COVID-19: What City employees should know

Information and resources related to COVID-19 for City employees.

About

vials of covid-19

 

Check this page often for information about COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace. As we learn more, recommendations and guidance are updated frequently. Remember it is an ongoing and iterative process as challenges continue to evolve. We will learn and adjust as we go to create the best possible working environment to serve the public and support each other.

Use these links and tools to stay informed:

More information

Contact your department's Human Resources business partner or email human.resources@minneapolismn.gov with questions or concerns. Also, check your email inbox for special coronavirus editions of Minneapolis Matters. These periodic emails will provide you timely information to do your work and be aware of things happening across the enterprise.

Vaccination and testing alternative policy

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 and keep our workforce safe, the City requires all employees, appointed and elected officials, and interns who report to work outside of the home to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested on a weekly basis for COVID-19. You can opt out of weekly testing if you are fully vaccinated. About 78% of City employees have opted out of weekly testing by entering their vaccination information in COMET.

If you are fully vaccinated:

View detailed instructions on how to enter your COVID-19 vaccine information in COMET or watch a short video explaining the steps. If you completed the vaccinations form in COMET prior to Dec. 2, 2021, you are now required to upload proof of vaccination. If you completed the vaccination form after Dec. 2, 2021, you do not need to take any action.

If you become fully vaccinated:

You are still able to get vaccinated and avoid having to test every week. Once you have been fully vaccinated under CDC guidelines (see the "When am I considered fully vaccinated?" FAQ below) you can upload that information into COMET. You will be permitted to stop testing once it has been two weeks since receiving your last primary dose.

If you are not fully vaccinated:

Testing is still rolling out in phases. Some departments are using testing kits provided by Hennepin Healthcare. If you are testing with those kits, your results will automatically be provided to the City and you simply need to make sure you are testing weekly. If you are testing through another method, log in to COMET-HR and upload documentation of your test results on the same day you receive them if it is a workday or the start of the next day you are scheduled to report to work. View detailed instructions on how to enter your COVID-19 test results or watch a short video explaining the steps.

Vaccination and testing alternative policy FAQs
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What if I need an accommodation because of religious or medical reasons?
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Prevention strategies (masks, vaccines, ventilation and more)

Your health is very important and we want to create a safe environment for all employees.    The City requires weekly testing or proof of vaccination for employees, help reduce virus spread in the workplace.

The Health Department also recommends additional steps that are proven to protect against COVID-19:  

  • If you haven’t gotten the initial vaccine or booster yet, do so as soon as possible. Find a vaccine near you. 
  • Wear well-fitting masks in all indoor public settings and crowded outdoor settings.
  • Get tested if you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, have traveled as per guidelines or have been in a setting where you may have been exposed.
  • Stay home if you are sick. 
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay away from crowds.
  • Improve the ventilation in your home.
  • Take extra care to avoid exposure to the virus if you have medical conditions or live with someone with medical conditions.
Mask guidance
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Prevention strategies FAQs
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Employee leave information

Paid COVID-19 Emergency Sick Leave (COVID Leave) is available if you need to miss work because of COVID-19.The leave (formerly called 2021 COVID Leave) will continue to be available in 2022. Any unused hours you have from 2021 carry over in to 2022. You can see your available balance of COVID Leave on your timesheet in COMET-HR.

Depending on the reason, you may need to provide proof you are fully vaccinated to access the COVID Leave. Read the FAQs below for more information.

The time reporting code for this leave is 19J. You can use the leave in leave in one-hour increments. You should use the COVID Leave for COVID-19 related absences prior to using other leave types including sick, vacation, comp time, or COVID-19 Leave #2 for emergency responders (time reporting code 19B).

Employee leave FAQs
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Exposure and illness procedures

If you have been exposed to COVID-19, or think you have been exposed, you can help prevent the spread of the virus to others in our workplace and community. Our procedures follow the guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

View the most recent COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines

If you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine) 

Individuals who are in close contact with someone with COVID-19 may need to quarantine because of the exposure, depending on the individual’s vaccination status. "Close contact” is defined as being within six feet of someone infectious with COVID-19 for a cumulative period of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. It does not matter if you were wearing a mask during these exposures. The CDC still considers you to have been in close contact even if one or both of you were wearing masks. 

If you are not vaccinated, or if you were vaccinated but are not up-to-date* with recommended boosters: 

  • Stay home and away from people for at least five days (day zero through day five) after your most recent** contact with a person with COVID-19. This means you will not be permitted to come to a City workplace or office. 
  • The day of your exposure is considered day zero.  
  • Wear a well-fitted mask when around others at home, if possible. 
  • As long as you have not developed symptoms and have not tested positive, you can leave your home and return to in-person work on day six. It is recommended that you get tested on day five or later as well. 
  • Wear a well-fitted mask when around others at home and in public through day ten. 
  • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, under after at least ten days. 

*Up-to-date includes the completion of all of the recommended vaccine doses, including boosters. 

** Household contacts are considered “continuous.” If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for the duration of the household member’s isolation period (see below) and five additional days.  

If you are up-to-date on vaccination or if you had confirmed COVID-19 in the past 90 days: 

  • You do not need to quarantine, but you should watch for symptoms. If you develop symptoms, you need to get tested and isolate until you have results. 
  • You can continue reporting to a City workplace or office so long as you are asymptomatic. 
  • Wear a well-fitted mask around others for ten days. 
  • If you have not had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, it is recommended that you test on or after day five, if possible. (The day of your exposure is considered day zero). 
  • If you have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, it is only recommended to test if you also develop symptoms.  

If you test positive for COVID-19 (Isolate)

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status: 

  • If you have been reporting to work in-person, notify your supervisor and Human Resource business partner of the positive test immediately. You will need to go home if you are at work when you receive your results. You will also be asked to identify individuals with whom you may have been in close contact so the City can contact trace. 
  • Stay home for at least five full days and isolate from others in your home. 
  • If you are asymptomatic and remain asymptomatic, count the day of your positive test as day zero. Day one is the first full day after your specimen was collected. 
  • If you are symptomatic at the time of your test or you develop symptoms, count the day you develop symptoms as day zero. Day one is the first full day after your symptoms developed. If you were asymptomatic when you tested positive and later develop symptoms, start counting at day zero again. 
  • You are not permitted to report in-person to a City workplace or office while you are in isolation. If you were and remained asymptomatic, you can end isolation and return to work* on day siz.  
  • If you had symptoms, you can end isolation and return to in-person work on day six only if: (a) your symptoms are resolving; and (b) you have been fever-free for 24 hours without using fever-reducing medications. If your symptoms have not improved and/or you continue to have a fever, you need to continue isolating even after day six. 
  • Continue to wear a well-fitted mask around others for five additional days after ending isolation. 

*Individual departments may require a longer isolation period based on risks related to the work of the department. 

Talk to your health care provider if you have questions.

Exposure and illness FAQs
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Next Normal overview

The Next Normal is the City’s iterative and phased plan to bring employees back to the workplace who started working remotely during the pandemic. Those employees were asked to complete an Alternative Work Arrangement by Nov. 30 to continue or transition to their updated workplace scenario (remote, hybrid or City workplace).

The return to work date is Feb. 14.

About 60% of City employees did not work remotely during the pandemic. We appreciate the essential services they have been providing in-person during this challenging time.

Next Normal FAQs
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I have more questions. Where can I send them?

Email other questions or concerns to human.resources@minneapolismn.gov and put “COVID-19 Employee Question” in the subject line so it will be answered quickly.