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COVID-19 INFORMATION

​As part of Energy Northwest's ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our employees, Human Resources, Industrial Safety, Information Services and Public Affairs established a centralized site to contain the latest Coronavirus information including a place for employees to ask questions.

As this is a rapidly changing situation, it is important to have accurate information from reliable sources to minimize any unnecessary panic. We will post updates as new information is available and encourage employees to utilize factual resources to inform themselves on the situation rather than perpetuating rumors and misinformation.

For medical-related questions, contact occupational health at ext. 2146. For work-related questions, contact your supervision.

Click here to view the actions taken by Energy Northwest.

COVID-19 EXTERNAL RESOURCE LINKS:

Washington State Coronavirus Response
 

 Questions and Answers

 
Employees can call 377-8715 if they have questions regarding the company's response to COVID-19.
 

 New and Updated

 
  
​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?...

Q: ​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?  I understand the precautions that can be taken but why challenge our current status?

A: Thank you for your question about our restart plans. We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes, we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

​In the COVID-19 Restart Plan, the trigger listed for Phase D is "WA State Phase 2 Implemented in Tri-Cities Area." Why is the modified phase 1 being used as a trigger instead of what was previously laid out in the plan?...

​Q: ​In the COVID-19 Restart Plan, the trigger listed for Phase D is "WA State Phase 2 Implemented in Tri-Cities Area." Why is the modified phase 1 being used as a trigger instead of what was previously laid out in the plan? On a side note, if we, like many communities who re-opened recently, are rolled back to phase 1 (or the equivilant) is there a plan in place to roll back EN employees as well, or are we just going to continue moving forward?

A:  We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

With the return to work now being rolled out, I am concerned that Supply Chain, being such a small group (11 total), would be severely impacted if one of our team members were to get sick from this...

Q: With the return to work now being rolled out, I am concerned that Supply Chain, being such a small group (11 total), would be severely impacted if one of our team members were to get sick from this.  Also, if one of us gets sick, that would cause all of the remaining team members to be in a 2-week quarantine rendering us unable to support the plant if needed on site (i.e. OCC) during that time.  My question for leadership is, since we have been such high performing organization during this time of telecommuting, why would we push for such a small department to return so soon?

A: We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

 

 Remain-at-home / Non-Essential

 
  
​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?...

Q: ​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?  I understand the precautions that can be taken but why challenge our current status?

A: Thank you for your question about our restart plans. We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes, we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

See full return to work plan for non-essential employees.

Q. ​I've heard some managers suggest that the return to work plan for non-essential employees should start the week after the Governor's authorization.  This seems like a very practical approach and would help employees manage their time better as opposed to the current approach where management tells us we might start on Monday but check your emails over the weekend in case we don't. The first way is predictable and reliable the current way is reactive.  Could Sr. management adopt this approach?

A. ​It is understood that the governor’s decisions puts a level of uncertainty within our company for our phased return to work planning. You question/challenge was discussed and the senior leadership and pandemic response teams will commit to provide timely and accurate communication on our plan to move EN into Phase D. We will attempt to do that with consideration for planning and preparation time. We ask all employees to keep tuned into the news or social media for updates on the governor’s decisions related to our counties. When you hear that he has approved Phase 2 for Benton and Franklin counties, you can expect that EN will following up with timing of Phase D implementation. 

​Is EN considering deviating from Washington state recommendations at any phase? Currently Benton and Franklin counties do not meet the metrics set by the state to enter the next phase but the trend does not indicate that would happen anytime soon.

​At this time Energy Northwest continues to align with the plan laid out by Gov. Inslee. If the governor does not move Benton and Franklin counties to Phase II according to the schedule originally outlined, EN will modify our return to work timeline accordingly.  These commitments however will be evaluated based on both health and safety of our employees and operational challenges and may be adjusted, as an essential infrastructure business, if necessary.

How does the governor's most recent announcement related to the extension of the stay at home order have on the plans to return to the site for non-essential workers?

​The agency’s Return to Work plan was written to be flexible with the changing requirements. We are in phase A for bringing back essential workers to support normal maintenance and operations. Phase B will continue as planned with a small, select group of managers performing planning tasks the week of May 11. That group will utilize the governor’s new stay at home and phased return-to-work criteria as a critical piece for decisions on returning non-essential workers to the workplace.

The phases for returning to work make sense and seem well-thought out. However, I care for my high-risk parent (as defined by the CDC) at my home. Are there any considerations for keeping our high-risk parents safe while we return to work?

​We didn’t lay out a specific plan for employees who care for high-risk individuals who are not symptomatic. Employees caring for a high-risk individual should discuss any needed flexible work options with their supervisor. The management team will be working on non-essential employee return to work planning the week of May 11. Additional details and resources will be developed during that time to facilitate discussions with your supervisor.

When we started this modified work schedule there were few cases of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities. There are now about 800 cases and growing. How is now the right time to return to our normal schedule?

​The Energy Northwest senior leadership team and the pandemic response team continue to monitor the government orders for appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the virus and those infected continue to rise, the increase is not unexpected. The goal of the stay home order and other provisions was to slow the spread and allow for hospitals and healthcare services time to respond. As EN operates an essential business in the region, having a planned and coordinate return to work criteria is necessary. In anticipation of some lifting of these measures the team has been working on the strategy that balances the health and safety of our employees and allows for the ongoing safe operation of our facilities. It includes provisions for any high risk individuals, telecommuting, ongoing health screening, continued social distancing, and incorporating work practices that minimize risk and exposure. It will be a phased approach and coordinated with oversight from each department manager. While the plan is still within draft stage it is expected to be completed shortly. We are working to finalize the plan while we monitor any additional actions from the governor, which we will act upon accordingly.  

What's the current time-table for us to transition back to a normal work-life schedule at Columbia?

Our priority is for the safety and health of our employees and the senior team outlined a return to work plan.

​In today's video message Bob Schuetz said we won't be bringing everyone back to work all at once, but we'll start about May 4.  Will we be doing some sort of phased approach to returning non-essential employees to work?

​​Yes, plans are being developed to return non-essential employees to work after the governor's order ends May 4 at 11:59 p.m. We are monitoring any changes in the governor's orders and will adjust our plans accordingly. Employees will receive additional guidance for returning to work as we get closer to the May 4 at 11:59 p.m. date. Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 website for details.

I've heard that companies like WRPS are looking at a phased approach to the return to work, currently scheduled for May 4. Does EN have any plans to help with a smooth transition back to "normal"?

Yes, plans are being developed to return non-essential employees to work after the governor's order ends May 31. We are monitoring any changes in the governor's orders and will adjust our plans accordingly. Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 website for details.

Proclamation 20-25 (Stay Home, Stay Healthy order) is amended to extend all of its provisions and each expiration date therein to 11:59 p.m. May 4. Is EN going to change the work reporting date? Why? Or why not?

​To align with governor's direction of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order we extended essential only until May 4. Energy Northwest operates an essential business in the region and we intend to evaluate our staffing on a weekly basis in the event that some staffing changes are necessary in order to continue safe operation.

How are we addressing ERO callouts if something happens?  Will there be enough people to screen us at the JIC and the site before we go to our ERO duty station?

Emergency Preparedness developed a three-level approach contingency plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently we are in level-1 of the contingency plan. Level-1 states the on call ERO team will respond to their assigned centers as trained. If the criteria to enter level-2 or 3 is deemed necessary by senior leadership, communications will be sent out to the emergency response organization teams prior to entering the next level. Screening criteria has been developed similar to what is being performed at the Security checkpoint. Screening individuals identified for both level-2 and 3 will ensure the safety of the ERO team members and their families is maintained.    

When should I take personal time (PT) versus charging my time to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order?

​As of March 24, employees may charge to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order if they can work but are unable to based on the inability to telecommute or lack of work as confirmed with their supervision. They must remain fit for duty, available for FFD testing, readily accessible by phone (answer the call or call back within 30 minutes, and be able to promptly report to work if asked to do so. Employees may also charge to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order if they met the reasons for the COVID-19 supplemental leave and have been directed to stay home.

Otherwise, their time off should be recorded as personal time (PT). Here are a few examples of when to use PT (i.e., be sure to still seek approval by your supervision):

 If you are choosing to not remain fit for duty.
You are wishing to take the day off and not perform work or respond to work if needed.
If you have chosen to run personal errands which will take you away from the ability to respond to work within 30 minutes.
If you would have normally taken the time of as PT and not work (e.g., preapproved day off to travel to see family, etc.)

What should employees do if they are scheduled to exit EN during the time that non-essentials are working remotely?

​Employees should connect with their HR Generalist to work through the details. Each employee exit actions may be unique and individual direction will be provided.

​Not knowing how long EN's or the state's "stay at home" posture will remain in place, how will the organization and personnel handle Unescorted Access requirements, specifically processing into the PA every 30 days?

​The BOP interaction every 28 days (30 by regulation, we insert the buffer) is the requirement. Badge scanning that occurs at the Security checkpoint is a tracking aid for this requirement, but is not going to be as effective during our large scale telecommuting. This used to be tracked at the PA card readers, but that change occurred almost eight years ago.

Managers and supervisors will attest to this BOP interaction on their monthly BOP report, which is the same as they were doing prior to COVID-19. The addition of performing this interaction via a Skype style video conference will assist the team with the volume of telecommuting employees.

​If we need something for our job like a file can we come out there to get it?

​Employees can come to the site to retrieve a needed file. Please limit your time on site, the spaces you visit and the people you interact with.

​Do employees working remotely from home count as staff towards the minimum staffing required per the Pandemic Staffing Plan?

​The minimum staffing employee does not have to actually be on site. If they can accomplish their role while telecommuting, that is fine.

​With the new requirements of non-essential workers to work from home, how do I, as a Supervisor, observe my workers for any aberrant behavior as part of our Security requirements?

​The current process requirement of conducting face-to-face interaction with an employee once every 28 days (at minimum) still applies. An interim compensatory measure for this face-to-face interaction is being instituted while the station is dealing with the COVID-19 station limitations. While employees are telecommuting, it will be acceptable to perform your BOP observation in one of two ways.

1. You may set up a meeting with the individual off site to conduct this interaction. This meeting should be of business relevance and intentionally planned, and should not be a random interaction such as running into someone at the grocery store. Face-to-face contact is required with the individual in a work status; meaning the individual being observed must be available for FFD drug and alcohol testing.

2. Behavior Observation Program supervisors/managers may utilize a Skype style interaction to conduct their BOP. The intent is that the employee can be visually observed (virtual face-to-face), and the interaction should be of business relevance with the employee in a work status. Again, the individual must be available for FFD drug and alcohol testing in order for the BOP interaction to be official.

​Should everyone that is on an ERO team carry the "Essential Employee Authorization" form, regardless if they are on call or not?

Yes, that would be appropriate. Please note that carrying the letter is a precautionary measure and not required. 

Given a state-wide shelter in place order, how does this impact essential individuals?

If a state-wide shelter in place is ordered, essential individuals, as identified through GBP-HR-40, are required to be on site to complete job-related functions. A letter titled “Essential Employee Authorization Letter” confirming essential status can be provided to law enforcement if individuals travelling to work are challenged. Download a copy of the letter and keep it in your vehicle.

​Are the pandemic staffing plan individuals required to work on site?

​Employees identified as essential will need to be physically on site as required by their specific job function.

​What is the expectation that employees work from home given the EN Senior Team has requested non-essential employees to remain off site?

​For the health and safety of our employees, EN’s senior team made a decision to have all non-essential employees (as defined in GBP-HR-40) remain off site for two weeks, starting Tuesday March 24. We urge those employees who previously volunteered to work from home to continue to do so as much as possible. For those non-essential employees who have been reporting each day and will now stay home, we ask that you look for opportunities to telecommute as much as possible. All non-essential employees not reporting to their work location will be paid 40 hours per week during this period. We do not expect telecommuting employees during this period to have to document 40 hours’ worth of work. Note that FFD requirements are still in place for individuals who are off site. Individuals are required to check in with their supervisors daily to discuss (1) their health, and (2) discuss any work they are completing while off site. Any adverse updates based on individuals health should be reported to the department manager and Pandemic Response Team.

 

 Health / Screening

 
  
See full follow up mask question below.

Q. ​Just as a point of information. You noted in a response that a mask can be protection from someone who is asymptomatic. A study shows that with 455 contacts traced from an asymptomatic person that no one was infected. The conclusion of the study is that asymptomatic people do not spread the disease. There is no science to support outdoor bans, the disease is spread primarily indoors. When samples were taken from door handles, phones, or toilets it has not been possible to cultivate the virus in the laboratory on the basis of these swabs. I understand that the governor made a rule to wear masks, but they are detrimental to our health and should be worn as little as possible. Is any information like this going to be shared with our employees so that they can do what is best for their health?

A. ​At this time, wearing a mask is a requirement in Washington state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has outlined the benefit as has the Department of Health. We outlined various measures and exceptions within the workplace where wearing a mask is exempted both from a safety perspective and a health/comfort perspective. Aside from those exemptions, wearing a mask is a requirement under the Governor's proclamation and we, as a Washington employer, and you as an employee, are required to abide by it. As reflected in other COVID related messages, as a Washington workplace, our behavior should default to wearing a mask.

If close contact is defined as "within approximately 6 feet of a COVID case for prolonged period" (which is described as 15 minutes), under the "RETURN TO WORK CRITERIA", then,  is wearing a mask when passing a person for a second going to be effective?

​There are two answers to this question. First, we need to cultivate a behavior pattern in our workplace that our default action is to wear a mask to reduce our transmission rate of this virus for the protection of ourselves, our co-workers and our family. Sometimes you can pass by someone and maintain appropriate distancing, but other times this is not the case and distancing cannot always be planned; therefore, we ask you to be prepared and make wearing a mask your default status. While close contact with someone symptomatic has the highest risk of viral transmission, lower risk activities such as casual contact, especially with asymptomatic individuals has some risk too. The second reason is that it is required for businesses operating in Washington state. We have outlined various situations within the workplace where wearing a mask is exempted both from a safety perspective and a health/comfort perspective. Aside from those conditions, wearing a mask is a requirement under the Governor’s proclamation and Energy Northwest, as a Washington state employer, must abide by it. As reflected in other COVID related messages, as a Washington workplace, our behavior should default to wearing a mask.

See full close proximity question below.

Q. Studies show that passing by someone will not spread COVID. There needs to be a close proximity for an extended period.​  Some information says at least 10 minutes, some say longer. Why do we need to wear masks just because someone approaches or passes by or at anytime that we are not near someone for an extended period?

​A. There are two answers to this question. First, we need to cultivate a behavior pattern in our workplace that our default action is to wear a mask to reduce our transmission rate of this virus for the protection of ourselves, our co-workers and our family. Sometimes you can pass by someone and maintain appropriate distancing, but other times this is not the case and distancing cannot always be planned; therefore, we ask you to be prepared and make wearing a mask your default status. While close contact with someone symptomatic has the highest risk of viral transmission, lower risk activities such as casual contact, especially with asymptomatic individuals has some risk too. The second reason is that it is required for businesses operating in Washington state. We have outlined various situations within the workplace where wearing a mask is exempted both from a safety perspective and a health/comfort perspective. Aside from those conditions, wearing a mask is a requirement under the Governor’s proclamation and Energy Northwest, as a Washington state employer, must abide by it. As reflected in other COVID related messages, as a Washington workplace, our behavior should default to wearing a mask.

See full face mask question below.

Q. ​There is a lot of information available about the detrimental effects of wearing a mask. There is a lack of oxygen in the blood (hypoxia), an increase in CO2 in the blood (hypercapnia), trapping and rebreathing of moisture, bacteria, and viruses, if any are caught, that would normally go away during an exhale. A number of people also find themselves touching around their face much more often because of the mask. The mask is a distraction to the wearer. Even the masks surgeons wear in the operating room do not stop a virus. They are there to help reduce the chance of bacterial infection in patients and not for stopping a virus. A virus is much smaller than a bacteria. We performed a test of our own by using an oxygen monitor, testing the air outside the mask and then inside the mask. The oxygen level outside of the mask was 20.9%. When the hose was inserted into the mask, the oxygen level dropped to and maintained 18%. If that were a confined space, we would not even let you enter. The limit would be 19.5% oxygen. Studies have shown that doctors coming out of operating rooms after wearing a mask have had lower blood/oxygen levels than when they went in. Since the mask provides no protection for a virus and none of the issues stated above would be conducive to clear, cognitive thinking, good human performance, or optimal to our personal health, is there any remedy being sought to help out this matter? ​

A. We can all agree that there are a lot of questions about COVID-19, and that science will continue to evolve regarding the best steps to take in combating the infection rate associated with this virus. Nonetheless, at this time, wearing a mask is a requirement in Washington state. We outlined various measures and exceptions within the workplace where wearing a mask is exempted both from a safety perspective and a health/comfort perspective. Aside from those exemptions, wearing a mask is a requirement under the Governor's proclamation and we, as a Washington employer, are required to abide by it. As reflected in other COVID related messages, as a Washington workplace, our behavior should default to wearing a mask.

Are the new temperature screening stations taking our pictures? If so are these pictures being retained? Seems like a potential privacy issue.

​The units came with a default setup to take an image and save it. Information Services disabled this mode before deploying the units. We are only screening for high temperatures.

See full temperature screening question below.

​Q. Thanks for finding, investing in, and putting in place no contact temperature screening stations.  I have a concern about part of the current procedure.  Putting the temperature self-screening station out of service in all cases when someone has a high temperature indication seems to add some unnecessary risk.  When the person with a high temperature, who thus may be sick, takes the action to put the station out of service, they not only are stepping closer and reaching around the station, but they are intentionally making contact with the sign behind the station.  Also, others will not have a station to perform their temperature self-screening until the station is put back in service, all of which add additional risk. It seems there is minimal risk related to a no contact self-screening station and less risk than the doors and hand rails the person would have already touched. 

A possible improvement would be, when a person has a temperature indication of 99.2F or higher, they should step away from the station and contact their supervisor and leave the station in service, but if they have made contact with the station in some way, whether by touching, coughing, etc., they should put the station out of service, then contact their supervisor.  This would help keep the station in service if there was no contact and have it put out of service if there was, thus mitigating contamination risk.  In either case, after someone has had a high temperature indication, facilities could be notified to clean the station, as necessary.

A. Even though the system is hands-free, if a high temperature is recorded we want to remove the system from service for disinfecting purposes as individuals are required to be within 6 feet of the system. This approach is conservative and intended to reduce the possibility of virus transmission in the event of a presumptive case, with a goal to protect you and other coworkers that will use the station. There are two separate stations in the Kootenai and Deschutes buildings and six at the protected area access point for employees to self screen. For now we are going to evaluate to the process and modify our approach, if needed after we obtain some in-use application.

​Just watched the video on the new temperature monitoring stations. What do people do while it is out of service and they can't take their temp before entering?  Do they wait around for Facilities to come and sanitize the area?

​Workers can self screen at any of the other stations in the Kootenai and Deschutes buildings and at the protected area access point. The supervisor will call Facilities to clean and sanitize the station.

​When working alone in an office, cubical, vehicle or at a job site (alone means at least 6-feet social distance is always maintained). Why can this not include walking outdoors alone?

The guidance for mask wearing is been updated. Everyone should carry a mask with them at all times. It is the expectation that you wear your mask when within 6 feet of any other employee. Other exceptions as listed in the original guidance remain (specific areas of the plant, industrial or operational safety risk, underlying health conditions, etc). If walking or working alone (greater than 6 feet separation) you need not wear your mask, but if approaching or approached by another employee within 6 feet put your mask on.

See legality of mask question below.

​Q. ​I have tried searching for information on Washington state mandates. I know we are switching to mandatorily wearing masks as of June 8 but I question the legality of it. I have tried to find where Inslee has legally went through the correct channels and legislation was passed requiring masks to be worn in order for a business to continue to stay open. I am struggling with the fact that EN has operated in an essential capacity for months now without requiring masks. We have had only one case (I believe), why is this being required? With hot weather coming along and the fact that there will be many that will not be very hygienic, the masks could cause more spread of infection by being used improperly or not washed and left in places (tables and various other surfaces). There is a greater risk of respiratory infection with using the same masks over and over. There is a risk of hypoxia and hypercapnia not to mention overheating yourself. I would just appreciate some more information to be available as to what legal and legislative documents are dictating the use of masks. EN always encourages everyone to question things that could pose more of a safety hazard and not just go with the flow. Thank you for your time.

A. Thank you for the questioning attitude. Under multiple provisions in the Revised Code of Washington, the governor has the authority to issue mandatory orders whenever a State of Emergency is declared. Those terms are defined in the RCW. Unless challenged in court and held unconstitutional, Energy Northwest (and other businesses operating in the state) must abide by those mandatory orders. In this case, the governor declared a State of Emergency, and issued numerous mandatory orders, including Proclamation 20-25.4, issued June 1, 2020, and currently set to expire July 1, 2020.  Under the terms of that proclamation, “beginning June 8, 2020, when on the job, all employees must wear a facial covering except when working alone or when the job has no in-person interactions…and, further, …employers must provide cloth facial coverings to employees, unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection.” In conjunction with this, the Benton-Franklin Health District’s health officer issued a directive requiring the residents of Benton and Franklin counties to wear face coverings in public places, effective June 8, 2020, to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 and assist the counties in their applications to move to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan.
 
Energy Northwest will comply with this order (and the directive) until it is discontinued by the governor’s office. Please remember that the primary purpose of wearing a mask with respect to the COVID-19 virus is not to protect the wearer, but to protect others around you in the event that you are infected but asymptomatic.  Please consider the health of your coworkers, and let’s work together to ensure that our workforce remains healthy.

Once the outside temperatures warm up, could elevated body temperatures affect this process (false-positive)?

​That is possible, if your hot from outside temperatures or a car heater it’s suggested you wait a couple minutes and let your body adjust first.

At one point I believe it said if you have a temp of 99.2 that it was equal to 100.4 and to go home. Also to turn the sign around to put the monitor out of service. Why are we taking a piece of equipment out of service for doing its function?

The system will read 99.20F, which is equivalent to 100.40F under the tongue. Even though the system is hands-free, if a high temperature is recorded we want to remove the system from service for disinfecting purposes as individuals are required to be within 6 feet of the system. This approach is conservative and intended to reduce the possibility of virus transmission in the event of a presumptive case, with a goal to protect you and other coworkers that will use the station.

​Concerning the new temperature screening process, is there no option for a second reading to confirm a high temp? One reading does not a trend make, especially concerning the inherent accuracy range of IR temperature readings.

Due to the verified high accuracy of the temperature monitor screens we have decided to take the conservative approach and send the individual home without a second reading. The employee should contact their supervisor as soon as possible so adjustments can be made to the schedule. If a trend of false positives presents itself we will check and adjust our strategy.

​If we are still performing screening at the site entry, are we expected to perform an additional self-screening once we arrive at our respective buildings?

​Additional screening isn’t required if temp monitoring is still being conducted at the checkpoint but we do recommend at least familiarizing yourself with the new equipment prior to checkpoint monitoring being terminated.

If an employee self declares "Yes" to any part of the COVID-19 screening checklist, will employees be notified of their absence? If the test comes back positive, workers and their families have possibly been exposed and behind on self-quarantine.

No, coworkers are not notified of any person's individual answers to the screening questions. Rather, in your discussion with your supervisor for why you should not report to work (you have symptoms or close contact with a confirmed or suspected COVID positive individual), pertinent information should be discussed such as the last time you were on site, where did you go and who did you interact with, are you getting tested and when results will be available.

Based on these details, conservative actions can be taken at the workplace to help protect you and your coworkers. You are correct that one person's exposure or change in health can have in impact on our coworkers or family often later than we would prefer, which is at the core of why a pandemic is difficult to manage. It is also the reason we stress taking pro-active precautions to keep you and everyone safe (hand washing, social distancing, use of masks). We cannot completely prevent transmission of the virus. We expect that we will continue to see positive cases in the workplace. However, if all individuals take proactive precautions we can limit the transmission such that effected individuals do not have a large-scale transmission impact. 

​If I need to visit a non-Columbia facility, do I get my temperature checked?

​Temperature screening upon entry into any EN property this includes non-Columbia facilities is to be completed in addition to daily self-screening prior to reporting for work. All Energy Northwest employees entering any EN facility for any reason this includes printing a document or accessing the network needs to proceed to the temperature screening station. For additional information on self-screening for COVID-19, refer to the Energy Northwest COVID-19 Site Access Screening Checklist.

What steps should someone who lives with a healthcare worker take before coming back as it doesn't seem to be addressed in the new checklist?

​It is the responsibility of all employees to monitor their exposure and take appropriate precautions at work and in their personal lives to minimize their risk. The CDC provides some suggestions for healthcare professionals, which includes: removing any clothing worn during delivery of healthcare, taking off shoes, washing clothing and immediately showering. However, these are optional personal practices because there is insufficient evidence on whether they are effective.

The Energy Northwest screening guidance reflects all COVID-19 symptoms based on CDC guidance. Employees should review this full list of symptoms for their self-screening and discuss with their supervisors. The screening checklist focuses on primary symptoms including fever (100.4 F or higher), consistent cough not associated with seasonal allergies, difficulty breathing and loss of taste or smell. Individuals are encouraged to continue daily screening against COVID-19 symptoms and practice good personal hygiene including cleaning hands (washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer) and limiting hand-face contact to the greatest extent possible. EN cannot screen employees who are asymptomatic, we must rely on all employees to take precautions to keep themselves and their coworkers healthy.

Previously if we were tested we didn’t need a doctor’s note before returning to work, has that changed?
As testing and result are becoming more available within our community, EN is requesting that a doctor note is provided with your test results. This process is coordinated through Human Resources and is outlined in the return to work document. If obtaining a note becomes difficult, please work with your HR Generalist for the appropriate resolution.
Who’s permission is needed to return to work if I tested positive or I was quarantined due to close contact?

​The return to work process is now coordinated through Human Resources. A document, return to work, has been provided to outline the steps. Each employee should work with their supervisor and their HR Generalist on the process to return to an EN facility. Your supervisor will also need to contact Access Authorization to release the badge hold.

If I was exposed by a confirmed COVID case at work. Where I can I go to get tested and who pays for it?

​COVID-19 testing is now more readily available within the Tri-Cities community. You can be tested by your doctor or Physicians Immediate Care is offering testing and will bill your health insurance for the office visit fee, we suggest calling for an appointment. If your potential exposure was at work, EN will reimburse the cost of testing/office visit if it is not covered by your insurance. Please work with your HR Generalist for return to work guidance and any necessary payments.

Regarding the HIPAA Privacy Act, is there a waiver employees could sign to disregard the Privacy Act to better protect our workforce? If I were to test positive for COVID-19, would want everyone at work to know so individuals could take proper actions?

Per GBP-HR-39, Handling of Personal Health Information, Protected Health Information (PHI) is only shared with those who have a need to know, and is still our practice during this pandemic. This expectation to protect PHI from those who do not have a need to know aligns with the current COVID-19 guidance from CDC and other governing agencies. While there is not a waiver process asking an employee to waive their right to privacy of COVID-19 test results, individuals always have the ability to share what they want about their own health information in the manner that they choose. Regardless of an employee’s comfort level of sharing his/her own PHI, our COVID-19 site access screening checklist process, and contact tracing measures should identify anyone who may have been in close contact with an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19. Please refer to the screening checklist for the definition of close contact.

Occupational Health utilizes release of information form 24715 for release of medical information and records in certain situations. Occupational Health uses the form to obtain medical records from an employee's personal physician if necessary, to assist with determining if an employee meets the medical requirements necessary to fulfill their essential job functions.

​As we slowly return to normal business at the plant, do we have a requirement in place for disclosing the one COVID-19 diagnosis to vendors who plan to visit in the month of June?

