distancing considerations, our NYSDCP Account Executive have moved to online appointment scheduling and will provide individual, uninterrupted phone consultations by appointment. Our Account Executive is the best resource for questions about market volatility, investment education, and asset allocation considerations.

NYSDCP has opened a new phone-appointments schedule for employees to have access to our Account Executive as a temporary remedy during this pandemic.   Employees can use the link below to set their own appointment.

SCWA’s Account Executive- Barbara Sce

Click here to schedule a phone appointment with Barbara

**Note- as a result of the CARES Act, early withdrawals related to COVID-19 hardships are now permissible without penalty but are subject to taxes.  For more information, schedule a phone appointment with Barbara.

As always, please contact me with any questions and be well!

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 13, 2020

We wanted to ensure you aware of supportive programming being offered by our Employee Assistance Program, CCA@YourService, for the week of 4/13/20.

To register for a session, click on the associated link. You may register for more than one session, if you’d like! Please note that multiple session dates and times are offered for each topic to accommodate schedules and maximize participation. With the exception of the mindfulness sessions, content tends to stay the same for sessions of the same topic. 

COVID-19 Stress Management – instructor-guided support group where participants can share challenges and gain strategies for managing stress.

April 14 @ 2:30pm EDT

April 17 @ 1:00pm EDT

 

Caregiving During COVID-19 – instructor-led webinar covering topics such as sell-care, managing emotions, assessing your family’s needs, and handling unique caregiving situations.

April 13 @ 12:00pm EDT

April 15 @ 1:00pm EDT

 

Financial Planning During COVID-19 – instructor-led webinar providing guidance around managing your money during these challenging and uncertain times. 

April 14 @ 1:00pm EDT

April 16 @ 12:00pm EDT

 

Mindfulness Sessions – the practice of mindfulness can help you release tension, regain focus, and reset for improved well-being. These 10-minute, live sessions are an opportunity to experience these benefits for yourself. 

 

Tuesday 4/14

12:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/382266514118778894

12:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/633018936926128142

 

Wednesday 4/15

9:00am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5443521946422796814

9:30am EDT  https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1820371648156735502

4:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1030254895855385870

5:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4743366135994454286

 

Thursday 4/16

3:30am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4356281967924108302

4:00am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3848342780263707662

5:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4351090074017640974

5:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/308238595243439630

 

Friday 4/17

12:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/3986159965735376398

12:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/831528064739085582

 

Please be reminded that CCA@YourService is available 24/7 to provide emotional and practical support to you and your family members.

Confidential toll-free helpline: 800-833-8707

Confidential member website: www.myccaonline.com (Company Code: SCWA )

 

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 9, 2020

As a reminder, our Employee Assistance Program, CCA@YourService is fully open, operational and ready to support you during these trying times.

Our EAP, CCA@YourService is available 24/7 at 800-833-8707.

You can log onto the website at myccaonline.com (Company ID: SCWA) for extensive information and resources. They are also hosting weekly webinars on a variety of topics. Please register below.

Stress Management - Tuesday, April 14 @ 2:30pm

Stress Management - Friday, April 17 @ 1pm

Caregiving During COVID -  Monday, April 13 @12pm

Caregiving During COVID - Thursday, April 15th @1pm

Financial Planning During COVID - Tuesday, April 14 at 1pm

Financial Planning During COVID - Thursday, April 16 at 12pm

We care about you and want to help you as much as possible during this difficult time.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

 

Nora M. Cairo, MHRM, SHRM-SCP

Benefits Specialist

Suffolk County Water Authority (SCWA)

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, NY 11769

(P) 631-563-0213

(F) 631-563-0300

nora.cairo@scwa.com

April 8, 2020

Essential Employee Letter

Hello Everyone -

Please be advised that we have contacted several testing facilities in Suffolk County who will give the COVID-19 test to our employees who are experiencing symptoms. Be aware that there are some facilities in Suffolk County that will not give a test but instead will supply a “presumed positive” letter.  We want our employees to be tested so they are not placed in mandatory isolation unnecessarily. 

HR is speaking with individual employees and guiding them through the process; however, please print this email, post on bulletin boards and distribute to your employees so that they will have the information as we head into the holiday weekend. I’m attaching the Essential Employee Letter which can also be distributed to all employees.

