Bark Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Policy and Protocols

Created March 13, 2020; Effective March 16th until further notice

Policy Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to keep our employees and community safe and healthy in light of the unfolding novel coronavirus situation and with the acknowledgement that health is a community effort.

Many of the efforts outlined below are an attempt to do our part to “Flatten the Curve” and with the acknowledgement that many in our communities—immigrants, rural communities, people who are houseless, and working-class folks across our region disproportionately lack access to high-quality, culturally-competent health care. Bark also acknowledges that elders and people with serious chronic medical conditions are more likely to have severe COVID-19 symptoms.

This policy and protocols will continue to be updated based on the best available information based on Executive Orders and recommendations from Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority, Multnomah County’s Health and Emergency Management Departments, the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations, and the World Health Organization.

*Remember that disease knows no nationality or race. Asian communities have been experiencing discrimination during this outbreak. We urge all to resist baseless fear and xenophobia, and to consider ways you can support Asian owned businesses.

 

WORKING FROM HOME AND CHANGES TO

INDOOR EVENTS AND MEETINGS, ETC.

Beginning on March 16, 2020 Bark implemented the following steps to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to update these policies as we get new information.

Working from home is required unless it is not an option. All staff will work from home or create a staggered work schedule for use of office space if working from home is not an option due to lack of access to necessary equipment and files. 

Bark’s Indoor Events and Meetings Will Occur Digitally or be Postponed. Maintaining community connections is critical—and Bark endeavors to do our best to make this happen digitally. Staff will not be convening or attending in-person meetings or indoor events and will instead plan to hold meetings over phone or by video conferencing, or will be postponing meetings and events until further notice. This includes already scheduled meetings, which we are in the process of switching to a virtual format.

Staff is asked not to work in any shared working space (Coffee Shops, Pubs, Etc.).

Outdoor Events are also suspended until the recommended limit is lifted, Bark is working to develop meaningfully engaging and interactive options for people to remain connected to their outdoor environments in a manner that is safe and in accordance with restrictions and recommendations issued by the State of Oregon or the Federal Government.

Agency and Partner Events & Meetings. We will not be sending staff or volunteers to meetings, conferences, or other activities that require travel or involve being in close physical contact with others. This is both to protect our staff from contracting the virus as well as to protect others from transmission.

 

BARK’S PROTOCOLS FOR SUPPORTING

A HEALTHY WORK ENVIRONMENT

  • Tissues, waste baskets and hand sanitizer (as available) are located near commonly used surfaces (doorknobs, keyboards, desks, countertops and tables) and near frequent touch surfaces such as door knobs and handles (including the refrigerator and microwave), keypads (including the alarm), and light-switches, and in the kitchen area.
  • If you go into the office because you are unable to work from home, in addition to coordinating with your co-workers to ensure you are the only one in the office, you are required to sanitize your workspace with the disposable wipes provided and the surfaces you used at the end of your workday.
    • Including: your keyboard, mouse, and other frequently handled items.
    • Employees are required to wash their own dishes with soap and hot water.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THIS AND OTHER VIRUSES

Know the signs and symptoms of COVID-19

Stay up to date with guidance from the State of Oregon, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

SICK LEAVE and FMLA

Employee health insurance coverage, sick leave and vacation leave accrual are not impacted by hours they are unable to work due to COVID 19.

If an Employee is too sick to work, the employee should use accrued sick leave and track in their timesheet. Once all accrued paid sick leave is used, the employee may use paid FMLA leave (Family Medical Leave Act). To initiate FMLA, the employee may be asked to fill out a FMLA request form.

If an employee is unable to work because they are caring for a family member, the employee may choose to use sick leave for all or part of the work day. Once all accrued paid sick leave is used, the employee may use paid FMLA leave (Family Medical Leave Act). To initiate FMLA, the employee may be asked to fill out a FMLA request form. The employee must communicate plans with their supervisor and utilize their timesheet to track their time.

 

 

USE OF SICK TIME CARE FOR

CHILDREN DUE TO SCHOOL/CHILDCARE CANCELLATIONS

Employees may choose to use accrued sick leave if not able to work from home as a result of school or childcare cancellations stemming from the coronavirus. Once an employee has used accrued sick leave, employees should develop a plan with their supervisor.

Tags: