State Agency COVID-19 Guidance

MEMORANDUM

Date: January 18, 2022
To: Executive Branch Agency Leadership & HR Directors
From: DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Secretary of Administration
Subject: Revised State Agency Guidance

Shortly after the issuance of our previous guidance last week, the CDC changed its opinion on whether individuals with a previous COVID-19 infection should be considered immune or not. Therefore, in light of the CDC’s change, language on page two of this memo has been updated accordingly and has been highlighted for ease of reference. These changes are effective immediately. All other provisions of the memo issued last week are unchanged.

Employees Exhibiting Symptoms

Employees exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 – whether or not they have been fully-vaccinated and/or boosted – should remain home until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours and the employee is fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications. Employees in this situation should get tested for COVID-19 at one of the following locations: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing, or any healthcare provider that is able to provide COVID-19 testing.

Any employee reporting symptoms who gets tested will receive up to two days (number of hours dependent on the employee’s regular work schedule) of paid leave (ADQ) immediately following the report of such symptoms. While on this initial period of ADQ, the employee should get tested for COVID-19 and notify the agency of the results of that test or provide an alternative diagnosis from a healthcare provider. Agencies shall require proof of the COVID-19 test result and should not accept the results of over-the-counter tests done at home.

  • If the results of the COVID-19 test are negative, the employee will be required to return to work in accordance with their agency’s return-to-work plans. If the employee chooses not to return to work, the employee will be required to utilize their own accrued leave for any such time.
  • If the results of the COVID-19 test are positive, the employee will be required to isolate for a period of five (5) days since the start of symptoms. If the employee has no symptoms or the symptoms are resolving after 5 days and the employee is fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications, the employee may leave the home and return to work but must wear a wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days. If the employee has returned to work, this means that the employee must wear a mask at all times while in a State building, not just in common areas. Time spent isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test should be recorded as ADQ for that time.

If an employee does not get tested for COVID-19 and/or fails to notify or provide proof of the test result to their agency, the employee will be required to serve an isolation period of 5 days and will be required to utilize their own accrued leave for any such time. The employee may, at any time during this period, get tested for COVID-19 and provide the agency with proof of the result and proceed in accordance with the results of the test, as indicated above. Employees should comply with all state and county contact tracing protocols.

Known Exposure: Close Contacts and Travel-Related Exposure

Employees who have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been told that they are a case based on symptoms and exposure, should report that information to their agency as soon as they become aware that they are a close contact regardless of whether one or both parties were wearing a mask or other face covering. “Close contact” means:

  • Being within six feet of an individual who is a COVID-19 case for ten consecutive minutes or more, or
  • Having contact with the person’s respiratory secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on, kissing, contact with a dirty tissue, sharing a drinking glass, food, towels or other personal items), or
  • Living with the person or staying overnight for at least one night in a house with the case, or
  • Being within six feet of an infectious person or persons for 10 cumulative minutes or more in a 24-hour period in high-risk situations that produce more respiratory droplets that contain virus (for example, if the infected person was coughing, sneezing, signing, shouting, etc.) or if there are exposures to more than one infected person.

Employees who have traveled should consult the following KDHE website and should report travel to any of the locations indicated as soon as possible: Travel & Exposure Related Isolation / Quarantine | KDHE COVID-19 (kdheks.gov). Employees should then follow the guidance below with respect to their ability to return to work and leave usage, if necessary.

Employees who have been boosted, employees that are fully vaccinated with Pfizer/Moderna within the last 6 months, employees that are fully vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson within the last 2 months, and employees who have had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days are NOT required to stay at home after being a close contact of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection of any variant as long as that employee does not have symptoms. Such employees must wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days and are encouraged to get tested on the 5th day after their close contact. Again, if the employee has returned to work, this means that the employee must wear a well-fitting mask at all times while in a State building, not just in common areas

Employees who fall within any of the three situations indicated below, have been to a location listed on the KDHE travel website referenced above or have been a close contact of a person with a confirmed COVID-19 infection of any variant are required to quarantine for a period of 5 days from the last day in the location or having been in contact with the positive individual and must wear a well-fitting mask around other people for a total of 10 days:

  • Those who have not been vaccinated or choose not to disclose their vaccination status and have not had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days;
  • Those who have completed the primary series of Pfizer/Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago, are not boosted and have not had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days; or
  • Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over 2 months ago, are not boosted and have not had a confirmed COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days.

Employees in any of the above situations will be required to utilize their own leave for the 5-day quarantine period. These employees should get tested for COVID-19 on the 5th day from the last day in the location or having been in contact with the positive individual. Testing is available at one of the following locations: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing, or any healthcare provider that is able to provide COVID-19 testing.

Any employee will receive up to two days (number of hours dependent on the employee’s regular work schedule) of paid ADQ leave in order to get tested. During these two days, the employee should get tested for COVID-19 and notify the agency of the results of that test or provide an alternative diagnosis from a healthcare provider. Agencies shall require proof of the COVID-19 test result and should not accept the results of at-home tests.

  • If the results of the COVID-19 test are negative, the employee will be required to return to work in accordance with their agency’s return-to-work plans. If the employee chooses not to return to work, the employee will be required to utilize their own accrued leave for any such time.
  • If the results of the COVID-19 test are positive, the employee will be required to isolate for a period of 5 days from the date that the positive test is received. If the employee has no symptoms or the symptoms are resolving after 5 days and the employee is fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medications, the employee may leave the home and return to work but must wear a well-fitting mask around others for an additional 5 days. If the employee has returned to work, this means that the employee must wear a well-fitting mask at all times while in a State building, not just in common areas. Time spent isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test should be recorded as ADQ for that time.

Employees who are required to quarantine under any scenario in this guidance and are able to work remotely are expected to do so during their quarantine if they are asymptomatic. Otherwise, the employee will record leave as indicated above, based the particular circumstances.

If not specifically referenced in this document, all other provisions of previous guidance remain in effect.