Testing Locations That Will Test SCWA Employees With Essential Employee Letter If Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms

CALL FIRST

LI Urgent Care – 2 locations

www.li-urgent-care.com

LI Urgent Care in West Babylon

403 Little East Neck Road

West Babylon, NY 11704

(631) 716-5463

 

LI Urgent Care in Manorville

287 Wading River Road #8

Manorville, NY 11949

(631) 716-5410

 

ProHealth Urgent Care – 2 locations

www.prohealthcare.com/urgent-care

ProHealth Urgent Care in South Huntington

247 Walt Whitman Road

Huntington Station, NY 11746

(631) 923-2450

 

ProHealth Urgent Care in West Islip

148 Sunrise Highway

West Islip, NY 11795

(631) 620-3580

 

City MD Urgent Carewww.citymd.com – for locations:

Commack, Copiague, Cutchogue, Deer Park, Farmingville, Lake Grove, Lindenhurst, Port Jefferson Station, Riverhead, Rocky Point, Ronkonkoma, Sayville, Selden, Shirley, Smithtown

Stay healthy everyone – be safe!  Donna

 

Donna Mancuso, SHRM-SCP

Chief Human Resources Officer

Suffolk County Water Authority

4060 Sunrise Highway

Oakdale, New York 11769

(631) 563-0219

(631) 774-7148

donna.mancuso@scwa.com

April 3, 2020

UPDATE- DISABILITY RETIREMENT-COVID-19

Many of you have inquired about the requirements for a disability retirement, should the need arise as a result of the COVID-19 virus.  I have been in contact with the NYS Employees’ Retirement System’s (NYSLRS) employer units and disability unit and they have confirmed the following as it relates to contracting COVID-19:

  • A member must have 10 years of service credit at the time of filing, in most cases (some exceptions for Tier 3)
  • There is no age requirement

For more information, visit the Disability Benefits Page (osc.ny.state.us/retire) on the NYSLRS website or call the NYSLRS Contact Center at 866-805-0990.

This announcement and the associated forms will be updated on the Employee Portal.

Stay well and have a great weekend!

-Nora Cairo

April 2, 2020

DISABILITY RETIREMENT- COVID-19

The unfortunate reality of the current COVID-19 emergency is that some employees (NYSLRS members) may become seriously, or even fatally ill. At a time like this, it is vitally important that all employees understand how to apply for retirement, should that step become necessary. Here is some guidance:

NYSLRS members who become seriously ill from the COVID-19 virus may wish to file for retirement in order to provide a continuing pension benefit to their beneficiary if they were to die, rather than the one-time in-service death benefit.

If this should become something an employee may need to consider, either they or Human Resources would need to file the disability retirement application. If an employee does not recover after applying, the disability retirement application would be effective upon death. If the member recovers, the disability retirement application can be withdrawn prior to approval.

Forms can be faxed to 518-474-3510 or 518-473-8190 or emailed directly to NYSLRS’ Disability Processing Unit at disprocessing@osc.ny.gov.  If Human Resources submits a disability retirement application on an employee’s behalf, the member or the member’s spouse, must file a Pension Payment Option Election Form to identify a beneficiary to receive the continuing benefit. The option election form must be notarized. An option election form cannot be filed by Human Resources.

For more information, visit the Disability Benefits Page (osc.ny.state.us/retire) on the NYSLRS website or call the NYSLRS Contact Center at 866-805-0990.

Eligible employees may also file for service retirement. However, a service retirement must be on file with NYSLRS at least 15 days prior to the retirement date, and a service retirement cannot be cancelled if the date of retirement has passed.

This announcement and the associated forms will be located on the Employee Portal.

Be well. 

-Nora Cairo

April 2, 2020

We wanted to make you aware of supportive programming being offered by our Employee Assistance Program, CCA@YourService, for the week of 4/6/20.

 

The first is a series of dial-in support groups, offering a forum where participants can share challenges and gain strategies for managing stress, coping with feelings of loneliness, and working remotely during COVID-19. To register for a session, click on the associated link. Please note that multiple session dates and times are being offered for each topic to accommodate schedules and maximize participation.

 

Working Remotely with Kids at Home

April 6 @ 1:00pm EDT

April 8 @ 2:00pm EDT

 

Social Distancing—Alone but Not Lonely

April 6 @ 10:00am EDT

April 8 @ 11:00am EDT

April 10 @ 11:30am EDT

 

COVID-19 Stress Management

April 7 @ 12:00pm EDT

April 9 @ 2:00pm EDT

 

The next is a mindfulness series. The practice of mindfulness can help you release tension, regain focus, and reset for improved well-being. These 10-minute, live sessions are an opportunity to experience these benefits for yourself. To register for a session, click on the associated link. You may register for more than one session, if you’d like!

