Effective June 10th, the following protocols shall govern COVID-19 related issues for City employees. To the extent the protocols set forth herein differ from previous ones, these protocols shall govern. All employees, without exception, must comply with these protocols. The failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to, and including, removal from employment.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS

The City encourages all employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
All City employees are eligible to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations directly with the City’s vendor, Bespoke Health LLC, by calling 201-373-2316.

All employees who make appointments to get vaccinated through the City’s program will be permitted to attend those appointments without use of accrued time (up to 1 full day).

For additional information on COVID-19 vaccinations, employees should visit jcnj.org/vaccines
Please do not call or contact the Department of Health & Human Services (“HHS”) or the Department of Human Resources (“HR”) for vaccination appointments or information as callers will be directed to contact the City’s vendor or to the City’s website.

COVID-19 TESTING

Fully vaccinated employees who have been exposed to COVID-19 or identified as a “close contact” of an infected person and are asymptotic do not need to get tested, but must self- monitor for symptoms for 14 days following an exposure.
Employees who are exposed to COVID-19 or identified as a “close contact” of an infected person, but are not fully vaccinated, must follow the directives of HHS regarding testing and quarantining as set forth below.

NOTE: Some sections of this memorandum may not be applicable to employees assigned to the Department of Public Safety (both sworn and civilian). Employees of the Department of Public Safety shall be governed by the protocols of their respective divisions or as established by the Office of the Public Safety Director. If any protocols set forth herein differ those established by the Department of Public Safety, the protocols established by the Department of Public Safety shall govern for employees assigned to that Department.

City employees who are symptomatic, whether fully vaccinated or unvaccinated, must be tested for COVID-19 as set forth below.
Employees seeking to be tested for COVID-19 should visit the City’s website for information on free testing locations and other testing options in the Jersey City area www.jcnj.org/covidtesting

WORKPLACE SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Social Distancing and Face Masks

1.  Except as indicated below, City employees who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear a face mask when at their worksite but may continue to do so at their option.

2.  Employees who are not fully vaccinated or that work in the following settings are still required to wear a face mask while at their worksites:

  • employees that are assigned to healthcare or other clinical settings
  • employees working with the homeless population
  • employees working with minors or other youth populations; and
  • employees working with senior citizen populations.

3. The City will operate on the "honor system" regarding an employee's vacation status.

4. Any employee that fails to comply with this section will be subject to disciplinary action, up to removal from employment.

5. All other previously imposed social distancing and face mask requirements (e.g., social distancing, single occupancy restrooms, appointment only protocols) are rescinded.


Daily Health Screenings
1. Prior to entering any City worksite, every employee must respond to a health questionnaire each day as follows:

  • in the last 24 hours, have you experienced one (1) or more of these symptoms: fever (temperature of 100.4 F or greater), non-chronic cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell?
  • in the last 24 hours, have you experienced two (2) or more of these symptoms: chills, rigors (shaking), muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, fatigue, congestion or runny nose?
  • have you or someone in your household been diagnosed with COVID-19 or had “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days?

2. If an employee’s responses to any of the above questions is “YES” or become “YES” during the workday, the employee:

  • will be sent home for a minimum of 3 days to isolate
  • must monitor their temperature and symptoms daily, reporting their absences to their supervisor each day. On the fourth day, if symptoms or fever persist, the employee shall seek medical treatment and a clearance from their healthcare provider must be submitted to HR via e-mail (HR@jcnj.org) prior to the employee returning to work. If no symptoms persist and the employee’s temperature is not evaluated on the fourth day, they may return to the worksite immediately. Fully vaccinated employee may return to work immediately as soon as they can pass the health questionnaire.
3. Employees who cannot enter the worksite for the above reasons, must use their own accrued time for absences.

Personal Protective Equipment, Employee Hygiene and Cleaning of Worksites
1. PPE will continue to be available to all City employees for free (e.g., face masks, gloves, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.). Please contact your worksite’s Safety Captain with any specific requests.

2. Unless exempt, all City employees are required to hand scan when they arrive and depart from their assigned worksites. Employees may reenroll in the City’s hand scanning system wearing a protective glove. Please contact your Department or Division’s timekeeper for more information on reenrolling with a protective glove.

3. Hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed in easily accessible locations throughout common areas and employees are encouraged to utilize them after coming in contact with high-touch surfaces such as hand rails, door knobs, light switches and hand scanners.

4. Employees should wash their hands regularly during the workday, especially following contact with high-touch surfaces.

5. Employees are required to maintain a clean and sanitary personal workspace. The Department of Public Works and/or a City vendor will continue to frequently clean all “high touch” surfaces and common areas.