The health and safety of all individuals on site remains paramount. Discussion focused on personal safety specific to COVID-19 should be integrated into job planning and preparation as well as pre-job briefs to the greatest extent possible. Sharing Energy Northwest’s high level and factual COVID information with vendors emphasizes the need for all individuals to practice defenses against the spread of COVID-19. This includes good personal hygiene (washing hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer), limiting hand-to-face contact and voluntary use of face masks. 

​Given that we had a person on-site, that was sent home, and then tested positive for COVID-19, are we taking a look at our screening policy?

​As detailed by the CDC, symptoms for COVID-19 develop quickly with no initial indication. The individual was able to pass the screening criteria at the time of initial site access. Later during their shift, the individual reported the onset of symptoms to their supervisor and left the site to seek medical attention. Individuals are encouraged to screen themselves daily (at a minimum) based on known symptoms of COVID-19. If there is any doubt about being symptom-free before accessing the site, apply conservatism and remain off site. Safe and reliable operation of all EN sites requires each of us to self-screen and remain off site if symptomatic.  

​Regarding the individual that tested positive for COVID-19, he was last on site May 6, became ill while on site that day, was tested that day and he got results back by May 11? What documentation does EN require for proof of positive COVID-19 results?

Employees who are symptomatic and receive a COVID-19 positive test result should update their supervision as soon as possible to ensure the right actions are taken on site to minimize additional exposure to on-site individuals. The revised guidance requires supervisor to contact Access Authorization and work through the return to work process with Human Resources. This includes a note/test results from the doctor.

​I don't see any information on the individual that became ill which showed up on my EN Notification May 11. Is it known if he had passed through the monitors to exit the RCA?

​The information update was made to the Employee Advisory Log linked on the COVID-19 website. The individual passed through the RCA monitors.

The whole body monitors are cleaned at a specific frequency using manufacturer guidance and industry lessons learned in response to the pandemic. The Mylar screens are a detector boundary and can be adversely affected by cleaning products and cleaning methods. Your face should never come in contact with the detector grill. This grilling is cleaned at a set frequency. Although not required, individuals are highly encouraged to wear face masks while on site to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. Workers are allowed to wear a mask into the RCA and whole body monitors upon exit. Individuals are also encouraged to practice good hygiene to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19, including cleaning hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer as often as possible and reducing hand-to-face contact. 

I propose a template for initiating CRs relative to staff on site who begin exhibiting symptoms of illness after they have passed the temperature check screening.  Has leadership identified a second group in contact with symptomatic employee #2?

​Thanks for your suggestion on how to manage employees who become symptomatic while on site. We do have a process in place and will consider your feedback with other input we’ve received for improvement. There is one factual error in your question in that there was no symptomatic "second employee" on site May 11. An employee was turned away at the vehicle checkpoint when he did not pass the screening criteria due to having worked in proximity to the COVID positive employee. The second employee was not symptomatic when he was turned away.

Is there some statistical data that could be shared with us so that we can understand why only those symptoms are on our checklist as opposed to the addition of chills, muscle pain, and/or sore throat, which are all listed on the CDC's website?

​The Energy Northwest screening guidance reflects all COVID-19 symptoms based on CDC guidance. Employees should review this full list of symptoms for their self-screening and discuss with their supervisors. The screening checklist focuses on primary symptoms including fever (100.4 F or higher), consistent cough not associated with seasonal allergies, difficulty breathing and loss of taste or smell. Individuals are encouraged to continue daily screening against COVID-19 symptoms and practice good personal hygiene including cleaning hands (washing with soap and water or hand sanitizer) and limiting hand-face contact to the greatest extent possible.   

​If the state requires mandatory testing and deploys the National Guard​ to go door to door for, being that EN is a state agency, would there be any risk to our employment if we refused to be tested?

Yes, if Energy Northwest employees were required by law to submit to COVID-19 testing, but refused, such could impact employment status. For example, most positions at EN require employees maintain unescorted access authorization (UAA) as determined by EN’s reviewing officials. Thus EN reviewing officials could consider employees’ failure to comply with COVID-19 testing laws in assessment of whether employees are sufficiently “trustworthy and reliable” to maintain UAA. Too, but more generally, employment status could also be impacted if EN were to determine failure to comply with COVID-19 testing laws is off-duty conduct that negatively impacts employees’ abilities to perform their jobs or is contrary to EN’s mission. But, whether a law requiring all employees to submit to COVID-19 testing would ultimately have these types of consequences is unknown as such would depend on the intent and terms of the law and each employee’s circumstances. To date no such law exists and not until such a law were adopted could EN determine how it would be applied.

We have been informed that our department will be required to volunteer for temperature screener duty starting next week at the vehicle checkpoint. We are a small department, less than 12 employees.

1. Have all departments been equally requested to provide volunteers to perform this function? If not, why not. This affects all employees equally, and we should all be equally required to support this request. 

Yes. All department managers were equally asked to look at their staff for support to this process.

2. Have all levels of supervisors and managers been equally requested to perform this function? If not, why not. This affects all employees equally, and we should all be equally willing to support this request. 

We have had a large variety of different individuals who have stepped up to support this task at various levels in the organization, including senior leadership.

3. Have alternative temperature screening processes been considered? Many power generating facilities --- including non-nuclear --- do not have single-point vehicle entrances and therefore do not perform temperature screenings in this manner, yet they are still performing temperature screenings in alternative ways that do not rely on volunteers to man a 12-hour vehicle checkpoint. If temperature screening will continue to be required for the foreseeable future, is there consideration for performing them more localized to work locations such that manning a 12-hour vehicle checkpoint is not required. 

Yes. Energy Northwest ordered alternative means by which we can process temperature screening, however these technologies have some lead time and will require planning and installation. Once implemented, we will be able to lessen the volunteer support from the organization. We are looking forward to implementing some new measures once they become available.

4. Why would consideration not be given to trust employees to self-screen for temperature prior to arriving on site? There is already a large element of trust built into the screening questionnaire. Extending that level of trust to allow employees to self-check their temperatures each day would not appear to add additional risk.

Individuals are encouraged to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily. Our industry feedback has shown that people have been showing up symptomatic at other facilities, resulting in more significant challenges for the organization including alerting those with potential contact as well as securing and disinfecting common work areas. Temperature screening at the site access point supports our defense-in-depth strategy and thus far, our facility has remained healthy. 

5. If the requirement to provide volunteers to perform vehicle checkpoint temperature duty will continue to remain in place for any length of time, has consideration been given to hiring lesser-paid temporary employees or contractors to fulfill this function in place of requiring full-time employees?

While hiring lesser paid temporary employees is an option, there are opportunities for our full-time employees to complete current work activities remotely and support this effort. Utilizing volunteers for this effort is the most efficient. As stated in a previous response, we are looking into better uses of technology to support a more long-term solution for temperature monitoring. 

Respectfully... why are we continuing to conduct health screenings at the vehicle check point? This was a great idea in the beginning, but with current information... is it still necessary?
Individuals are asked to self-screen daily to assess their personal health against the major COVID-19 symptoms. As a defense-in-depth and in alignment with best practices from other nuclear sites, temperature scans ensure that those accessing Columbia Generating Station are symptom free. Screening to entirely prevent transmission is not possible with virus transmission, as you noted in your question. Using precautionary, selective screening however affords a measure of protection to our site that is in the best interest of our workers and general community.
As a reminder, the CDC recommends good personal hygiene in the form of washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when appropriate, limiting hand-to-face contact and social distancing as primary defenses each individual can take to limit exposure and spread of COVID-19. The ultimate goal is for all of us to do our part in significantly limiting exposure to COVID-19.
I was told my temperature was 94F and 97F and never registered actual normal temperature of 98.6F. Why are we continuing to screen temperatures at the checkpoint when virus data shows you can be asymptomatic (with no temperature) and still have COVID?

​Individuals are asked to self-screen daily to assess their personal health against the major COVID-19 symptoms. As a defense-in-depth and in alignment with best practices from other nuclear sites, temperature scans ensure that those accessing Columbia Generating Station are symptom free. Screening to entirely prevent transmission is not possible with virus transmission, as you noted in your question. Using precautionary, selective screening however affords a measure of protection to our site that is in the best interest of our workers and general community. We are fortunate that, to date, our plant has not had the viral transmission that other plants have experienced, where their site screening has proved to be a very necessary tactic. As a reminder, the CDC recommends good personal hygiene in the form of washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer when appropriate, limiting hand-to-face contact and social distancing as primary defenses each individual can take to limit exposure and spread of COVID-19. The ultimate goal is for all of us to do our part in significantly limiting exposure to COVID-19.

the person working in the cubicle next to mine is within 6 feet of my desk/chair, but we are separated by the divider wall. Is that acceptable?

​Generally, a divider can help to aid the social distancing between individuals. However if you feel this office arrangement poses undo risk with two individuals who are only separated by the divider and very little additional distance, talk with your supervisor to discuss initiating a cubicle re-arrangement by Facilities.

The WHO reports have been defining contact as exposure during the 2 days before and 14 days after the onset of symptoms.  Our guidance does not include the 2 days prior and contact "for a prolonged period of time" versus 15 mins.  Why the difference?

​Energy Northwest is following guidance published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for addressing COVID-19 concerns, including self-screening guidelines, social distancing and disinfecting common areas. Government and health officials are instructing us to follow the CDC. Individuals are encouraged to self-screen daily, observe social distancing and practice good hygiene (cleaning hands as often as possible and refraining from touching the face) to limit potential exposure to COVID-19.

I know there is no company foreign travel, what about personal travel. Is EN forbidding personal travel and if not, are there restrictions for coming back to work?

​Employees are encouraged to follow the governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and continue to frequently monitor the Centers for Disease and Prevention COVID-19 travel site. Prior to returning to work from personal travel, employees should review the agency's screening guidance. If you plan to travel outside of the U.S., remember to contact Access Authorization at least two weeks in advance.

I read in the news this morning that the CDC issued new guidance for how to ensure the safety of nuclear plant workers. Are there any changes coming?

You’re correct, CDC issued “Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had an Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed CONVID-19.” EN’s new guidance in the return to work document allows essential workers to return to the work site with a negative test result, additional work provisions while on site and wearing of a mask for 14 days while on site from the last known exposure. Under this scenario your supervisor will need to work with Human Resources on these conditions.

Non-essential employees are to remain off site for 14 days, even with a negative test result.

​If an individual goes to the emergency room for a non-work related item should they self-quarantine for 14 days due to high risk of potential exposure.

​No, the employee should wear their mask, adhere to increased hygiene practices (ex. hand washing, not touching face), practice social distancing and follow the health-screening guidance.

Can EN help essentials acquire a test for COVID-19, if we are questioning ourselves, as to possibly having it. Recent reports show almost half of the people who have COVID-19, show no symptoms at all.

While EN does not have direct access to testing, COVID-19 testing is now more readily available within the Tri-Cities community. If you would like to be tested, your doctor or Physicians Immediate Care is offering testing and will bill your health insurance for the office visit fee, we suggest calling for an appointment.

Could we bypass the geometry machines for now? There are less individuals reporting to site that would need to be processed through a different means. Spray bottles of disinfectant by the machine could be a possible solution too.

Facilities has directed the janitorial staff to ensure we keep sanitizer stations leaving the protected area access point and in the Yakima Building operational at all times. There is a limited supply of sanitizer and there is enough for a few weeks. Facilities is exploring different options to keep these sanitizers going if we run out of the bags (i.e. trying to refill with other sanitizer product, setup a station with a pump). Facilities has an indication from the supplier that we could receive some refill bags by mid-April. Facilities will keep the team informed of the sanitizer status. There is a limited a supply across nation and we are a tier 2 user (hospitals/medical are tier 1).

The hand geometry unit is a regulatory requirement and cannot be bypassed. The platen on the reader is covered with a specially formulated antimicrobial coating with silver ions in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew to mitigate hygiene concerns. Utilizing hand sanitizer and/or washing hands, along with other good hygiene practices will remain paramount as we continue to navigate the current state of affairs.

I pass someone in the hall, whether symptomatic or not, what is the likelihood I will get the virus?

​The Centers for Disease and Prevention control states that the virus is mainly spread between people who are in close contact of each other through respiratory droplets. Per the CDC, close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). Unless the person you walk by in the hallway is symptomatic and is coughing or sneezing, the chances of contracting the virus by just being in the same hallway is low. Workers are encouraged to review the guidance for screening and actions for employees with risk of COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

​Just heard that an employee went home sick yesterday inside the PA. Why hasn't there been a broadcast message about this situation? And what measures are the company going to take going forward?

​An employee did report feeling ill at work yesterday and as a precautionary measure, the employee and others who had worked closely with him were sent home. Personal information will not be shared with all employees. In the event a worker suspects they are a presumptive case or display COVID-19 symptoms we would evaluate the need to send a site-wide communication based on potential risk to the EN workforce population.

During this pandemic, workers should self-screen themselves prior to leaving home to prevent any possible exposure to others. We implemented screening at Columbia’s checkpoint as a second barrier to prevent potential exposure to others. Employees experiencing symptoms of not feeling well, whether it is attributed to COVID-19 or not should take actions to address their health. We are taking additional precautions per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, to clean, disinfect, close off areas and advise workers who may have come in contact with someone who wasn’t feeling well.

There are a number of employee on site every day and we are performing health monitoring to promote the overall continued health of the Energy Northwest workforce. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the PRT at 509.377.8715.   

I've been told multiple times that Radiation Protection IS NOT in phase 2. Updated reports published show there are now 167 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities. Could you please explain how that doesn't meet phase 2 reduced staffing?

​For clarification, most of the Radiation Protection Phase 2 actions have been implemented, but not all. For example, PT has not been canceled in order to support those families with childcare needs, medical appointments and other activities. As a support organization, the need for RP resources can vary based on maintenance and operations tasks and so to support minimum RP staffing in general, occasionally relief and training shift workers must be called in for support.

