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Urgent Guidance and FAQ's from CISS

To: All CISS Employees
Date: March 18, 2020

We received news today from TCRC that all day programs will be temporarily closing for a few weeks as of Monday, March 23rd. Some families are now being notified and are asking for support to be provided in the family home for the next few weeks. If you are going to be available to work more hours during the daytime for the next few weeks, please reply to this email with your expected availability. All of this of course depends on you and the families staying well, and changing orders from the public health department.

Only 15% of our employees have clicked on the links in our email yesterday to review the important guidance and caregiving FAQs we posted. Due to the importance of the communication, we are re-sending the 21 FAQs in the body of this email. If you have not already done so, please read through all points below and check your mail in the next few days for the copy sent to all staff in their primary language. If you have any questions about the points mentioned below and how they impact you providing care, please reply to this email or contact our office.

Please mark our emails safe and regularly check your junk/spam folders for communication from us that is time-sensitive. All major communication will also be updated to our website's COVID-19 page.

Thank you,

Sharon M. Francis
Founder & CEO
Channel Islands Social Services


CISS Employee Guidance and FAQ’s due to COVID-19

A.Care Considerations:  (Payroll considerations are in section B and HR in section C)

1. Should I be doing anything differently due to COVID-19?Yes, you should be extra cautious about only providing care when you (and your household members) AND the person in care (and their household members) are not ill AND have not been around people who have been ill. You should also:
  • Call the family at least two hours prior to each scheduled shift to make sure care is still advisable.
  • As soon as you arrive in the family’s home you must wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, dry them with a paper towel, and wash your hands and the hands of the person in your care often.
  • You should also communicate with the family about the need for you to perform additional cleaning of surfaces while you are providing care. Never leave chemicals in reach of children or adults in your care!
  • You should, whenever possible, practice social distancing while providing care.
The CDC currently only recommends that sick people wear face masks when they are around others. Please review the CDC guidelines here:

2.The CA Governor recommended on 3/16/2020 that people age 65+ home isolate. Can I still provide/receive care if I want to?
Yes, but this should be carefully assessed by you and the families you support. If you are over age 65, you may wish to follow the State’s recommendations. If the person in your care is over age 65 and they have support at home from family, everyone may wish to postpone care and follow the advice out of an abundance of caution.

3.The child or person I care for has a compromised immune system or increased risk for respiratory illness, can I still provide care?
This is not advised at this time unless you already live with the person in care. All care should be carefully considered with the family. If you both decide to continue care, please follow universal precautions and CDC guidelines mentioned above.

4.Can I provide care or supervision via web camera (Skype, Zoom or Facetime)?
Absolutely not. Only Early Intervention providers like Speech therapists are allowed to do this right now. All CISS care must be provided face-to-face with the individual receiving support to keep the person in care safe at all times!
5.If I have symptoms that may just be allergies or a common cold, should I work?
Do not work. At this time, our community is taking extra precautionary steps to prevent the spread of any illnesses. You are advised to self-isolate until you can be sure that you do not have a fever or cough, and you are not exhibiting any symptoms of illness that could spread to others.

6.What should I do if I need to call out sick?
Our procedures have not changed. Contact the person or family you were scheduled to support, then call our office’s dedicated sick line at (805) 384-0983 x2 and leave a message. Our office staff will call you back if we have any questions. Follow our sick pay procedures for your timesheet (see section B).

7.Should I restrict community outings during care right now?
Yes. Most businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies have modified their operations and many have closed, including libraries. Due to the increase in rainy weather and the added risk associated with driving in the rain, as well as concerns being around the public, care should be provided in the family’s home or in the Respite Caregiver’s home if certain conditions are met and CISS approves prior to care being provided. Contact the office for more information.
8.Can the family I support receive more respite hours since schools are closed for a few weeks?
This is up to the Regional Center (or the County of Ventura for children in foster care). Please direct the family to contact their case worker about their needs.

