As the Delta variant saturates the country with new cases of COVID-19, the CDC continues to reinforce the use of masks while indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission and recommends testing for the virus if you have symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status. The FDA has just recently allowed for the additional dose of both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to people with moderately to severe compromised immune systems after the initial 2-dose series (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html). With the spread of the virus, we caution all of our members to proceed with caution during these last few weeks of summer, limit indoor exposures, protect the staff and children attending your summer camp programs, and continue to seek vaccinations for your staff.
Throughout the past year and a half, the Comp Alliance has updated our members on the trials and tribulations of the pandemic, including New York State regulations, Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, and other federal and state sources of information on the pandemic and restrictions placed upon employers and employees for compliance and to maintain overall safety procedures for your operations. NYS municipalities remained diligent in compliance with safeguarding staff throughout the pandemic and their efforts were reflected in the limited outbreaks from our members throughout the virus. With the introduction of the vaccines earlier this year, the state has lifted many of the previous restrictions, and operations have improved to reduce practices such as social distancing and mask wearing.
However, as many of us have observed during the past few days, the Delta variety of the coronavirus has displayed itself to be resilient against the vaccine and spreading throughout the state. To maximize protection from this new strain of the virus, the CDC has recently requested that people wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. To view their site where they identify these transmission areas, visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
At this time, New York State has not required these latest CDC restrictions for its residents, although they usually follow their guidance a week or two after the CDC issuance, so it is anticipated that these transmission developments will be repeated in some fashion by the state soon. It remains, as it has since the beginning of the pandemic, that non-vaccinated people continue to wear a mask when in public, and this should be strictly enforced by your municipality. People are considered fully vaccinated when:
Additionally, even those who have been fully-vaccinated are asked that if they have been around someone who has COVID-19, you should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, even if you don’t have symptoms. You should wear a mask indoors in public for 14-days following exposure or until your test result is negative. You should isolate for 10 days if your test result in positive. One reported benefit of the vaccine is that if you do contract the virus, the symptoms are much less severe and the hospitalization potential from the virus is greatly reduced.
For now, according to the CDC, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:
What We Know
As the knowledge of medical experts increases concerning the virus variants and vaccines, it remains important for employers and employees to understand their responsibilities for the safety of themselves and their co-workers. Remain diligent against this virus, continue to practice good hygiene practices, wear a mask if you are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask if you are indoors in public within the parts of the state identified as substantial or high transmission, continue good personal hygiene, clean workspaces routinely, and get tested if you have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. The Comp Alliance will continue to keep our members updated on the process of this challenging pandemic situation.
NYCOM has launched a guide to help local governments re-open during the COVID Pandemic
New York State’s Department of Health has recently issued a NY FORWARD BUSINESS RE-OPENING SAFETY PLAN TEMPLATE: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdf
This template is a guide for municipalities during the re-opening process, with an emphasis to protect the People, Property and Processes at your municipal operations. Each business and industry must have a written plan in place to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement process for lower risk of infection in the business. The template is an excellent document to utilize, and along with the Comp Alliance additional considerations, will greatly assist your municipality with re-opening with the best protections in place.
Members are encouraged to visit the Comp Alliance Re-Opening NY Safety Culture Talk by clicking here, for additional considerations to assist in re-opening your municipality.
On Monday, April 13th, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order with new requirements for all essential businesses or entities. Effective 8:00 p.m. on April 15, 2020, any employees who are present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear face coverings when in direct contact with customers or members of the public. This order applies to local governments, so to the extent that any Comp Alliance member has employees that have direct contact with the public, they will be required to provide face coverings.
To assist our members in complying with this new requirement, the Comp Alliance has ordered a limited quantity of facemasks for its members. Each member will receive a box of 50 initial facemasks during the week of April 20th. While we recognize some of our members will have a greater need than these initial 50 masks, we may have additional quantities available as well, so please contact your Comp Alliance marketing or loss control rep for further details.
Please let us know if you have any questions, we wish you good health.