The Pandemic Response Team and the Senior Leadership Team are closely monitoring the changing conditions within our community. We are aware of the continued increase of reported cases. To clarify the recent increase (both confirmed and probable cases) you noted for our area, the Washington state Department of Health recently changed their tracking method and experienced a greater than 24-hour delay in their number reporting. Additionally, as more tests become available and the backlog of testing is reported, some larger increases in the numbers are observed and expected. As Bob Schuetz noted in his blog post, our best defense is for all individuals to closely monitor their health, keep in close communication with supervision and take protective measures to reduce exposure risk. 

​Will it be reported to all employees if a high temperature is found at the access point?

No. Personal information such as a high temperature at checkpoint will not be shared with all employees. Any individual who exhibit symptoms or fails to meet the screening criteria will be directed to return home and call their supervisor and follow the criteria in the health screening guidance document. In the event a worker suspects they are a presumptive case or display COVID-19 symptoms, they should contact their health care provider and follow their directions. Based on the actions taken by their doctor (e.g. getting testing), follow the directives outlined in the return to work document.

We are being told not to carpool at this time, but I still see employees carpooling. What is the policy? If its true we don't want carpooling at this time are we coaching at the checkpoint?

​Yes, screeners at the checkpoint are coaching to discourage carpooling. If carpooling, all individuals need to pass the screening criteria, if one individual cannot, then the entire vehicle will be refused site access. While we are strongly discouraging carpooling, we understand that there may be unique situations that require some individuals to engage in limited carpooling. 

​What does return to work look like for someone who was exposed?

If you should come into contact with a confirmed case, contact your healthcare provider and follow their directions. Please notify your supervisor as soon as possible so they can update your health status and take any appropriate actions per the screening guidance. Before returning to the site, review and follow the return to work criteria and contact Human Resources.

​The PAPP has hand sanitizer dispensers just inside the security rotates after processing through the "hand geometry" detectors.  These dispensers have been used for years to minimize disease spread from a single point of germ concentration.
​The monitors are being wiped down on a schedule. Employees are encouraged to wash their hands in a restroom after using the monitors.
​Has there been any thoughts, concern, precautionary measures concerning outside delivery carriers like UPS and Fedex coming on-site with packages and interacting with security and warehouse workers?

​Procurement communicated the following with all delivery vendors.

  1. Delivery vendors should exercise social distancing and other preventive precautions when arriving on site
  2. Vendors and suppliers will ensure delivery workers do not have any COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving on site

In addition, Energy Northwest procured infrared thermometers for use by EN employees to help ensure everyone arriving on site does not have any COVID-19 related symptoms. Security will continue social distancing and will reinforce on site expectations.

​I traveled outside the U.S. recently, what action should I take?
Employees should continue to frequently monitor the Centers for Disease and Prevention COVID-19 travel site. Continue to communicate with your supervisor and follow up if the status or recommendations change.
What actions will the company take when an employee displays symptoms (the "Common Symptoms") and does not self report? 

​Supervisors were provided guidance on how to assess employee health, which included screening criteria for site access. All employees are able to screen themselves against the same guidance.

​What should supervisors do if a member of their crew shows common symptoms of COVID-19?

​​Supervisors were provided guidance on how to assess employee health, which included screening criteria for observing employees that exhibit signs of sickness. All employees are able to screen themselves against the same guidance.

Shouldn't we have these faucets dispense warmer water to help us combat the COVID-19 virus?

​Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another and throughout an entire community—from your home and workplace to childcare facilities and hospitals.

The CDC recommends these five steps every time.
1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If an individual finds a sink not working properly please call the Facilities help line at ext. 8484 with the building name and location and someone will check it out. All sinks have hot water, but they might need to run it longer because of the location of the water heater.

How do I know I am high risk?

​The Department of Health defines people at higher risk to include individuals who:   

  • Are 60 years and older
  • Have underlying chronic health conditions including heart disease, pulmonary conditions and diabetes with complications
  • Have weakened immune systems
  • Are pregnant
  • Have at-risk family members at home
What if I am a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19?

If you become a presumptive or confirmed case of the virus, follow the instructions of your doctor, let your supervisor know of your condition. Your supervisor will need to contact Access Authorization and together you must follow the guidance in the return to work document, which includes obtaining a doctor’s release and approval from Human Resources before you return to the site.

How can I help protect myself?
Visit the COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment page to learn about how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
Employees have been observed leaving the restroom without washing their hands. What steps can be taken to reduce spreading infections?

There are steps people should take to reduce their risk of getting and spreading any viral respiratory infections.

These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Stay at home and away from others if you are feeling ill.
What should I do if I feel sick?
Everyone should think an illness with fever, cough, or shortness of breath could be COVID-19 and take steps to protect others in the community and household from the virus. People who are sick need to stay home. If they must be around other people, they should wear a mask.
How do I get tested?
If you have symptoms, call your healthcare provider. Testing is now more readily available within the community. Stay home and let your supervisor know of your testing status and results when they are available. Your supervisor will need to work with Access Authorization if your test is positive. See the screening guidance document. If your test is positive you will need to follow the return to work guidance document and coordinate with Human Resources.
What should I do if I have symptoms or have been potentially exposed by a coworker or family member to COVID-19?
If you should come into contact with a presumptive or confirmed case, contact your health care provider and follow their directions. Please notify your supervisor as soon as possible and before returning to the site.
 

 Compensation and Benefits

 
​Can personal telecommuting costs be paid for on a p-card (e.g., home ink cartridges, Wi-Fi, etc.)?

GBP-HR-10, Work Schedules and Telecommuting: Including Adverse Conditions, section 2.7.4.i.2, clarifies that telecommuting employees are “responsible for all operating costs, home maintenance and other incidentals like utilities at their alternate location.” This includes the cost of printing materials, Wi-Fi, etc. It is understood that the savings in gas due to not having to commute to the office should offset for such incidentals. Employees should engage their supervision to discuss ways to possibly avoid other related costs (e.g., saving documents to internal SharePoint pages to print at a future date when back in the office, etc.). EN leadership is currently evaluating potential long-term changes to our telecommuting program and will inform employees if any changes are made.

Has there been any change to the stated comp time policy for the current situation we are in where everyone is (mostly) working remotely? Is it still permissible to use comp days for time worked in excess of 40 hours, even when it has been remote support?

​Energy Northwest does not have "comp time", but does have a procedure for flextime. GBP-HR-10, "Work Schedules and Telecommuting: Including Adverse Conditions," has not been modified at this time; therefore, exempt employees may still flex their hours over three additional pay periods. Telecommuting hours are hours worked and therefore may qualify an employee to flex in accordance with GBP-HR-10. Flextime for exempt employees is still limited to the use of increments of a ½ day or more, and employees need to ensure that they get their supervisor's approval to flex time off. Further questions on flextime can be directed to Juliet Gaffney, HR, or to the Payroll team at Payroll@energy-northwest.com.

I have a dependent that is high risk based on there existing medical conditions. What are my options if I feel that I am placing my family at risk by returning to work for phase A? Am I expected to place my family at risk or take personal time?

​There are no job protections for this situation.  A personal leave of absence using PT is not out of the question and Human Resources is unsure if the person could be eligible for some amount of unemployment through expanded Washington unemployment insurance.

Please work with your HR Generalist.

Some employees also have side jobs such as Uber Eats, Door Dash, Grub Hub etc. Is it ethical or legal for them to work their side job (making an income) during the hours they are still "on the clock" and being paid by Energy Northwest?

No. Employees in these circumstances are in the sole service of Energy Northwest during their regularly scheduled shifts when they are charging for, and being paid for, the non-productive work time\hours. EN has issued multiple communications during the Washington Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order that employees in these circumstances are being paid to stay home to be available and fit-for-duty in the event of being called into service. During regularly scheduled shifts employees are subject to all applicable EN policies and procedures, none of which permit use of EN work time to perform another job. Per GBP-LEG-01, Section 2.3.3, all EN employees are prohibited from performing another job without EN written approval. EN has not granted any employees written approval to perform another job under the above circumstances. Any failure to comply with the above could be grounds for employee discipline up to and including termination of employment.

​One of the proposals being discussed by Congress for the next coronavirus economic package is an up to $25K hazard pay bonus for essential workers. If this should become law, does EN intend to apply for this funding?

​Human Resources is monitoring this proposal along with all applicable legislative changes to Energy Northwest's operations. At this time, since we don't know how COVID-19 Heroes Fund bill provisions might evolve, we do not know whether or not EN would participate if the bill is passed. We closely monitor and evaluate all legislative changes, and will inform employees on any relevant changes.

​Some essential employees are cancelling planned PT due to shelter-in-place/stay home-stay safe.  It may not be possible for all of us to reschedule PT for later this year.  Will there be a waiver of required PT due to COVID-19 or lose PT this year?

GBP-HR-25, Personal Time and Disability Supplement, already contains a process for waiving required personal time usage. Workers should use Form 26617, Request for Personal Time Waiver, to request a waiver. Human Resources will not institute a separate process for COVID-19 impacts.

Can the Employee Assistance Program be used for me and my family during this COVID pandemic?

​Energy Northwest’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider Reliant Behavioral Health (RBH) can support employees in several ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Provide advice on how to manage stress and anxiety, while also engaging in proactive self-care. Click here to access flyers.

Access to the RBH website that offers online tools and educational resources to make life easier. See instructions for locating and accessing the website below.

Up to 3 free phone counseling sessions. Call the 1.866.750.1327 EAP number and request that the counseling service be provided by phone.

Legal and/or financial consultations (30 minutes each by phone). Call the 1.866.750.1327 EAP number and indicate which service you are seeking. 

Website: ibhsolutions.com

- Select Members from the top right corner
- Click on the RBH logo
- Enter Access Code: ennw
- Click the My Benefits button

If you have any questions about or trouble accessing these services, please contact the Pandemic Response Team by submitting questions on the COVID-19 information website or calling 509.377.8715 if you are unable to submit via the web.

If someone wants to write a gold card during the next few weeks do we have a way to get it approved and paid, or do we ask to staff to wait until people have returned to the office?

​At this time, Payroll can accept on-the-spot awards and leadership awards via a scanned award form to payroll@energy-northwest.com. If the supervisor/manager cannot sign the award, they can send their approval via their work email accompanying the award form. The gold card can be filled out using form 25930, green on-the-spot award card can be filled out using form 26038, and for leadership awards use form 26138.  

Telecommuting isn't usually an option for temporary or bargaining unit employees.  Will either of those groups be able to avail themselves of the telecommuting option during this time?

​Energy Northwest and IBEW reached a temporary agreement for IBEW bargaining unit employees related to telecommuting during the COVID-19 response period. To understand availability, conditions and terms please see your supervisor.

Temporary employees will be permitted to telecommute upon manager approval.

Can you use half day supplemental leave and the other half day telecommute if you are an hourly employee?

Can you use half day supplemental leave and the other half day telecommute if you are an hourly employee?
Yes, if approved by the employee’s manager/supervisor and recorded as follows. EN’s COVID-19 Supplemental Leave Authorization (Policy) Article II.F. states “Supplemental Leave hours may be recorded in the same manner as Personal Time, in accordance with GBP-HR-25…” GBP-HR-25 Section 2.1.2.c. states “personal time for hourly nonexempt employees is recorded to reflect actual hour-for-hour absence.” Eligibility to charge time to the Supplemental Leave (SLP) is expected to resume when we end Phase D, unless directed otherwise. Please see your supervision or HR if you have questions about time reporting.

If your child is attending a daycare facility that is still open but you elect to stay home with them, can you still qualify for supplemental leave?
Not on the basis of not having child care. Article II.B. 5 of Energy Northwest’s COVID-19 Supplemental Leave Authorization (Policy) requires a COVID-19 closure of the child’s school or place of care, during the child’s enrollment and attendance, for Supplemental Leave to be authorized for child care.

I believe I would fall into the supplemental leave criteria due to common symptoms of COVID-19 in early March and self-quarantine. I have been tested and cleared by my health care provider. Can I use supplemental leave hours for those days?

​We are glad you have been cleared by your health care provider. Because the supplemental personal time policy didn’t become effective until March 17, your leave is not eligible under the new policy. March 17 is the soonest any supplemental PT could be recorded.

Authorization reason #5 for supplemental leave reads that your child's school or place of care has been closed.  Many daycares are staying open with input from the WA Dept. of Children, Youth and Families AND as a form of service to the community.

​Energy Northwest's COVID-19 Supplemental Leave Authorization (Policy) issued March 17 authorizes employee use of supplemental leave for instances where an employee's lack of child care is not related to a COVID-19 closure of the child's school or place of care. The answer is no. As referenced in the question, Article II.B.5 of the Policy requires a COVID-19 closure of the child's school or place of care for employee use of supplemental leave in such instances. Energy Northwest's authorization for employee use of supplemental leave in this type of instance is limited to when the daycare closes while the child is currently enrolled and attending the daycare. In this instance Energy Northwest would authorize supplemental leave upon receipt of an employee executed written certification of the closure, or official documentation of such closure from the daycare, or official notice from a government agency with jurisdiction over such.

Is cashing out personal time an option due to changing family finances?

​Yes, this option will be made available. See email distributed March 18.

What is the new COVID-19 supplemental leave benefit program?

The new COVID-19 Supplemental Leave (SLP) program provides up to 80 hours of supplemental leave and applies to all EN employees - regular, project or temporary. As of March 24, all employees other than WBL students should stop charging to SLP until further direction is provided.

What are work-based learning students working hours during school closure?

Under the current circumstances, Energy Northwest decided to instruct WBL students to stop coming to work until further notice. Supervisors were provided a list of actions.

If a WBL cannot drop off their badge, have them mail it to:
Energy Northwest
Access MD 964A
PO Box 968
Richland, WA 99352 

What can I do if I self-identify as high risk and cannot perform my work remotely?

Starting March 24, if you choose to stay off work because of yes answers to the COVID-19 self screening checklist, or if you were directed to stay home and are unable to perform work during your scheduled hours, you can charge that time to the COVID-19 non-productive hours work orders.

Columbia WO# 0216000302
Corporate WO# 0216000402
ESD WO# 0216000502

If you are able to perform work, but choose to take time off and/or do not want to remain fit for duty during your scheduled hours, you can use your personal time (PT) or take time off without pay. Employees should discuss time off and ability to work remotely with their supervision for further guidance.

