What is happing with the Coronavirus and what can we do to protect ourselves? Virginia Case, the CEO, League of Women Voters, has helpful information as recommended by the CDC for your review.
The health and safety of our members is paramount. We know there is much confusion about the Coronavirus, and many of you may be wondering what to do as it relates to your volunteer work with the League. For that reason, we are sharing the following guidance below in an effort to help inform your decision making about when to stay home. We also realize that many of you live in parts of the country that have already seen a significant impact from the virus in your communities.
As such, we might confront situations in which some of you may have had contact with someone who may have been ill with COVID-19. We will follow the guidance from the CDC and the local public health agency regarding the appropriate course of action. In particular, we will follow the risk assessment guidance from the CDC in terms of whether a volunteer or staff member is considered to be high, medium, or low risk (or no identifiable risk) related to possible exposure. Please keep in mind that “exposure” is only considered to be an issue when an individual has come into direct contact with someone who has been positively identified as being ill with COVID-19. In general, and unless there is contrary advice from CDC or local public health, we will follow the following process:
- Any staff or volunteer who has any symptoms should not come into the office or attend a League event (because they are considered ill);
- Any staff member or volunteer who does not have any symptoms and is considered high- or medium risk under the CDC risk assessment because of direct contact with someone positively-identified as having COVID-19 will be asked not to come to any LWV workplace or event;
- Any staff member or volunteer who does not have any symptoms and is considered low-risk (or no identifiable risk) under the risk assessment will not be restricted in coming to work or League events but will be considered for telecommuting options if available;
Staff members or volunteers who learn that they are in any of the categories identified by CDC because of direct contact with someone who has been positively identified as ill with COVID-19 should inform your League as soon as possible.
Please note that the CDC does not consider indirect contacts to create any identifiable risk. In other words, if a staff or volunteer member had contact with a person with no symptoms but who had contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19, the staff/volunteer member is not considered at additional risk themselves or to pose any additional risk to others at this time.
We know this is a critical time in a busy election year and primary voters are casting ballots every week. This virus could have a major impact on our ability to reach voters and, when possible, we want to encourage people to take advantage of early and absentee voting options. We’ll be keeping VOTE411 up-to-date in relation to how the virus may be impacting election administration.
We will do our best to continue to find ways to support you in your League work during this time.