In an effort to assist our members even further with their training needs in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) New York State on Pause, the Comp Alliance is now providing our safety training via Zoom video conferencing.
We can now provide the following safety training topics to members utilizing Zoom Video Conferencing:
The Governor of New York recently issued a statement making it mandatory for businesses, including local government, to reduce workforce outside the home to 50%. This rule does not apply to essential services, but the majority of municipalities will be affected. The impact of workplace safety will be dramatically affected from this reduction in workforce. Essential municipal operations include many high-hazard functions which can only be safely completed with multiple employee involvement. The majority of highway and public work operations can be considered high-hazard and it remains critical that department heads consider the safety of a reduced staff, to complete tasks which normally are considered safe. Not only might field work safety be compromised, but the safety of garage (mechanics) and office staff may as well.
A typical best practice for employee safety is to use the ‘Strength in Numbers’ rule, where employees work together with co-workers present to provide support in the event of an emergency, be it for a physical issue, dealing with troublesome customers, or during heavy-load work (i.e. mechanical). Co-workers have each other’s back during these conditions, so the reduction in work-force creates an increased risk during these work situations.
In response to the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York State, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has guaranteed workers job protection and financial compensation in the event they, or their minor dependent child, are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19. See Guidance For Obtaining An Order For Mandatory Or Precautionary Quarantine.
Know Your Rights Webpage - With NYS currently on pause the State has established a Know Your Rights Webpage to be used as a reference for employees during this pandemic. This page includes information on testing, unemployment, insurance, mortgage and rent, and price gouging.
Testing - Testing is free to all eligible New Yorkers as ordered by a health care provider or by calling the NYS COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-364-3065. Click Here for more info.
Emotional Support for New Yorkers - call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at 1-844-863-9314 for mental health counseling.
Local Health Departments - Your local health department is your community contact for COVID-19 concerns
Coronavirus Updates - Click Here to sign up for the Governor's updates
The Comp Alliance provides program members wth access to the Comp Alliance Academy which contains topical webinars, videos, quizzes and other training resources along with access to an extensive video library through Safety Source.
In light of the current Coronavirus Pandemic, the Comp Alliance has made some relevant training tools available publicly. Please utilize these training courses to help with you safety efforts during this challenging time.
The Comp Alliance recently partnered with Safety Source delivering more than 850 safety training videos to Comp Alliance members free of charge. The videos are effective, easy to understand, and a great supplement to your training programs.
Safety Source has four videos we would like to highlight that can benefit program members during the Coronavirus pandemic:
The NYS Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) has temporarily suspended the requirements for original signatures on several forms because many people are working from home due to COVID-19. For details please Click Here.
The Comp Alliance has developed a helpful abbreviated client service kit for at home use. Please pdf Click Here (1.78 MB) to download this kit.This kit includes contact information for our service team, steps for filing claims, and common claim filing forms.
Much of our service team is now working remotely but employees have access to all our computer systems, claim files, and email. In addition we will continue to have key staff members in the office to perform essential functions, including check printing, to ensure that all payments to injured employees and services providers are made on an uninterrupted basis.
The following are helpful links that can be used as additional resources related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Given the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we want to assure our Comp Alliance Members that we are taking your employee health, community health, and that of our staff as a top priority. We want to assure all clients of the Comp Alliance that we are working diligently to meet the extraordinary challenges presented by the Coronavirus. In order to ensure the protection of our own employees, we are currently working with most of our staff remotely.
These employees have access to all our computer systems, claim files, and email. Phone calls to their desk phones are being electronically routed to their home or cell phones in real time. Our claim examiners will be able to perform 100% of the functions they normally perform at our office. In addition we will continue to have key staff members in the office to perform essential functions, including check printing, to ensure that all payments to injured employees and services providers are made on an uninterrupted basis.
|16 Sep 2021|
08:00AM - 08:30AM
HAZWOPER Awareness Training Live Via Zoom
|16 Sep 2021|
01:00PM - 03:00PM
Live Zoom Safety Training for Comp Alliance Members
|20 Sep 2021|
08:00AM - 05:00PM
NYCOM Fall Training School