What are my options if I self-identify as high risk or are unable to report to work because of parental responsibilities due to the school closures?
  1. ​Contact your supervisor and request approval to telecommute.  Your manager can approve telecommuting.
  2. If you do not have an RSA token, which is necessary for remote login, ask your supervisor to email the IS Solution Center and request you be issued the RSA token. You will need to load the VMware Horizon Client software on your computer. The IS Solution Center will provide you with information on how to do this.
  3. Follow remote telecommuting best practices and log off as soon as possible or download documents and work offline. EN has limited telecommuting bandwidth so we ask that you not stay logged in for hours at a time if not necessary.
  4. Ensure that you continue to have daily contact with your supervisor and track the work you are performing during telecommuting in writing and share with your supervisor.
If I am injured when telecommuting, is it work related?

​WAC 296-27-01103 Determination of Work-relatedness.
Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is working at home are considered work-related if the injury or illness occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of work and not to the home environment.
Note: Examples of recordable injury and illnesses that occur when an employee works at home:

  1. If an employee drops a box of work documents and injures their foot, the case is considered work-related.
  2. If an employee's fingernail is punctured by a needle from a sewing machine used to perform garment work at home, becomes infected and requires medical treatment, the injury is considered work-related.
  3. If an employee is injured because they trip on the family dog while rushing to answer a work phone call, the case is not considered work-related.
  4. If an employee working at home is electrocuted because of faulty home wiring, the injury is not considered work-related.
 

 Telecommuting

 
​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?...

Q: ​Given our recent uptick in number of personnel testing positive and the number of personnel getting tested for various reasons, is it a good plan to increase the number of personnel required to be on-site and in meetings?  I understand the precautions that can be taken but why challenge our current status?

A: Thank you for your question about our restart plans. We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes, we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

​In the COVID-19 Restart Plan, the trigger listed for Phase D is "WA State Phase 2 Implemented in Tri-Cities Area." Why is the modified phase 1 being used as a trigger instead of what was previously laid out in the plan?...

​Q: ​In the COVID-19 Restart Plan, the trigger listed for Phase D is "WA State Phase 2 Implemented in Tri-Cities Area." Why is the modified phase 1 being used as a trigger instead of what was previously laid out in the plan? On a side note, if we, like many communities who re-opened recently, are rolled back to phase 1 (or the equivilant) is there a plan in place to roll back EN employees as well, or are we just going to continue moving forward?

A:  We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

With the return to work now being rolled out, I am concerned that Supply Chain, being such a small group (11 total), would be severely impacted if one of our team members were to get sick from this...

Q: With the return to work now being rolled out, I am concerned that Supply Chain, being such a small group (11 total), would be severely impacted if one of our team members were to get sick from this.  Also, if one of us gets sick, that would cause all of the remaining team members to be in a 2-week quarantine rendering us unable to support the plant if needed on site (i.e. OCC) during that time.  My question for leadership is, since we have been such high performing organization during this time of telecommuting, why would we push for such a small department to return so soon?

A: We will only bring back portions of departments at one time while the others, including those in any of the special categories, continue to work remotely.  We will also strictly enforce our expectations that CDC guidelines to limit potential infections are followed by everyone onsite. This reduces the risk of inadvertently infecting other employees in general, and specifically an entire department. Consequently, we believe the likelihood of infecting an entire Department, whether it is large or small, to be very remote.  Department plans have identified groups of about 1/3 of employees, or in the cases of smaller departments ½ of the employees, who would return for varying lengths of time and then rotate off being replaced by one of the other groups. This limits the total number of employees on site at one time which improves our ability to provide adequate social distancing.  We are constantly monitoring the health of our employees and conditions in the local community.  If the situation changes we can adjust our response as necessary and have had to as the state has modified its own restart guidance several times.

Remember our competing goals to protect the health and safety of our employees while at the same time protecting the health and safety of the public by operating Columbia safely and reliably.  We feel that after 3 months (2 months for our essential workers) of working from home it is safe and appropriate to begin reintegrating our work force to their normal work locations.  To do this safely will require strict adherence to our screening, social distancing and facial covering guidance while at work.  All employees are also encouraged to protect themselves at home and in public settings with the appropriate social distancing and facial covering behaviors.

Would phase E allow remote working option for parental needs until June 2021? Based on the information on superintendent’s website, the schools districts across the state may have full or partial distant learning for the entire 2020-2021 school year.

​At this time, Energy Northwest is reviewing and evaluating changes to the telecommuting policy. It is too early to know what the exact policy for long-term telecommuting will be. As Washington state moves through the plans for re-opening, evaluates the future school year, and arrangements for childcare that are available to parents, individual EN employees will need to evaluate their circumstances and any changes to the EN telecommuting policy at that time.

​​Today I got a call from my supervisor that I had an "emergent" meeting at the MPF. Could not say with who, about what or even what room. What is the point of secrecy with regards to FFD all of a sudden?

​Covid-19 responses have presented unique challenges to meeting licensee NRC regulatory requirements.  Meeting the Fitness for Duty Part 26 requirements are no exception.  The largest number of employees who are telecommuting have never telecommuted before, but the FFD requirements have not changed and were already covered under existing procedure and process.  You should have been told by your supervisor that you were meeting with your supervisor.  If one is on the clock and working from home, then one must be able to meet with their supervisor, at their request. This was a requirement in existing procedure prior to Covid-19 response plans. There could be a huge variance in response times to the MPF (or Columbia during non-Covid-19 telecommuting).  There are a host of reasons an employee must meet with their supervisor. But the individual has not been notified of a FFD test and the required timeline to test after notification has not started.  With individuals driving from home and telecommuting there could also be a host of reasons someone did not meet the regulatory timeline for testing following notification. This method rules out the possibility that a refusal to test would be considered when an individual does not respond to a request from their supervisor to meet as required.  Part 26 also requires that there be no “safe haven” from testing requirements when those holding UAA/UA are under an authorized behavioral observation program.  Nuclear workers holding UAA/UA have unique responsibilities and as stated earlier the Covid-19 response has been unique and challenging as well.  Other than reporting to the MPF to meet with your supervisor while telecommuting nothing in the telecommuting process has changed.  Meeting with your supervisor at the MPF for any reason during the national and global emergency protects those essential workers at Columbia from unnecessary risk. For more on the requirements referenced above please review 10 CFR 26, SWP-FFD-01 Section 4.3.8 (2-telecommuting).

If I'm high risk, but still want to return to work when everyone else does, is that a choice I can make?

Our priority is for the safety and health of our employees. Management outlined a return to work plan.

​Does the governor's newest proclamation regarding high-risk employees mean that employees that can work at home will continue to work at home until June 12?

The senior team is monitoring the decisions around Washington's stay at home order. Management outlined a return to work plan.

Proclamation 20-25 (Stay Home, Stay Healthy order) is amended to extend all of its provisions and each expiration date therein to 11:59 p.m. May 4. Is EN going to change the work reporting date? Why? Or why not?

​To align with governor's direction of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order we extended essential only until May 4. Energy Northwest operates an essential business in the region and we intend to evaluate our staffing on a weekly basis in the event that some staffing changes are necessary in order to continue safe operation.

When should I take personal time (PT) versus charging my time to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order?

​As of March 24, employees may charge to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order if they can work but are unable to based on the inability to telecommute or lack of work as confirmed with their supervision. They must remain fit for duty, available for FFD testing, readily accessible by phone (answer the call or call back within 30 minutes, and be able to promptly report to work if asked to do so. Employees may also charge to the COVID-19 non-productive time work order if they met the reasons for the COVID-19 supplemental leave and have been directed to stay home.

Otherwise, their time off should be recorded as personal time (PT). Here are a few examples of when to use PT (i.e., be sure to still seek approval by your supervision):

 If you are choosing to not remain fit for duty.
You are wishing to take the day off and not perform work or respond to work if needed.
If you have chosen to run personal errands which will take you away from the ability to respond to work within 30 minutes.
If you would have normally taken the time of as PT and not work (e.g., preapproved day off to travel to see family, etc.)

​I see that we can check out computer hardware for telecommuting. What about our office chair or desktop sit/stand? Is bringing something like that home an option?

​The removal of office furniture from work is not an option. There are limited Facility support resources available to assist and the moving of office items such as an office chair and desk presents an increased industrial safety risk to employees. 

​I'm attempting to use Word here at home. I need the procedure macros, but the "Procedure Macros User Guide" isn't compatible with remote access.

​Users can download the guide titled Remote Access Procedure Macros Installation Guide. For assistance, email ECRMSupport@energy-northwest.com and a member of RIM will follow up.

​Since so many of us are telecommuting, the remote client is very slow this afternoon (Wednesday).  Is there something we can do collectively to speed up the remote such as not keeping multiple applications open or any other options?

Information Services realizes having so many telecommuters could potentially put a strain on our remote information technology resources. Fortunately, we have been able to stay ahead of the curve ensuring that our remote sessions are able to function at a high level. Our internet and server resources are showing usage well below our maximum capabilities.

Internet resources as a whole, around our community and the world, are being taxed. Ensuring your home connection is as stable as it can be, by using wired connections if possible, and making sure the rest of your household is not consuming too much bandwidth gaming or streaming movies, will help with your experience.

Internet based service providers around the globe are doing their part to help these issues by limiting video streaming quality and increasing capacity where they can. Demand from all telecommuters, as well as from family being home from school and their workplaces, is having an impact on the internet's performance and reliability.

Here are some best practices to ensure resources continue to be available to our users.

  • Sign off, don't just X out, but click "start button" then click the "User Icon" and choose "Sign Out" on your virtual machine (VM) when you are away, even if it's just for lunch.
  • Limit how long you share your video camera feed during meetings. Saves bandwidth and helps your VM perform better.
  • Browse the internet from your local or home computer not in your VM (especially for personal related browsing).
  • If all you need is access to email, then use Webmail (link available on the employee portal @ http://www.energy-northwest.com/Pages/Employee-Portal.aspx). This frees up VMs for users that need access to other network resources and applications.
  • If you have an EN laptop at home and only need on for a Skype meeting, then use Skype directly on that laptop without logging into a VM.
  • Use computer based audio for conversations with a headset in lieu of tying up a phone line at work.
  • Review telecommuting tips on the COVID-19 Information SharePoint site.

Remember, if you need it, use it. Information Services worked hard to make these resources available to you and your experience as seamless as possible. These are stressful times, and we want to ensure that we do our part to keep your telecommuting experience as pleasant as possible. If you require assistance with implementing any of these tips please contact the ISSC via email @ ISCALLCENTER@energy-northwest.com or create self-serve help ticket on the IS SharePoint site http://changegear/CGWeb/CGClient/SSP/Index.aspx  or call us at 509.377.8400.

​Not knowing how long EN's or the state's "stay at home" posture will remain in place, how will the organization and personnel handle Unescorted Access requirements, specifically processing into the PA every 30 days?

​The BOP interaction every 28 days (30 by regulation, we insert the buffer) is the requirement. Badge scanning that occurs at the Security checkpoint is a tracking aid for this requirement, but is not going to be as effective during our large scale telecommuting. This used to be tracked at the PA card readers, but that change occurred almost eight years ago.

Managers and supervisors will attest to this BOP interaction on their monthly BOP report, which is the same as they were doing prior to COVID-19. The addition of performing this interaction via a Skype style video conference will assist the team with the volume of telecommuting employees.

​If we need something for our job like a file can we come out there to get it?

​Employees can come to the site to retrieve a needed file. Please limit your time on site, the spaces you visit and the people you interact with.

​Can I forward my work emails to my personal (non-EN) email account?

​Using personal email/texts to conduct EN business is not prohibited, but in order to comply with the Washington state public disclosure laws and EN procedures employees that do this have several obligations.

First, any digital conduct of EN business outside of the systems must be forwarded to our email system, per GBP-IS-24. This is required so that when EN is required to respond to public records requests we can readily search all business related documents and provide timely, complete and accurate information. 

Second, if there is a question of potential EN business records in employee personal email or on their cell phone, those personal archives could become searchable under the public records act. While using personal emails during this time is convenient we strong discourage the use of non-EN systems to conduct business. If the systems EN provides are not sufficient to conduct business effectively, please reach out to Information Services to report the gaps and request assistance in resolving the issues.

How should I record my time if I was only able to work 5 hours of my 10 hour shift?

​All 10 hours would be recorded to Regular Time (REG) with 5 hours on your regular work order, and 5 hours on the applicable COVID-19 Non-Productive Time Work Order number order number.

Columbia – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000302
Corporate – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000402
ESD – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000502

How should I record my time when I was instructed to stay home?

​Starting March 24, any EN employee who does not have the ability to work via telecommuting or is unable to perform enough work in a scheduled workday, should charge any non-productive hours within their regular work schedules to Regular Work (REG), but charge those applicable non-productive hours to these work orders:

Columbia – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000302
Corporate – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000402
ESD – COVID–19 Non-Productive Time – WO# 0216000502

Can I request computer hardware to support work from home?

​In consideration of the temporary ability for non-bargaining employees to engage in Energy Northwest approved work from home (WFH) capacity during the pandemic, non-bargaining employees may remove the certain computer hardware from their existing work stations to their homes to support extended WFH durations.

In order to support this, download and complete the form for each individual non-bargaining employee. We need to document what equipment is being taken home and ensure that the employee and the department manager agree to ensure the equipment is returned when this phase of work from home is ended.

Completed forms need to be forwarded to the IS Solution Center to provide the ability to perform asset tracking.

Questions can be forwarded to IS Solution Center at 509.377.8400 or off-hours, the IS duty officer 509.372.5656. 

Is it possible to get a second or even a third Skype call in number, 377-6111 has significant challenges. With all the meetings individuals are having difficulty connecting and being apart of the meetings.

When using Skype, use the Skype audio (through the computer), instead of using a phone to call into 509.377.6111. The challenge with connecting to Skype meetings is limitations on the number of physical phone lines at Energy Northwest, not how many numbers are assigned to Skype. EN is working with local phone companies to expand the number of lines available, but meeting participants using the computer for audio instead of a physical phone line will have access to the audio and will reduce congestion on the limited number of physical phone lines available at EN.

