Information Regarding COVID-19 & Employment

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Revised  August 17, 2020

When can an employee return to work if they are COVID-19 positive or believe they may have been exposed?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides 2 recommended options for returning to work; a time based model and a test based model.  The link to the website is www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/return-to-work.html.  Please note Currituck County is applying the Centers for Disease Control guidelines for Health Care Providers (HCP) to all employees.

Time based:

The time based model will be used for employees who are symptomatic or believe they have been exposed.  Employees may discontinue isolation and return to normal activities when it has been at least 7 days since their first day of illness AND they have been without fever (less than 100.4) for 3 days (72 hours) with no fever medication (such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, Advil, etc.) and, their other symptoms are improving (e.g., cough, shortness of breath, etc.) in consultation with their healthcare providers and state and local health departments.

Test based:

An employee infected with the virus poses a direct threat to the health of other employees and citizens. Requiring a negative result on 2 consecutive (within 24 hours of each other) COVID-19 tests before allowing an employee to enter the workplace is, therefore, job related and consistent with business necessity.

For guidance please contact April Elmore, Currituck County Designated Infection Control Officer.

Contact Information:
Phone: 252-232-7746 ext. 4097;
Cell: 757-286-3735;
Email:  April.Elmore@CurrituckCountyNC.gov.

For work-related exposures please call one of the numbers listed above as this is time sensitive.

This information is subject to change at any time per Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is a recent law which has different acts with the shared goal of providing relief to those who have been or will be adversely affected economically by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Act is effective from 4/1/2020-12/31/2020. If an employee has available work, either under normal circumstances at the normal worksite or by means of telework, and becomes unable to work due to the qualifying reasons set forth in the FFCRA then he or she would be eligible to receive either Emergency Family and Medical Leave or Emergency Paid Sick Leave. These 2 parts are outlined below:

The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act:

Covers all employees who have been employed for 30 days. Employees may take up to 12 weeks of leave when an employee is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for son or daughter under 18 years of age if the school or place of care has been closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to an emergency with respect to COVID-19 as declared by a federal, state or local authority.

The first 10 days of emergency FMLA are unpaid but an employee may choose to use any accrued paid leave during the first 10 days of emergency FMLA leave. Employees may use their maximum of 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave instead of accrued leave. After the first 10 days of Emergency Family leave (paid or unpaid) an employee will be required to use accrued compensatory time, sick time and/or vacation time to run concurrently with Emergency Family Leave.

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act:

Covers all employees. All full-time employees are entitled to a maximum of 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave. Part-time and temporary employees are also eligible for emergency paid sick leave and the amount of leave will be calculated on a case-by-case basis. The circumstances an employee qualifies for emergency paid sick leave are:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.
  2. The employee has been advised by their healthcare provider to self-quarantine because they are infected with or have been exposed to COVID-19 or because they are at high risk of complications from COVID-19;
  3. The employee is showing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking but has not yet received a medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for someone subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by their healthcare provider to self-quarantine for COVID-19 related reasons; or
  5. The employee is caring for his or her son or daughter because the child’s school or childcare facility has been closed or the childcare provider is no longer available because of a COVID-19 related reason.

It is up to the employee to decide whether to use emergency paid sick leave before any other form of accrued paid leave the employee has. Currituck County may not require an employee to use accrued sick, vacation or personal leave or, for nonexempt employees only, accrued comp time before using emergency paid sick leave. Any accrued paid time off previously earned by an employee may not run concurrently with emergency paid sick leave.

Forms are available below for employees to request both types of leave. In addition to submitting forms employees are required to email their questions to HR@CurrituckCountyNC.gov. The request must also be put on paper timesheets if this format is used in a respective department. Temporary and part-time employees who may be eligible for leave should follow the instructions outlined in this paragraph and HR will review on a case-by-case basis. Other information regarding each act, FICA deductions, etc. may found at the following link:

www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions. 

If you have any further in-depth questions regarding the FFCRA  or would like to submit your form, please email HR@CurrituckCountyNC.gov.

Forms