9.The person in my care requires personal care, should I still work? Who supplies the protective equipment?
That is an individual decision to be made by the employee and the family. Some employees may choose to provide care if the family provides gloves, some families may take over personal care and have the Respite Caregiver provide general supervision at this time. Please hold these discussions with the families. If due to financial reasons a family cannot provide gloves, employees may contact the office to inquire if CISS can provide some (dependent upon limited supplies in the community.)
10.I normally provide group childcare at community events for CISS. Is that continuing?
Most are being cancelled. The office will be in touch with you for each event.

B. Payroll Questions: 
1.Can I use my accrued sick leave to cover hours I cannot work due to COVID-19 cancellations?
Yes, put the hours you were scheduled to work on your timesheet and write “COVID-19 cancellation” in the comments section. Please also call x2 to report the absence and if it is due to you or the family taking preventive measures, or due to you or the family being ill.
2.How much sick pay can I use?
You can use up to 24 hours of paid sick leave (if accrued) to cover all scheduled care that is not provided due to absences related to the virus.
3.Do I need to have the family sign off on my paper timesheet if I am using sick leave hours?
No. We are trying to limit contact at this time if anyone is ill, and out of respect for the families who are trying to limit their contacts. Simply log the date and hours you were scheduled to work, the total hours, and write “Sick Day” on the comments line. We will verify all hours with the families if needed.
4.Can I use up my sick leave hours, even if I am not scheduled to work with any families?
No. Sick leave is to be used for missed work that was scheduled, or would have normally been scheduled with a family who has respite hours available to be used. It is not meant to supplement pay lost from another job.If you would like to work more, please contact our office. If you are not currently hired to support multiple families, we can conduct an interview using Facetime or Zoom.
5.Are overtime restrictions still in effect?
Yes. Respite Caregivers cannot work more than 40 hours/week (Sunday through Saturday) and employees in other programs have daily overtime limits. Please reference the employee handbook for overtime policies. If a family’s needs increase during this time, they can contact our office for a referral to an additional caregiver.
6.If a family cancels an appointment for care last minute, can I still get paid?
If you have confirmed the shift with the family just prior to your visit and they cancel within the hour, or after you’ve arrived, please call our HR Manager Rosy at (805) 384-0983 x862 for instructions on how to log this on your timesheet and how you will be paid. If you’d like to work with additional families, please contact our Family Services department.
7.If my hours with CISS are reduced due to COVID-19 related issues, and I cannot work with additional families, can I apply for unemployment?
Yes. Contact our HR Manager to discuss your options.

C. HR Considerations: 
1.If I do not work for the next 30 days, will my employment be inactivated?
No. We are being more flexible at this time given the virus. If your families have paused care provision, contact our office if you would like to work with additional families in need.

2.My CPR and First Aid Training are due soon, do I have to attend a group class?
We have made modifications to our classes to limit them to up to eight students who are spaced out further in class. We have also increased our sanitizing efforts of all equipment and classroom surfaces at this time. Priority for in-class training is being given to new employees. Additional guidance on this will be given by HR to affected employees, and extensions will be given for renewals.
3.Is CISS continuing to hold monthly staff training seminars at the office?
Plans for the March and April seminars are being reviewed and will be announced in the near future. Webinars may be utilized.

4.Can I still pick up my paycheck next pay day?
Yes, but we may have to change to only mailing them out should things change in the community. We have been urging all employees to sign up for direct deposit since Jan 2019. It allows your paycheck to be automatically deposited into your checking or savings account, which is so convenient! It saves you time and also reduces your exposure to germs. Please sign up now by finding your banking information and completing our form located here

Thank you for all you do for the families!
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
(805) 384-0983

Copyright © 2020  Channel Islands Social Services. All rights reserved.

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Channel Islands Social Services
4000 Calle Tecate, Suite 200, Camarillo, CA 93012
(805) 384-0983   Fax (805) 384-0986 

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