BU 17 – Registered Nurses
Update as of April 27, 2020


The health of our staff is paramount, and our Union continues to address concerns from our members, given CDPH’s critical role in this crisis. We have made it clear that the state is required to provide employees a healthy and safe workplace, and they should not put the health of essential workers in jeopardy. Our Union raised the following questions after members from the SFDO raised concerns.

Below are the latest responses we’ve received from Management:

Please let us know if there are any additional questions or concerns by calling the Member Resource Center (MRC) at 866.471.SEIU (7348).

1. What is the specific process/protocols the department follows when a staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

CDPH:  Attached is the most recent communication from our Human Resources Division (HRD) sent to all CDPH employees. HRD has sent multiple emails to staff. Communication is updated as new information is released.

2. What are the protocols that are given to employees that may have had close contact with the individual?

CDPH:  Attached is the most recent communication from our Human Resources Division (HRD) sent to all CDPH employees. Also attached is the guidance that is provided to employees and which was noticed to the unions.

3. Have the protocols above been explained to the staff, and has there been any change to the protocols? 

CDPH: See response to question 2. 

4. What is the specific cleaning (and deep-cleaning) process after a report of a staff COVID infection? How long should staff wait before re-entry into the office?

CDPH:  The COVID-19 cleaning commenced under CDC Guidelines for an employee that has not been on site for 7 days. The CDC guidelines indicate that this cleaning would require general cleaning with CDC approved products and not require the disinfectant fogging of the entire suite. These guidelines have changed over time, and we follow the most current recommendation.

5. Who specifically does the cleaning?

CDPH:  SFDO was not a state owned building so the property manager contacted their cleaning service, Peninsula Services.

6. Were the employees in the SFDO notified immediately that they should leave the office after the employer knew of the positive COVID-19 confirmation?

CDPH:  Management followed protocol and notified the employees accordingly. See attached guidance for CDPH managers and supervisors for positive COVID-19.

7. Does the SFDO do COVID 19 screening prior to anyone being allowed into the district office?

CDPH:  At the SFDO, is not one of the locations with COVID 19 screening. CDPH is currently working on the schedule for expansion to all CDPH locations. However, guidance is provided to employees that they must self-monitor prior to coming into work. This is included in the updated guidance to all CDPH employees.

8. Is the SFDO still doing Tier 1 work and/or the backlog?

CDPH:  Currently, SFDO is not doing Tier 1 workload which is the Recertification surveys for SNFs, ICFs, HHA (Home Health Agencies), and Hospices. Those SNF (Skilled Nursing Facilities) surveys that were initiated before the COVID that had a scope and severity of “G” (Actual Harm and above), have to finish their revisits to be back in compliance. The CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) directed the CDPH L&C  to do onsite focused Infection Control  Survey on all our SNFs, ICFs (Intermediate Care Facilities) , ESRDs (End Stage Renal Disease), GACHs(General Acute Care Hospitals), and ASCs (Ambulatory Surgical Centers) to assess their Infection Control Program. We’ve finished the SNFs, ICFs, ESRDs, and GACHs.  

Some of our HFENs (Health Facilities Evaluator Nurses) are helping DSS (Department of Social Services) staff doing a video conference regarding their Infection Control program. DSS facilities include the RCFE (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly) and Board and Care Homes. If they don’t have schedules with the DSS staffs, they continue working on their backlogs or else they don’t have any work to do. We only investigate onsite complaints or ERIs that have a priority of “A” (Immediate Jeopardy also called IJ). An IJ is a situation in which immediate corrective action is necessary because the provider’s noncompliance with one or more requirements of participation or conditions of participation has caused, or is likely to cause, serious injury, harm, impairment, or death to an individual receiving care in the facility.

9. Are all represented employees in the SFDO being given the option to telework or an alternate work schedule that would limit their time in the office?

CDPH: SFDO offered telework since 3/16/20, and almost all (22) of the 27 HFENs are doing telework. Some (5) are on LOA (Leave of Absence). There is one PTII and one AGPA who have shared they do not have the resources to telework as required in the telework agreement and expectation memo.

10. Have there been any follow-up emails to the employees after the Thursday at 4:55 p.m. email that was sent informing them of the employee that tested positive?  If not, why?

CDPH:  Subsequent communication was sent out to employees to advise HRD and management were available to answer questions via teleconference. The conference call took place April 20, 2020, at 10 a.m.

11. How many employees in CDPH have tested positive for COVID-19 at each District Office? Is the department tracking each office and how many have tested positive? If yes, can our Union access this information?

CDPH:  CDPH has noticed SEIU for every confirmed positive COVID-19 case that has impacted SEIU represented employees. To date, we have sent Yvonne Walker four (4) notifications. CDPH is tracking each case.