I am having difficulty using Skype while Telecommuting. It seems Skype will not transmit voice or webcam video if you are remotely logged into EN.

Information Services encourages the use of Skype for audio and video conferencing, because it does not require the use of our limited number of physical phone lines.

The VMware Horizon View desktop application fully supports Skype audio and video. However, some users have reported issues due to using an EN laptop from home that does not have the VMWare Horizon View desktop application on it. If individuals are using an EN laptop at home and this application was not previously installed, then EN recommends they log into Microsoft Webmail (accessible from the employee portal on the energy-northwest.com website), click on the meeting invitation, and join the Skype conference through the provided link.

If individuals are using a personal laptop or computer, we recommend users download the latest VMWare Horizon View desktop application, remote in using this software and join the Skype conference once remoted in.

EN offers an option to remote in using a VMWare Horizon View HTML browser client. This method does not support Skype conferences.

Each individuals home computer and network configuration is unique, but we encourage you to call the IS Solution Center at 509.377.8400 to trouble shoot any issues you are having with audio or video connections.

​If we get elected for random FFD testing and have to report in for it, should we download the "Essential Employee Authorization" form prior to heading out in case we get pulled over by law enforcement?

​Yes, that would be appropriate. BOP and FFD functions are covered in the "essential" energy sector category that are allowed to continue under the Governor's orders.

​Now that some employees are working from home, some requals are coming due.  How do employees stay current on requals that require a "proxy" to take the test?

​All Energy Northwest employees that have an RSA token can complete all their CBTs from home without a proctor. However, supplemental employees are required to be proctored for FFD/PAT/RWT exams. They can complete all other CBTs from home if they have an RSA token. The individuals who perform proctoring for such exams will not be available after March 23 as they are not essential workers and hence working from home as well.

If I'm in Seattle, is that considered my local address and would there be any issues for me to telecommute from Seattle?

​Given the need to maintain badging requirements, employees are expected to telecommute from their local address within normal commuting distance to Energy Northwest.  Any exceptions should be requested through their manager and reviewed by human resources prior to any work being performed at an alternate location.

Telecommuting isn't usually an option for temporary or bargaining unit employees.  Will either of those groups be able to avail themselves of the telecommuting option during this time?

​Energy Northwest and IBEW reached a temporary agreement for IBEW bargaining unit employees related to telecommuting during the COVID-19 response period. To understand availability, conditions and terms please see your supervisor.

Temporary employees will be permitted to telecommute upon manager approval.

I am telecommuting, what is expected from me?

​Telecommuting employees are expected to:

• Work from their local residence or normal home location and be readily accessible during work hours for contact from their supervision and others with a business need to interface with them;

• Remain in contact with their supervisor daily by telephone to at least report their health status (this will assist management in understanding its available resources);

• Provide a daily email to their supervisor at the end of their shift summarizing their work activities for the day;

• Remain fit for duty and if they have a green badge, remain prepared to report in-person for FFD testing if contacted to do so;

• Remain available to meet in-person or through other means with their supervisor in order to fulfill Behavioral Observation Program (BOP) requirements.

In addition, non-exempt employees have the following additional rules that apply during this temporary telecommuting authorization:

• All hours of work performed must be tracked and these hours must be submitted on at least a biweekly basis for proper compensation.  Under no circumstances, does management support, approve or authorize any “off the clock” hours of work.  Timely and accurate submission of the hours is essential and expected, as they can have an impact on the amount of overtime compensation due.

• Only perform work remotely during the employee’s normally scheduled work hours.  Work outside of normal work hours is not authorized unless specifically approved in writing by the employee’s supervisor. 

• Only perform up to 40 hours of work remotely each week, unless specifically authorized by management otherwise in writing.  Employees must seek advanced approval from supervision for any hours of work that exceeds this threshold. 

• If the employee’s work phone is forwarded to their home or cell phone during this time, it is expected they refrain from logging on before their normal work hours start and that they log off when their normal work hours end.  This will ensure they are not called for work related matters during their off time.

• Discontinue work remotely when notified that this authorization has ended.  This authorization will be in effect only for the time period allowed by Energy Northwest in responding to the pandemic.

I am called for fitness for duty while I am telecommuting, what do I do?

​The below information outlines how Fitness for Duty (FFD) and Behavioral Observation Program (BOP) requirements will be maintained during a time period when non-essential employees will be telecommuting. It is important for all of us to understand that FFD/BOP requirements are not afforded any allowance for being discontinued under these circumstances.

Fitness for Duty testing
Random testing: All personnel with active Unescorted Access Authorization (UAA/UA) will continue to be selected randomly for drug and alcohol screening. Personnel on site will follow the current station process. The FFD Lead/Designee will notify the Manager/Supervisor/Designee that one of their employees have been selected for random screening along with a timeframe to report for collection. If the selected individual is telecommuting, their Manager/Supervisor/Designee will inform the employee within the timeframe provided by the FFD Lead/Designee. FFD collection for personnel telecommuting will be conducted at an offsite location.

All other FFD testing: For Cause, Pre-Access, and Follow-up testing will be administered according to our existing station process, or if necessary utilizing the method described above. The FFD Lead/Designee will make all notifications and provide details if they differ from the normal station process.

Behavioral Observation Program
The current process requirement of conducting face-to-face interaction with an employee once every 28 days (at minimum) still applies. An interim compensatory measure for this face-to-face interaction is being instituted while the station is dealing with the COVID-19 station limitations.

While employees are telecommuting, it will be acceptable to perform your BOP observation in one of two ways.

1. You may set up a meeting with the individual offsite to conduct this interaction. This meeting should be of business relevance and intentionally planned, and should not be a random interaction such as running into someone at the grocery store. Face-to-face contact is required with the individual in a work status; meaning the individual being observed must be available for FFD drug and alcohol testing.

2. BOP Supervisors/Managers may utilize a Skype style interaction to conduct their BOP. The intent is that the employee can be visually observed (virtual face-to-face), and the interaction should be of business relevance with the employee in a work status. Again, the individual must be available for FFD drug and alcohol testing in order for the BOP interaction to be official.

Please contact Brian Staniszewski at ext. 8331 or Julie Hansen at ext. 8392 for questions.

If I am injured when telecommuting, is it work related?

​WAC 296-27-01103 Determination of Work-relatedness.
Injuries and illnesses that occur while an employee is working at home are considered work-related if the injury or illness occurs while the employee is performing work for pay or compensation in the home, and the injury or illness is directly related to the performance of work and not to the home environment.
Note: Examples of recordable injury and illnesses that occur when an employee works at home:

  1. If an employee drops a box of work documents and injures their foot, the case is considered work-related.
  2. If an employee's fingernail is punctured by a needle from a sewing machine used to perform garment work at home, becomes infected and requires medical treatment, the injury is considered work-related.
  3. If an employee is injured because they trip on the family dog while rushing to answer a work phone call, the case is not considered work-related.
  4. If an employee working at home is electrocuted because of faulty home wiring, the injury is not considered work-related.
 

 Housekeeping

 
​In planning for employee return to work, what consideration is there for the communal tools such as printer to keep them clean after each use? Will there be cleaning supplies stationed at the communal tools so the user can clean prior to and after use?

​We encourage staff to take this opportunity to reduce the volume of printed, copied and scanned documents as a method to prevent individual exposure. Information Services leases the copier devices from a local company. The copier company is committed to increasing the frequency of machine cleaning. However, given that EN has almost 200 copiers in diverse geographical they cannot all be cleaned continuously. Individuals may also use disposable latex gloves when working with the printer to minimize their risk. The copier touch screens should not be cleaned with regular Lysol or Clorox cleaning wipes. Information Services is working to find sufficient quantities of an appropriate cleaning wipe for the copiers to provide the option for individuals to perform just-in-time cleaning as well.

​Is it safe to use the water fountains here at EN?
​Employees can use the water fountains at EN. Reminder to get water from the flow versus putting your mouth over the outlet. Facilities wipes the surfaces frequently, several times throughout a shift. Employees can help with this effort after their own use to help limit the potential for transmission from frequently touched surfaces by practicing good hygiene.
Yokes had a designated cart cleaner, and 2 workers constantly cleaning areas throughout the store. This concern has been raised several times by EN employees and our responses have been, clean your own areas and we are short-staffed in Facilities.

​Facilities is not short staffed and is working seven days a week cleaning and wiping down areas and common touch surfaces. As the agency prepares for more people on site, Facilities will continue with this effort and bring in staff as required to meet demand. Facilities doesn’t wipe personal spaces, as we can’t be responsible if something gets wet or damaged and some employees are very protective of their space. Facilities provides supplies so anyone can wipe down their personal space. If a group needs supplies, please let Facilities know by calling the Facilities help line at ext. 8484. Facilities gives the supplies to one person in group so they can be accountable for the products. There isn’t enough to give each person their own cleaning supplies.

Background on Yokes – To overcome the national shortage on disinfecting wipes, Yokes staffed individuals to clean carts and other areas with an antibacterial cleaning agent.   

Are the argos cleaned often enough or correctly to make a real difference – meaning the screen is not removed?

The whole body monitors are cleaned at a set frequency. They are cleaned in accordance with the manufacture instructions. The cleaning process and materials are aligned with the industry’s pandemic response.

Could we bypass the geometry machines for now? There are less individuals reporting to site that would need to be processed through a different means. Spray bottles of disinfectant by the machine could be a possible solution too.

Facilities has directed the janitorial staff to ensure we keep sanitizer stations leaving the protected area access point and in the Yakima Building operational at all times. There is a limited supply of sanitizer and there is enough for a few weeks. Facilities is exploring different options to keep these sanitizers going if we run out of the bags (i.e. trying to refill with other sanitizer product, setup a station with a pump). Facilities has an indication from the supplier that we could receive some refill bags by mid-April. Facilities will keep the team informed of the sanitizer status. There is a limited a supply across nation and we are a tier 2 user (hospitals/medical are tier 1).

The hand geometry unit is a regulatory requirement and cannot be bypassed. The platen on the reader is covered with a specially formulated antimicrobial coating with silver ions in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew to mitigate hygiene concerns. Utilizing hand sanitizer and/or washing hands, along with other good hygiene practices will remain paramount as we continue to navigate the current state of affairs.

​Walking through the 1st floor of the Deschutes I noted cubes that have Caution signs indicating possable COVID-19.  What are the plans for these cubes?

Facilities will disinfect these cubicles today and will remove signage.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic cleanliness is paramount to avoid spreading the virus. Normally we have site services (janitorial staff) that cleans our facilities (bathrooms, kitchen, hallways, etc.).

​Facilities cleans the Yakima building common areas and restrooms. We have been calling out overtime for the crew to stay longer during normal work days. Overtime was approved last weekend to perform additional cleaning. Weekend shifts will clean areas that are staffed 24/7.

Can employees bring cleaning products from home to clean their workspaces?

​Employees can bring their own personal-size cleaning products (hand sanitizer or wipes) to clean their workspaces with the following exceptions:

• Cleaning liquids cannot be poured down the sinks in the plant power block
• Cleaning products cannot be used on plant components
• Cleaning products will be provided to the control room

Workers must follow the product use instructions when using the product in their workspace. This is a personal-use product, when you are done using it at Energy Northwest please take it home.

What steps is Facilities taking to ensure cleanliness?

Janitors increased focus on cleaning common touch areas such as handrails, doorknobs and common touch surfaces. Facilities and Industrial Safety are working together to ensure the antibacterial cleaning agent is effective. The crew is working overtime to meet the sanitation efforts.

Facilities would like to remind everyone that there is a limited supply of wipes, sprays and disinfectants available to use.  The products left in common areas are for common areas only. If you need to use the supplies take what you need and return the supplies so others can use them as well. Your continued support and understanding will help us all get through this. 

 

 PPE

 
  
Where can I get a facemask?

​Please ask your supervisor for a facemask if you need one. If they do not have a supply they can obtain facemasks from Deschutes 1/163 — this office has them staged for use by EN departments.

It seems the Washington state guideline is for "facial coverings," but the EN specifies "non medical face masks are preferred." Can you clarify? Do we need to purchase cloth masks as well now?

​Directives from the state and local counties are to don facial coverings which can be made of a variety of material and styles. While medical surgical masks and N95 meet these criteria, there are directives to allow those supplies to be first made available to the healthcare industry. Energy Northwest procured a supply of disposal N95 and K95 masks, these are not reusable and washable and we would exhaust our supply quickly, and require re-ordering, given the length of time our area may be subject to the mask order from the governor. Energy Northwest procured a supply of washable and reusable masks available to our staff, and additional reusable masks of a slightly different style are expected shortly. As always, if you have a mask that you find comfortable (which may be a cloth mask or your own N95/K95), you are welcome to bring and use your own mask at EN.

​When working alone in an office, cubical, vehicle or at a job site (alone means at least 6-feet social distance is always maintained). Why can this not include walking outdoors alone?

The guidance for mask wearing is been updated. Everyone should carry a mask with them at all times. It is the expectation that you wear your mask when within 6 feet of any other employee. Other exceptions as listed in the original guidance remain (specific areas of the plant, industrial or operational safety risk, underlying health conditions, etc). If walking or working alone (greater than 6 feet separation) you need not wear your mask, but if approaching or approached by another employee within 6 feet put your mask on.

​Will a face covering be required if all of the other workers in the area are 6 feet away?

​The expectation is that employees will wear an EN or employee provided facial covering at all times unless an exception is met. With that being said, if you are working in an area with adequate distance from others, you can remove your mask. You must keep a mask with you at all times and don that mask if you approach or are approached by another individual.  The exceptions include those set forth by the governor, as well as those EN has determined to be necessary to ensure workplace safety (e.g., safe conduct of work). When falling under an exception, the 6 feet social distancing is still expected if at all possible to do so.

​If I am working alone in my office or cubicle do I need to wear a mask?