 

Tuesday 4/7

12:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8743901810150116878

12:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8173965559845934350

 

Wednesday 4/8

9:00am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1557712613820169742

9:30am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7658577180907382542

4:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1586270229328299022

5:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1417476502767138574

 

Thursday 4/9

3:30am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/319394240107319822

4:00am EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/324514665757909774

5:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6026503902078726926

5:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8832432287395667726

 

Friday 4/10

12:00pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1286843526271298830

12:30pm EDT https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8586902544820335886

Please be reminded that CCA@YourService is available 24/7 to provide emotional and practical support to you and your family members. 

 

Confidential toll-free helpline: 800-833-8707

Confidential member website: www.myccaonline.com (Company Code: SCWA )

-Nora Cairo

March 30, 2020

Hello Everyone - There have been some questions from employees working remotely from home who are unable to view who from SCWA may be contacting them on their cell phones. It has also been difficult for some employees to remember how to contact that person if all they have is the extension. As you know, using an outside line can be tricky  – is it 218----? Is it 563-0---? Or is it 563-9---?

 

IT has updated the search function within Outlook to address these concerns.

 

To search for an employee by name or by number – enter it into the Search People box. The person’s contact information will come up and the full 7-digit telephone number is displayed. 

 

Thank you IT for your assistance.

contact_search_screenshot 

-Donna Mancuso

March 27, 2020

Please see link here from Bill Martin regarding the delivery of mail and supplies to the Oakdale and Great River offices. This change is effective today.  Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

March 26, 2020

The Empire Plan is doing all they can to support its enrollees through this unprecedented time and has introduced a new telehealth benefit to help them access health care services remotely.

LiveHealth Online lets enrollees stay home and have a video visit with a board-certified doctor or licensed therapist on their smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

If you are concerned about leaving your homes to receive medical care or your ability to access care, The Empire Plan will cover telehealth visits at no cost. See the link here for additional information and step-by-step instructions to register. As you will see in the attachment, when booking an appointment, you will be asked for a credit card in order to move forward, however your card will NOT be charged as long as you use the coupon code below.

For additional assistance, call The Empire Plan at 1-877-7-NYSHIP (1-877-769-7447) and select option 2 for the Hospital Program.

Coupon Code: NYSHIP (to waive cost of telehealth visit)

Note: A postcard regarding this new benefit will also be mailed to you this coming week.

Stay well!

-Nora Cairo

March 26, 2020

f you have been given approval to work from home, please stay home. We have had a few recent instances of employees coming in to cover for another employee or work in the office partial days and then develop symptoms of COVID. This puts the rest of the employees at risk unnecessarily.

The purpose of working from home is to limit the exposure and the spread of the virus. It defeats the purpose when you come into the office.

If the management of the department wants to alternate schedules for employees to have coverage in the office, please schedule 1 week in and 1 week out. However, it is preferred for employees approved to work from home to continue to work from home until this crisis is over.

Remote employees should not return to working in the office unless approved by the CEO or me.

Thank you for keeping all of us as safe as possible.

Stay well. 

-Donna Mancuso

March 24, 2020

We want to again remind you to get the emotional support and resources you might need while dealing with this challenging situation.

Our EAP, CCA@YourService is available 24/7 at 800-833–8707.

You can also log onto the website at myccaonline.com (Web ID: SCWA) for extensive information and resources. They are also hosting weekly webinars on a variety of topics. Please register below.

PARENTING DURING COVID-19 – MARCH 26 @ 11am
PARENTING DURING COVID-19 – MARCH 30 @3pm
WORKING REMOTELY – MARCH 31 @ 2pm
STRESS MANAGEMENT – APRIL 1 @ 10:30am
WORKING REMOTELY – APRIL 1 @ 2pm
STRESS MANAGEMENT – APRIL 2 @ 3pm
WORKING REMOTELY – APRIL 3 @ 11am

We care about you and want to help you as much as possible during this difficult time.

Be well,

-Nora Cairo

March 23, 2020

Linked here is the NYSDOH guidelines referenced in Jeff Szabo’s last email.

-Donna Mancuso

March 17, 2020

We are committed to providing you and your family members with the emotional support you may need during this challenging time. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), CCA@YourService, is fully open, operational and available to assist you. 

You can reach CCA@YourService at 800-833-8707. You can also access information and resources via the website at myccaonline.com Use login code: scwa.