New Employees/Volunteers
1. All new City employees and volunteers must provide either: (a) proof of being fully vaccinated or (b) a negative COVID-19 test received no more than 5 days prior to their start date.
2. HR and/or HHS will arrange for any necessary COVID-19 testing for new employees and volunteers.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 OR HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A “CLOSE CONTACT” OF A PERSON THAT HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or has been identified as a “close contact” of someone that has tested positive for COVID-19 by a local, state or federal official or agency, they must immediately:
1. notify their supervisor of the situation
2. provide a copy of the relevant test result (if attainable for “close contact” employees) to HR via e-mail (HR@jcnj.org) and HHS (c/o Lee Chang, (LWChang@jcnj.org).


Neither the effected employees nor their supervisors should inform any other City employees of the identity of the person that received a positive COVID-19 test result or of the identity of any people that were in “close contact” with the infected individual.

After receiving a positive COVID-19 test result or information related to a “close contact” HHS will reach out to the effected employees directly, or through their supervisors, to provide mandatory quarantine directives and/or other instructions.

Unless symptomatic, fully vaccinated employees will not be required to quarantine if they are identified as a “close contact” of an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19.

In addition to completing any quarantine period as directed by HHS, employees that test positive for COVID-19, must retest with a negative result and submit that result to HR (HR@jcnj.org) before returning to the worksite. It is recommended that these employees be retested towards the end of their quarantine period (i.e., with 2 to 3 days remaining). If the retest provides another positive result, the employee may return to the worksite only if medically cleared to do so by a healthcare provider and then must present a medical clearance to HR (HR@jcnj.org) stating that they are not contagious and do not pose a danger to other employees.

After receiving a positive COVID-19 test result, HHS will begin the process of contact tracing, which is explained in detail in prior memoranda. Please allow HHS to effectively follow the CDC and State guidelines for contact tracing. DO NOT presume yourself or any staff in your building or office are close contacts.

CITY PROTOCOLS AFTER AN EMPLOYEE HAS TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

In the event that a City employee tests positive for COVID-19, the City will promptly notify employees at that worksite of their known exposure to COVID-19, consistent with the confidentiality requirements of federal, state or local law. These notifications will be made in two (2) parts:
1. notification will be made by HHS or a supervisor to any “close contacts” of the COVID-19 positive employee
2. notification will be made to other employees at the worksite as appropriate.

As soon as practical after a City employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the City will arrange for cleaning and disinfecting of that worksite, or portion thereof, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

EMPLOYEE TRAVEL

Under the Governor of New Jersey’s most recent travel advisory, New Jersey residents returning home from domestic travel need not quarantine or be tested for COVID-19, but should follow guidance from the CDC on international travel. At this time, the CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. The City likewise recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. If you are engaging in international travel, and are unvaccinated, the CDC recommends getting tested for COVID- 19 both before and after your flight home followed by a period of quarantine. For individuals who do not get tested for COVID-19, the CDC recommends that they quarantine for 10 days after returning.

In order to best protect all City employees and adhere to current CDC recommendations to the maximum extent allowable, the following protocols will apply to employees traveling internationally:
1. All City employees that intend to travel internationally must advise their Department’s HR Liaison in writing of:
  • intended travel destinations outside of the United States
  • the dates on which the travel will occur
  • their vaccination status. Although City employees will be on the “honor system” regarding reporting their vaccination status, the City reserves the right to require proof of vaccination if the employee will be traveling abroad.
2. If the employee is not fully vaccinated, they must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken not more than 3 days prior to their anticipated return to the worksite. Test results may be e-mailed to the Department’s HR Liaison or to HR@jcnj.org (Subject: Return to Work COVID Test Result). If an unvaccinated employee does not provide a negative COVID-19 test result as set forth above, they must use their accrued time for purposes of pay continuation until they can provide such a test result or have completed a 10 day quarantine. Fully vaccinated employees are exempt from any testing and quarantine requirements, unless they are symptomatic.

3. Employees failing to follow these protocols will be subject to disciplinary action, up to removal from employment.

USE OF ACCRUED TIME FOR COVID-19 RELATED ILLNESS AND QUARANTINE

The paid leave options available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired on December 31, 2020. Therefore, if an employee is required to quarantine or leave the worksite because of a positive COVID-19 test, “close contact” with a COVID-19 positive individual, or because of any of the above protocols, that employee must use their accrued leave or other available entitlement for purposes of pay continuation.

Employees that are under a quarantine directive are not permitted to work from home. Eligible employees may be approved for an unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act or the New Jersey Family Leave Act if they cannot attend work for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pursuant to City policy, employees approved for such leaves must use their accrued time concurrent with the leave, but may reserve up to 10 sick days for use at a later time. Please contact HR if you need more information on leave options or COVID-19 related leaves or accommodations.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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