​When walking or working alone in an office, cubical, vehicle or at a job site, a facial covering is not required. However, it will be important to keep in mind that any transition from one location to another will require that the facial covering be carried with you, as it is no longer certain that the person will continue to be alone. Additionally, a mask should be donned if someone were to enter your cubicle or work area or approach you while you transition from one area to another. It is the expectation that you have a mask with you at all times.

Last week Washington state government issued a regulation starting June 9 employers are responsible for providing employees with face masks. Currently EN says employees are responsible for providing their own masks and it is stated in the COVID-19 CBT.

​Energy Northwest is currently reviewing this new order from the governor and will have additional information available on our implementation once the details are known. Please check back later this week. Regarding availability of masks. The CBT does NOT state that employees must provide their own mask. Employees CAN provide their own. Masks are available from EN to any employee who would like one. Please ask your supervisor. If they do not have a supply they can obtain a mask from Deschutes 1-163 at Columbia. If you are at a non-Columbia facility, supervisors can contact can contact the PRT for more information.

​Can employees wear their masks through the explosive detectors in the PAAP?

​Security will allow masks to be worn through the explosive detectors at the protected area access point should individuals choose to exercise that option. Employees wearing masks will need to remove their mask when a Security officer requests a badge-to-face comparison. The explosive detectors are a regulatory requirement that cannot be bypassed. Workers should not wear masks at the vehicle checkpoint for an initial badge-to-face comparison.

​Now that the Benton-Franklin Health District is recommending individuals cover their noses and mouths any time they leave home for essential needs (including essential workers in places of business), will Energy Northwest recommend the same?

​​​Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

With the recent change in face mask usage, am I required to wear one?

​​​Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

​With the new changes to the CDC's recommendations on wearing face masks, has/will EN re-evaluated it's policy on face masks within the protected area?

​​Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19.  At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

​Recent COVID-19 information from the government, suggests wearing some sort of face mask. Can EN supply essential workers with face masks, hand sanitizer, which is almost impossible to find or buy?

Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19.  At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

In the event sequestering is required, can essentials wear face masks?

​​​Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

​Can employees wear a face mask while at work?

Use of a facial covering is a recent CDC recommendation to help curb the transmission of COVID-19. At this time, use of facial coverings or masks is voluntary, but recommended. Employees can supply their own covering and should review the Face Covering Guidance Document, for additional details and instructions. As a comprehensive approach to combat the virus is necessary, all social distancing, increased use of PPE and diligent hygiene practices remain in effect as our company’s overall strategy for keeping employees safe.

​Has there been any thoughts, concern, precautionary measures concerning outside delivery carriers like UPS and Fedex coming on-site with packages and interacting with security and warehouse workers?

​Procurement communicated the following with all delivery vendors.

  1. Delivery vendors should exercise social distancing and other preventive precautions when arriving on site
  2. Vendors and suppliers will ensure delivery workers do not have any COVID-19 symptoms prior to arriving on site

In addition, Energy Northwest procured infrared thermometers for use by EN employees to help ensure everyone arriving on site does not have any COVID-19 related symptoms. Security will continue social distancing and will reinforce on site expectations.

 

 Other

 
  
​Does the new face mask order from the governor change how and when we wear face masks at Energy Northwest?

​Based upon our review of the governor's change it has been determined that there are no changes to EN's current mask policy. Facial coverings are a critical defense in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus. The coverings protect both the employee, and more importantly, their coworkers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends covering of the nose and mouth to slow the spread of COVID-19. Non-medical grade coverings are encouraged, e.g. bandanas, fabric masks, neck gaiters and homemade coverings. EN expects all workers to carry an EN or self-provided facial covering with them at all times and to wear your mask when within 6 feet of any other employee, unless otherwise exempted. A list of exceptions can be found along with the current mask policy on the COVID-19 website.

Has there been any talk of changing required PT usage for this year? If not, the last half (or quarter) of the year may be full of people wanting or needing to use PT leaving us short handed as we come back to full staffing and catch up on postponed work?

​GBP-HR-25, Personal Time and Disability Supplement, already contains a process for waiving required personal time usage. Workers should use Form 26617, Request for Personal Time Waiver, to request a waiver. Human Resources will not institute a separate process for COVID-19 impacts.

Leadership encourages the use of PT to provide a healthy work-life balance, especially considering COVID-19 stressors. Although our travel options are limited, we can still benefit from taking time off locally. Managing our PT bank also helps control costs to EN.

So, with over half of the year left, we encourage employees to review options for using PT with your supervision. HR will continue to monitor this topic, in case there are changes due to business requirements (e.g., such as the inability to approve PT due to coverage to support plant operations). If any changes are made to our PT program before the end of 2020, we will be sure to inform all employees.

​You may want to update the external link going to the WA state Governor site or add it as a separate link....

We ​updated the link and title to Washington State Coronavirus Response on COVID page.

​What is the expectation for working if an employee who is able to telecommute tests positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic or has mild symptoms?

​If an employee feels comfortable working in a telecommuting role, then he or she can do so. When returning to the office please follow the return to work guidelines.

​When COVID began the scheduled ERO Exercise was 'cancelled' but expected to be rescheduled.  When can we expect to have a new drill and exercise schedule published for 2020-2021? Will there be an ERO graded exercise in 2020?

​Energy Northwest's Emergency Preparedness and off site agencies will meet June 18 to develop new 2020-2021 ERO drill schedules. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission graded exercise is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2020.

​It would be helpful if every 'document' or communication issued related to COVID has a date issued.  Things are changing so fast I can't be sure if I'm looking at the latest/valid information.

​Thank you for the suggestion to add a date to documents on the COVID-19 website. All documents on the COVID site are the latest revision. A revision and associated date are included in the document itself. Note that there are many documents linked to each other using the document's specific title. Adding a revision or date in the document title would break the links setup for associated documents.

​How will employees and visitors be notified if they are at risk if someone is confirmed to have COVID-19?

​When there is a confirmed positive case or suspected positive exposure, in coordination with the pandemic response team, the department initiates contract tracing efforts. Namely, who did the employee have contact with, for how long and where did they visit. Based on this feedback, Energy Northwest reaches out to the potentially effected individuals to discuss the contact and next steps. Please keep in mind that this information is considered sensitive and is shared on a need to know basis. Company-wide communications, including new articles, text messages and employee advisory log entries are presented to provide as much information as possible while protecting sensitive detail.

See mask policy question below.

Q. I understand if a person is working alone in an office they don't have to wear a mask.  How about walking alone, provided the person has a mask around their neck and can don the mask if someone else approaches them?  How about two or three people sitting in a conference room or large break room while maintaining a 6 foot spacing?  Would either of these two examples be acceptable?

A. The guidance for mask wearing is been updated. Everyone should carry a mask with them at all times. It is the expectation that you wear your mask when within 6 feet of any other employee. Other exceptions as listed in the original guidance remain (specific areas of the plant, industrial or operational safety risk, underlying health conditions, etc.). If walking or working alone (greater than 6 feet separation) you need not wear your mask, but if approaching or approached by another employee within 6 feet put your mask on.

See mask legality and enforcement  question below.

Q. ​Is the requirement to wear face coverings while on EN property really a "New State Law" as stated in the "EN Face Coverings Required" document? And if it is a new state law, how is that being enforced on EN property? What are the ramifications for leaving ones office to use the restroom and forgetting to put ones face covering on? Would this be an opportunity for coaching and documenting the event in a CR, or does one get turned into the sheriff to be fined or potentially jailed? If this is in fact a bona fide LAW, then perhaps our company needs to rethink the decision to return workers to the station. If WA state has passed an enforceable law, complete with ramifications for violating it, then perhaps it is more dangerous to return to work than previously thought. I am sure that most people are unwilling to sacrifice their criminal record, and potentially affect their ability to hold unescorted access to a nuclear facility, or face jail time for trying to get their work done.

A. We admit that referring to the new requirement as a “law” was for convenience to deliver the straight-forward message that EN’s compliance with this requirement is not a choice. As an essential business licensed to operate within the state of Washington, we are required to follow this order from the Governor’s Proclamation 20-25.4 in the same way that we must comply with any other state requirement, whether it is duly passed by the legislature and signed into “law” by the governor, developed by an authorized state agency as an applicable “regulation,” or duly enacted by the governor as an “order” under the powers given to him when Washington has declared a “state of emergency.” We hope that you will appreciate that placing the statement “It’s An Order” on the document would not have conveyed the same meaning as “It’s The Law.” That said, you are correct to say that it is not a “law” as that term is defined. However, as stated, this is a difference without a distinction. The primary purpose of these requirements is for the protection of your coworkers in the event that you are infected with the COVID-19 virus and asymptomatic; studies have shown that this is a method of COVID-19 transmission and that the use of masks significantly reduces the rate of infection.

Regarding the enforcement of this requirement, the document you refer to is very explicit about the requirements regarding face coverings, and management’s expectations regarding their use. Management does not anticipate that these requirements and expectations will require “enforcement.” However, management does view these as required personal protective equipment, just like gloves, hardhats and safety glasses. If an employee refuses to use a mask, they will be dealt with in the same way an employee would be dealt with who refuses to use other PPE. Fortunately, because all of us recognize the purpose and need for PPE, management does not believe that compliance will be a significant issue.

​How are masks being used/controlled in contaminated areas? Are they going to be considered protective clothing from a radiological protection standpoint?

​Face coverings are not required for entry into and work in contaminated work areas. If an individual wants to wear a face covering while working in a contaminated area, they can. The face covering should be treated like your safety glasses. Do not touch them while in the contaminated area. Upon exit from the contaminated area, wear the face covering into the contamination monitor just like wearing safety glasses.
 
Workers are reminded that while working in the radiologically controlled area you should minimize touching your face to adjust your safety glasses and face covering. This minimizes the likelihood of getting your face contaminated with loose surface contamination.

The face mask required guidance document was revised to include this exemption. It now states: Inside the following locations: main control room, radwaste control room, control room simulator when conducting operator training, the Security firing range during live weapons training and while working in a contaminated area (CA).

​For those of us that wear glasses, how do we address the safety issue created by our glasses fogging up while wearing a cloth facial covering? This creates a line of site safety issue.  Also, the covering changes line of site in general.

​There are a few strategies for individuals who wear glasses. You want to make sure your mask fits securely over the nose. With glasses, a mask with a nose bridge will keep warm air from exiting up to your glasses as opposed to other face coverings. To this extent, you could also tape the top of the mask with medical or sports tape to create a seal. You can also try a method used in the healthcare industry. Wash your lenses with soapy water and shake off the excess liquid. Allow the lenses to air dry or gently wipe them off with a soft cloth before wearing your glasses again. Why does this method work? The soap leaves behind a thin film that acts as a fog barrier. Note: This method is not prescribed for some glasses that have special coatings and a commercial “anti-fog” product may be a better solution.

​Will a face covering be required if all of the other workers in the area are 6 feet away?

​The expectation is that employees will wear an EN or employee provided facial covering at all times unless an exception is met. With that being said, if you are working in an area with adequate distance from others, you can remove your mask. You must keep a mask with you at all times and don that mask if you approach or are approached by another individual.  The exceptions include those set forth by the governor, as well as those EN has determined to be necessary to ensure workplace safety (e.g., safe conduct of work). When falling under an exception, the 6 feet social distancing is still expected if at all possible to do so.

​At what point at arriving to work will we be required to wear a mask?

​Facial coverings are required starting with when an employee leaves their personal vehicle in the parking lot.

​Do our current safety measures negate the need to wear a mask?

​Governor Inslee mandated that facial coverings be worn in the workplace starting June 8 until further notice. Regardless what measures EN already has in place to keep the workplace safe from COVID-19, it and employees must comply with the law. Recent studies indicate a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity—for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing—even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms and facial coverings can substantially reduce the spread of the virus in these situations.

​If I am working alone in my office or cubicle do I need to wear a mask?

​When walking or working alone in an office, cubical, vehicle or at a job site, a facial covering is not required. However, it will be important to keep in mind that any transition from one location to another will require that the facial covering be carried with you, as it is no longer certain that the person will continue to be alone. Additionally, a mask should be donned if someone were to enter your cubicle or work area or approach you while you transition from one area to another. It is the expectation that you have a mask with you at all times.

​The 'when and how to wear face masks' info sheet is out of date.

​We are updating all of the documents regarding facemask use today to comply with the governor's new face mask policy.

​Should employees use the showers here at EN? I've noticed personal soap and towels hanging in the shower areas.

​People can use the showers at Energy Northwest. Like under any circumstances, please don't touch other people's towels or soap.

​What was the significant virus outbreak at Fermi?

The significant virus outbreak at Fermi Nuclear Station was COVID-19 related. Fermi entered a refueling and maintenance outage with major projects to be implemented during the outage, including a recoating of the Torus (similar to Columbia’s suppression pool). At one point, over 2,100 individuals were tested for COVID-19 due to a very large number of positive cases at the station. The testing identified 230 plus individuals positive for COVID-19. Furthermore, 75% of dedicated crew supporting the Torus work had tested positive. Eventually, the non-infected individuals supporting the Torus project were sequestered in a secure facility for their health and safety. They overcame the challenge by focusing on social distancing and using face masks when social distancing could not be maintained. 

This operating experience further emphasizes the need for all EN employees to self-screen for health challenges associated with COVID-19. This supports the continued health and safety of our fellow coworkers. 

​Are there talks of not participating in USA shared resources this fall for outages due to COVID-19?

​We are intending to support; however we continue to monitor industry and government response to the virus, including the following considerations, that could result in us cancelling USA support.

- No employee will be required to travel who does not want to travel.
- There may be a significant virus outbreak at the outage station, similar to what was seen at Fermi in the spring.
- Many sites with spring outages significantly reduced outage scope in an effort to keep on-site staffing at an absolute minimum. Some USA sites may not want resource sharing.
- Should there be an unanticipated increase in COVID-19 in Benton and Franklin counties, we may need to curtail travel to ensure sufficient workers to operate and maintain Columbia.
- Governmental travel restrictions may not allow travel out of our area or into another.

We will continue to monitor the situation and update those employees who are identified to support USA outages.

​Prior to entering Phase 4 in Washington state what will be the required dress code?