CCA@YourService will be hosting a free webinar COVID-19: Managing Stress. Please select from one of the options below, and click on the associated link to register. If the sessions exceed maximum capacity, additional sessions will be added, so please stay tuned.

Your health and wellbeing are our top priority. 

Coronavirus: Managing Stress  - Friday, March 20  - 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
Coronavirus: Managing Stress  - Tuesday, March 24 - 11:00 am -  12:00pm EST
Coronavirus: Managing Stress - Wednesday, March 25 - 1:30 - 2:30pm EST

-Nora Cairo

March 13, 2020

After hearing from employees and upon discussion with the executive staff, HR developed the attached form for employees to request a shift change during the COVID-19 outbreak. This is to allow employees, whenever possible, to change their work hours to allow them to look after their children in the event of school closures. If an employee is responsible for the care of another person (elderly parent or a relative with special needs) and their care facility closes due to COVID-19, this form should also be used.

Please note that a request will only be granted if it specifically pertains to COVID-19 and when it does not impact our ability to ensure the continuity of our vital operations. Some departments may not be able to provide a shift in schedule but we will try to be responsive to employees’ needs to the extent practicable.

- Donna Mancuso

March 13, 2020

On behalf of CEO Jeff Szabo:

To all Employees:

Below are the answers to the questions you’ve asked since yesterday morning about the COVID-19 virus and SCWA protocol during the outbreak. Please note that the questions you submitted may have been edited for clarity and/or combined with other similar questions from other employees.

I hope this is helpful and please feel free to send any additional questions to Tim Motz at tim.motz@scwa.com.

Please post this message for those without email accounts.

 

Has it been discussed how to handle our business in the event of widespread school closures? I’m sure there are a lot of employees with young children in school that will have a hard time coming to work because they will not have child care.

 

Yes. We are currently developing a procedure for employees, both management and union, to request a shift change during the COVID-19 outbreak to allow employees, whenever possible, to change their work hours that allow them to look after their children in the event of school closures.   An HR form will be available for employees to request a shift change, likely by this afternoon.  Please note that a request will only be granted if it specifically pertains to the virus and when it does not impact our ability to ensure the continuity of our vital operations.

This plan would have the additional benefit of limiting the number the employees in a given office at a given time, which in and of itself will help to protect the safety of our workforce.

 

When a person comes into work sick, not knowing if it’s a just a common cold, allergies or COVID-19, will they be either mandated to go home or mandated to stay at work?  

If an employee is sick, they should stay home, particularly if he or she has symptoms associated with the virus, such as a fever, shortness of breath or cough. If a supervisor has reason to feel that an employee has such symptoms, the supervisor may tell the employee to go home for the safety of other employees. As to the second point, no, there is no circumstance in which an employee would be directed to stay if he or she is sick.

 

If an employee is sick, will he or she be required to see a doctor and bring in a doctor’s note certifying that the person does not have the coronavirus or flu? 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical professionals have asked citizens to be mindful of not overwhelming already overtaxed medical staff. With that in mind, there is no requirement that an employee bring in note certifying they do not have the virus. However, if an employee does have the virus, he or she will need to be cleared by a doctor to return to work.

 

Will the Water Authority implement a policy and infrastructure to allow employees to work from home in order to ensure public safety? I understand this is not a solution for all employees but it will be for anyone working in an office.

We have been evaluating the feasibility of this for weeks. We provide an essential product that sustains human life, so we need to do everything we can to ensure as many of our employees as possible are working. If it becomes necessary to do so, we expect that we’ll allow employees to work from home where possible. We are already in the process of testing out work-from-home scenarios.

 

What is the Authority’s position on employees who have been out of the country or even traveled within the country recently as to their return to work? 

SCWA supervisors do not have the authority to ask employees about recent travel. However, for the safety of all, we encourage employees to voluntarily alert Human Resources about recent travel if they feel it’s relevant.

 

If an employee were to contract the virus and must stay home for any length of time, will the Water Authority require us to use our own time?

Yes, employees will be required to use their accruals.

 

If someone is mandated to stay home for two weeks, but doesn’t have the sick/vacation time to do so will the Water Authority provide the sick time to cover them?

No, but the federal government is reportedly contemplating stimulus legislation that may include such measures. It’s simply too early to say what provisions any stimulus package may or may not include.

 

Should we not allow customers in to use our restrooms since they can’t come into the office? 

