County Employee Information for COVID-19

The health, safety, and well-being of our employees and community is our top priority as we address the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19. We realize you have questions and concerns regarding how to protect yourself and what effect COVID-19 might have on County operations. Please know the Linn County Board of Supervisors is working diligently with Linn County Public Health (LCPH) and other partners to continuously monitor and respond to the situation. 

Out of an abundance of caution and in an effort limit public interactions and gatherings under guidance by local, state, and federal officials, most Linn County facilities are temporarily closed to the general public. Read the list of closures and exceptions here. The closure is scheduled through March 31, which may be modified if necessary. County services will remain operational and available to the public either online or via phone or email. We thank all employees for making every effort to ensure minimal disruption to public services during this unprecedented time. Linn County has also canceled non-essential meetings and activities. Human Resources trainings have been postponed.

Below you will find information about COVID-19 regarding internal procedures, FAQs, guidance and resources.

Department Head/Elected Officials Update - 3/16/2020 (please note this meeting was held prior to closing some County facilities)

Topics discussed at the meeting include:

  • County operations and alternative business options
  • Facilities cleaning and sanitation processes
  • Employee paid leave, sick time, AFSCME MOU
  • IT operations and remote abilities

Watch the full meeting.

Policies and Memorandums of Understanding

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster

Temporary Employment Policies in Response to COVID-19

County Paid Leave - Approved 3/25/2020 by the Board

View the full Memorandum of Understanding for the AFSCME bargaining unit.

View the full Memorandum of Understanding for the County Attorneys bargaining unit.

View the full Memorandum of Understanding for the Sergeants bargaining unit.

View the full Memorandum of Understanding for the Conservation bargaining unit.

FAQS - County Employees

What if an employee wants to take time off for a reason associated with the COVID-19 virus or COVID-19 related closures?

For more information on time away from work related to COVID-19, please read the appropriate MOU for your bargaining unit above to determine if your specific situation qualifies.  All requests for leave need to come directly through the Human Resources Department.

What if I test positive for COVID-19?

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and must stay home per their doctor, Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) or CDC’s orders, the employee will remain on paid status for up to 14 calendar days (or until released to return to work) and will not be required to use their accrued sick leave.  Documentation is required. A doctor’s note clearing you to return to work is required before you are able to come back to work.  

What if an employee is quarantined per their doctor, the Iowa Department of Public Health or CDC due to suspected exposure to COVID-19?

If an employee is quarantined per their doctor, the Iowa Department of Public Health, or CDC’s orders due to a known or suspected exposure, the employee will remain on paid status for up to 14 calendar days (or until released to return to work) and will not be required to use their accrued sick leave.  Documentation is required.  A doctor’s note clearing you to return to work is required before you are able to come back to work.

What if an employee is exposed to someone who has the virus and needs to be tested?

If an employee has been exposed to someone with the virus and needs to be tested per their doctor, the Iowa Department of Public Health, or CDC, the employee will remain on paid status for up to 14 calendar days (or until released to return to work) and will not be required to use their accrued sick leave.  Documentation is required.  A doctor’s note clearing you to return to work is required before you are able to come back to work. 

What if my family member has the virus or has been exposed to the virus and I need to care for them?

If an employee’s family member has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or has been exposed to the virus and needs to be quarantined, the employee will remain on paid status for up to 14 calendar days (or until released to return to work) and will not be required to use their accrued sick leave.  Documentation is required.  A doctor’s note clearing you to return to work is required before you are able to come back to work. 

What if an employee just returned home from a country that is on the restricted travel list or just returned home from an area in the U.S. that has significant community spread?

If an employee returns from a country that is on the restricted travel list or returns from a U.S. location that has significant community spread, the employee will remain on paid status for up to 14 days (or until released to return to work) and will not use their own accrued sick leave.

I believe I am showing symptoms that may be COVID-19 and I’m in contact with my doctor.  What should I do about work?

If an employee feels they have COVID-19 symptoms and are working with a health care professional the employee will be required to use their own accrued sick leave.  Documentation is required.  If the employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or is quarantined per their doctor, the CDC, or IDPH then the employee must notify Human Resources.  The employee’s pay will change to paid status, and you will not be required to use your accrued sick leave for the remainder of your time off until the employee is cleared.  A doctor’s note clearing you to return to work is required before you are able to come back to work. 

What if I don’t have enough sick time or long-term leave to cover my time off?

If an employee needs to be off for a listed scenario that requires you to use your own accrued sick leave and the employee does not have enough accrued time to cover the time off, the employee will be allowed to utilize other accrued time off or borrow against future sick leave accruals for up to 80 hours (two weeks) for full-time employees once their current sick leave balance is exhausted.  This amount is pro-rated for part-time employees.

Who is considered a family member?

Linn County will be following our union contract definition of a family member for all the scenarios listed above for all eligible employees.  Family members include spouse, mother, father, son, daughter, stepchild, brother, sister, grandchild or foster child. An employee’s family also includes the following individuals: the employee’s grandparent, stepparent, or legal ward.

Will payroll operations continue as usual? 

Yes.  Someone in payroll will be available to ensure payroll is processed and employees receive their paychecks.

How are Management and Confidential employees paid for time off in regards to the COVID-19 MOU?

Management and Confidential employees are eligible for the same scenarios in the AFSCME MOU.  For COVID-19 related absences as listed in the MOU, Management and Confidential employees may immediately access their long term leave.

Can my supervisor send me home if they believe I am sick?

Yes. Supervisors can send employees home if they feel they are exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus.  If you are sent home, you will be paid for the remainder of the day. An employee who is sent home should immediately contact their doctor to determine what the next steps should be.

Hygiene

Help prevent the spread of all viruses, including influenza and COVID-19 by:

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces by using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol

Cleaning

Our Facilities team has increased their work hours and cleaning processes for all County facilities. All surfaces are being cleaned and sanitized daily, multiple times in high-traffic, high-touch areas. Hand sanitizer dispensers are available, if possible, in each County building. 

International and Domestic Travel

The County has halted all international travel and non-essential work-related domestic travel. 

Resources

Avoid misinformation by following these trusted sources:

  • Iowa 211 hotline is the central resource for those with COVID-19 questions. Dial 2-1-1 on your landline, or call 319-739-4211
  • The Iowa Department of Public Health provides up-to-date information regarding this virus on their website, as well as guidance for businesses, schools, healthcare, long-term care, general public, and travelers
  • The Center for Disease Control has a dedicated summary of the virus, including symptoms, risk assessment, and preventative measures. View CDC’s latest travel notices and recommendations. 
  • The World Health Organization provides information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease from emerging research to general advice for the public