Customers are only allowed to use bathrooms that do not require entrance into a secured area. This means customers may use the bathroom in the common area of the Coram building in front of the counter. SCWA is renting portable toilets and placing them at PC Bayshore, Oakdale, and Westhampton. They will be placed near the location used by delivery companies to deliver goods to SCWA, such as chlorine, lime or pipe fittings so that delivery people don’t need to use a SCWA bathroom.

 

To avoid everyone getting sick at the same time, can we try having as many employees as possible not come into the offices at all? By utilizing Clevest, we can just work out of our trucks with our computers.

We’re not going to ask employees to not come into offices at all, but we strongly advise  employees to avoid congregating in breakout rooms or other work stations whenever possible and, if you are a field worker, to get into vehicles and out into the field as soon as possible.

 

Are the cleaning people wiping down doorknobs and surfaces with disinfectant?

Yes. Cleaning staff have been advised that we require them to pay special attention to the doorknobs and frequently touched surfaces and to wipe them down each night with disinfectant. But we also encourage all employees to keep their own work spaces disinfected in order to help protect the health of all SCWA employees. We are also using our best judgement in providing disinfectant supplies to office and field staff while ensuring that our supplies last as long as possible until supply keeps up with demand.

 

At what point should someone decide to stay home? For instance, I felt a little under the weather the past few days and had a few symptoms of sickness.

If you feel sick, you should not come to work, particularly if you are experiencing symptoms the CDC has indicated are associated with the virus, such as fever, shortness of breath or a cough.

 

If the most common form of infection from COVID-19 is from respiratory droplets spread by a person’s cough or sneeze, why does the CDC not recommend wearing a facemask to protect from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases?

Here’s how one health expert, Dr. Payal Kohli, answered this question for a news station in Denver: “Surgical masks are not recommended at this time by the CDC to prevent transmission of coronavirus. This is because surgical masks, which are largely ineffective in preventing transmission of COVID-19, are relatively loose-fitting and only protect from large respiratory droplets. They are not effective in filtering or protecting against small respiratory droplets that can carry coronavirus and cause infection. Some experts believe that the masks may actually increase the risk of transmission due to improper use, more frequent touching of your face to reposition the mask and a false sense of security of protection, making it less likely that you would wash your hands.”

 

 

What medication is prescribed for an infected person?

According to the CDC, there is no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19, so treatment currently consists of supportive care to help relieve symptoms and, for severe cases, care to support vital organs.

 

If you have no symptoms of COVID-19, should you get tested as a precautionary measure? If so, is the test covered by our Empire Plan? Do most doctors have testing supplies? Should we have children tested as well?  

If there’s a medical reason for a doctor to request the COVID-19 test, then absolutely SCWA health insurance will cover it. The other questions are more appropriately handled by health professionals. Employees are encouraged to go to www.cdc.gov. The site has comprehensive information, including commonly asked questions, about COVID-19.

 

If an employee in the office you work in is confirmed with COVID-19, will all employees they work with be quarantined? And if so, will quarantined employees be asked to use their own accruals, or will they receive their salary without having to use accrued time?

Any employee confirmed with COVID-19 will be referred to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, which will make a determination as to what subsequent steps should be taken to protect the health of other employees. Presently, any employee that may need to be quarantined would be required to use their own accruals, unless funding to cover such employees is approved by the federal or state government.

 

If someone who works here, or a spouse, or friend, or acquaintance comes in contact with someone that tested positive for COVID-19, what should they do?

Report it to Human Resources. It will be referred to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for a determination as to how to proceed.

 

Can COVID-19 traverse our distribution system and if so, what methods are in place that eliminate the threat?

No. SCWA water is disinfected with chlorine at pump stations, and a virus such as COVID-19 would not survive the disinfection process.

 

Will SCWA have a COVID-19 testing clinic on site for employees, if/when it becomes available?

We do not at this point expect to host an onsite testing clinic for the virus.

 

Will SCWA have a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on site for employees, if/when it becomes available?

No. We anticipate we will rely on guidance from the New York State Department of Health and Suffolk County Department of Health Services regarding proper vaccination protocol.

 

If an employee becomes ill, does SCWA have a plan to sanitize the site where they work?

Yes, we will absolutely sanitize work sites at which an employee has become ill from COVID-19.

 

Is there a “shelter in place” plan for SCWA employees should it become necessary to keep staff on site?

We do have cots, blankets and towels in place for such a contingency, but in such an outbreak as this, health officials would likely be more inclined to have employees isolate from other employees at their homes rather than congregate at a work site overnight.

-Donna Mancuso

 

Video Update - March 25, 2020

 

Video Update - March 18, 2020