​We will allow a relaxed dress code (jeans) through Phase D of the EN Return to Work strategy.

In response to a May 11 post about mandatory testing. Is it still EN's position that employment is at risk if an employee elects to not provide their personal information?

​It is correct that to date no law requires mandatory testing for COVID-19, nor disclosure of personal information in response to contact tracing, nor deployment of the National Guard to support such. If such is not law, but rather industry or agency guidelines or recommendations, it would be at Energy Northwest’s discretion whether to make such an expectation of employment. To date EN has not done so, thus there is no impact on employment. If these circumstances were to change EN will communicate the expectations to employees.

​It would be helpful to have a date at the start or end of the question text of when the answer was last updated.

​Thanks for the recommendation. The team added a field to include date and time.

Employee comment

​​There is information being spread around right now that some supervisors performing walkdowns with the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Performing walkdowns and using the same elevators is close contact yet these individuals have not been tested and do not believe they were at risk. I hope that everyone at EN realizes that we are as a group, only as strong as each individual. It takes one person not being conservative and doing the right thing to potentially create a real mess/disaster at work with this. I would truly hate to see us have to shut down the plant due to a COVID-19 outbreak at EN. This isn't so much a question, but a chance to reiterate how important each individual is to provide a success path during a pandemic such as this. We are only as strong as our weakest link.

Thank you for your message, we agree with your takeaway. We intend to keep communicating the importance of early notification, open communication regarding wellness and timely coordination with the pandemic response team. Additionally, part of understanding the risk is evaluating close contact, and individuals' adherence to our defense strategies: staying 6 feet apart, wearing a mask and avoiding touching our faces. All of these actions help to protect our population and are used to evaluate if further actions are warranted.

Is there a way to have our current phase posted on the website? With some groups working and some being sent home (no work computer access) it might be good to have it on our external COVID site as well.

​All of the content posted on the internal COVID-19 site is also posted on Energy Northwest's external site under Employee Portal.

Currently, there are 14 individuals in-processing the week of May 18, five of which are interns. Currently, the site is only in-processing essential employees, how are we ensuring these individuals are essential to our operation?

​Careful decisions are being made about any in-processing. For example, all in-processing for EN new hires has been postponed for six weeks and intern start dates have been delayed. Senior leadership approved the in-processing of 19 employees the week of May 18. More than just essential employees must be in-processed, specifically, new hire employees including interns who accepted job offers before the governor's order went into effect. They have made significant life changes to join EN for gainful employment and a source of income and cannot be put off indefinitely. Since the governor's order was issued, EN has had a hiring freeze in place and hasn't made new offers to external candidates in part to minimize in-processing and other needs for face-to-face contact. EN will continue to evaluate the prudency of in-processing for both new hires and contractors on a case-by-case basis, with a predisposition towards minimizing the activity until the governor's order is lifted.   

​In the May 11, D-15 the Safety message includes a link to " Face Covering Guidance Document" with contradicting information concerning N95 mask.

​The information is intended to allow the personal use of N95 and K95 masks and Energy Northwest wouldn’t not distribute those masks due to the need to reserve the use to healthcare workers. We acknowledge that individuals may have N95 or K95 within their personal inventory and are allowed to bring and wear them if they choose.

​Is there an adverse effect of wearing face masks for a prolonged period?

​Prolonged use of face masks may cause skin irritation. If the skin surrounding the nose and mouth gets irritated, this will likely lead to more hand to face touching, which directly increases the likelihood of contracting the virus. Face masks should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use.

​WAC 296-800-23020 requires a minimum number of toilets based on the number of employees. I heard we are reducing the number of toilets available in areas as a measure to improve sanitation - Did we receive some relief from compliance with these codes?

​All restrooms are open and will stay open to support the return to work schedule. During the first few weeks of the COVID response, Facilities did temporarily close a few restrooms in the nearly vacant buildings as a measure to improve sanitation and keep janitorial focused on essential activities. Facilities always provided a sufficient number or restroom fixtures per code based on the building occupant load. Facilities also monitored the number of employees in buildings and ensured we had resources to support them. 

Do workers in the plant, who want to be protected and protect others from COVID need to wear a flame retardant mask?

​For inside the plant, workers use of a face covering doesn’t have a requirement to have any type of flame retardant material. If there was a pile of them stored to exceed a total of 100 pounds, then it would require compensatory measures. For outside the plant, there is no requirement for fire retardant material on a manufactured respirator or dust mask or other face covering such as a homemade COVID mask. 

​Are the masks provided to workers in the plant to protect from COVID flame retardant?

​The face masks provided by local sewing groups and EN family members and friends distributed to employees on site are not fire retardant.

I discovered that if I forward  meeting or training invites from work, it automatically puts it on my personal calendar and it sends me a reminder. Is this something that could be communicated to the rest of the company to help alleviate missed meetings?

Thank you for your question about forwarding calendar events to personal email accounts to set reminders for events such as meetings and training. Information Services has several tools to enable employees to receive reminders for training and meetings such as secure remote connectivity to the Energy Northwest network via a virtual machine (VM) https://view.energy-northwest.com/, Microsoft Exchange access via the Outlook Web Access (OWA) https://email2.energy-northwest.com/owa/ or an Outlook Client on your mobile device (Form 26883 required). 

Here are some of the challenges with forwarding calendaring events. Email itself is a best effort vehicle for communication (built into the email standard protocol); there is absolutely no guarantee for email delivery as we are dependent on many autonomous systems outside of EN control. When one forwards an email, you will not get an automatic update when the event is changed or modified. Should you notice an updated event and forward that updated event, you will receive a duplicate event, which can easily lead to user error. We are also expected to be in alignment with Washington state records requirements, which can lead to your personal owned devices and accounts being discoverable for records or legal inquiries.

Again, thank you for your inquiry regarding forwarding of calendaring events to personal email accounts. We understand that working from home can be challenging and keeping up to date on the latest news and meetings is important to all employees.  Please reach out to your supervision about any challenges you might have with keeping up to date with news and events. 

Information Services is working to improve information accessibility and intends to deploy Microsoft Office 365 in the near future.

Thank you to senior leadership team

​I want to say THANK YOU very much to the senior leadership team for all of the video updates to keep us informed of the latest developments, and more importantly giving your videos a personal touch. The personal touch aspect brings this all down to a common level for all of us, and reminds us that we are all working our way through this epidemic together and that we all have similar family matters to deal with.

​I consider having my temperature taken as a condition for entering the site an invasion of my privacy; can I continue to work from home until this requirement is lifted?

​​EN is following the CDC recommendations for workplace safety and protection of the workforce. We are also monitoring the information coming out of Gov. Jay Inslee’s office. If anyone has concerns about returning to their normal work environment, they should discuss with their supervisor and we will review on a case-by-case basis.

Why is Energy Northwest not waiting to return to work on site until COVID-19 related safety measures are fully removed? Can I continue working remotely to avoid temperature taking and social distancing?

EN is following the CDC recommendations for workplace safety and protection of the workforce. We are also monitoring the information coming out of Gov. Jay Inslee’s office. If anyone has concerns about returning to their normal work environment, they should discuss with their supervisor and we will review on a case-by-case basis.

The phases for returning to work make sense and seem well-thought out. However, I care for my high-risk parent (as defined by the CDC) at my home. Are there any considerations for keeping our high-risk parents safe while we return to work?

​We didn’t lay out a specific plan for employees who care for high-risk individuals who are not symptomatic. Employees caring for a high-risk individual should discuss any needed flexible work options with their supervisor. The management team will be working on non-essential employee return to work planning the week of May 11. Additional details and resources will be developed during that time to facilitate discussions with your supervisor.

the person working in the cubicle next to mine is within 6 feet of my desk/chair, but we are separated by the divider wall. Is that acceptable?

​Generally, a divider can help to aid the social distancing between individuals. However if you feel this office arrangement poses undo risk with two individuals who are only separated by the divider and very little additional distance, talk with your supervisor to discuss initiating a cubicle re-arrangement by Facilities.

​Is it safe to use the water fountains here at EN?
​Employees can use the water fountains at EN. Reminder to get water from the flow versus putting your mouth over the outlet. Facilities wipes the surfaces frequently, several times throughout a shift. Employees can help with this effort after their own use to help limit the potential for transmission from frequently touched surfaces by practicing good hygiene.
​​Today I got a call from my supervisor that I had an "emergent" meeting at the MPF. Could not say with who, about what or even what room. What is the point of secrecy with regards to FFD all of a sudden?

​Covid-19 responses have presented unique challenges to meeting licensee NRC regulatory requirements.  Meeting the Fitness for Duty Part 26 requirements are no exception.  The largest number of employees who are telecommuting have never telecommuted before, but the FFD requirements have not changed and were already covered under existing procedure and process.  You should have been told by your supervisor that you were meeting with your supervisor.  If one is on the clock and working from home, then one must be able to meet with their supervisor, at their request. This was a requirement in existing procedure prior to Covid-19 response plans. There could be a huge variance in response times to the MPF (or Columbia during non-Covid-19 telecommuting).  There are a host of reasons an employee must meet with their supervisor. But the individual has not been notified of a FFD test and the required timeline to test after notification has not started.  With individuals driving from home and telecommuting there could also be a host of reasons someone did not meet the regulatory timeline for testing following notification. This method rules out the possibility that a refusal to test would be considered when an individual does not respond to a request from their supervisor to meet as required.  Part 26 also requires that there be no “safe haven” from testing requirements when those holding UAA/UA are under an authorized behavioral observation program.  Nuclear workers holding UAA/UA have unique responsibilities and as stated earlier the Covid-19 response has been unique and challenging as well.  Other than reporting to the MPF to meet with your supervisor while telecommuting nothing in the telecommuting process has changed.  Meeting with your supervisor at the MPF for any reason during the national and global emergency protects those essential workers at Columbia from unnecessary risk. For more on the requirements referenced above please review 10 CFR 26, SWP-FFD-01 Section 4.3.8 (2-telecommuting).

Would EN be interested in encouraging employees at home on "non-productive time" to support a local charity like 2nd Harvest? Specific to 2H, there is an increased need for mid-week support for 2-hour shifts. Social distancing is strictly enforced?

​Based on General Business Procedure, Finance 21, "Charitable Organizations and Community Service," Section 3.3.1 allows Energy Northwest employees to use their working hours to participate in EN's designated charities if they have advance management/supervisor approval. We are limited to three charities, Head Start, March of Dimes and United Way. Since 2nd Harvest and other charities are not currently recognized, we cannot allow employees to use work time to support those charities. If employees want to take time off (PT or LWOP), they are free to do that.

Some employees also have side jobs such as Uber Eats, Door Dash, Grub Hub etc. Is it ethical or legal for them to work their side job (making an income) during the hours they are still "on the clock" and being paid by Energy Northwest?

No. Employees in these circumstances are in the sole service of Energy Northwest during their regularly scheduled shifts when they are charging for, and being paid for, the non-productive work time\hours. EN has issued multiple communications during the Washington Stay Home, Stay Healthy Order that employees in these circumstances are being paid to stay home to be available and fit-for-duty in the event of being called into service. During regularly scheduled shifts employees are subject to all applicable EN policies and procedures, none of which permit use of EN work time to perform another job. Per GBP-LEG-01, Section 2.3.3, all EN employees are prohibited from performing another job without EN written approval. EN has not granted any employees written approval to perform another job under the above circumstances. Any failure to comply with the above could be grounds for employee discipline up to and including termination of employment.

​In today's video message Bob Schuetz said we won't be bringing everyone back to work all at once, but we'll start about May 4.  Will we be doing some sort of phased approach to returning non-essential employees to work?

​​Yes, plans are being developed to return non-essential employees to work after the governor's order ends May 4 at 11:59 p.m. We are monitoring any changes in the governor's orders and will adjust our plans accordingly. Employees will receive additional guidance for returning to work as we get closer to the May 4 at 11:59 p.m. date. Please continue to monitor the COVID-19 website for details.

I know there is no company foreign travel, what about personal travel. Is EN forbidding personal travel and if not, are there restrictions for coming back to work?

​Employees are encouraged to follow the governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and continue to frequently monitor the Centers for Disease and Prevention COVID-19 travel site. Prior to returning to work from personal travel, employees should review the agency's screening guidance. If you plan to travel outside of the U.S., remember to contact Access Authorization at least two weeks in advance.

I read in the news this morning that the CDC issued new guidance for how to ensure the safety of nuclear plant workers. Are there any changes coming?

You’re correct, CDC issued “Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had an Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed CONVID-19.” EN’s new guidance in the return to work document allows essential workers to return to the work site with a negative test result, additional work provisions while on site and wearing of a mask for 14 days while on site from the last known exposure. Under this scenario your supervisor will need to work with Human Resources on these conditions.

Non-essential employees are to remain off site for 14 days, even with a negative test result.

​With only essentials working, why are we processing new hires during this time?

​EN only in-processed new hires who were hired and scheduled to start work before the decision was made to send non-essential employees home. This ensures we get new employees on-boarded and on the payroll so they could be treated like all other EN employees after leaving their prior employer.

Human Resources scheduled all future new hires for May 18 or after.

​Once we get through this initial outbreak of COVID-19 and things seem to return to some level of normalcy, will EN have contingency plans in place to handle the potential recurrence while preparing and executing for R-25?

​Energy Northwest will conduct a detailed lessons learned from our COVID response and will incorporate pandemic guidance from the CDC. Additionally, we expect INPO to lead an industry wide lessons learned to include input from plants who are conducting refueling and maintenance outages during the pandemic. We will use that information to update our pandemic plan and have it in place to support R-25.  

​If an individual goes to the emergency room for a non-work related item should they self-quarantine for 14 days due to high risk of potential exposure.

​No, the employee should wear their mask, adhere to increased hygiene practices (ex. hand washing, not touching face), practice social distancing and follow the health-screening guidance.

Could we bypass the geometry machines for now? There are less individuals reporting to site that would need to be processed through a different means. Spray bottles of disinfectant by the machine could be a possible solution too.

Facilities has directed the janitorial staff to ensure we keep sanitizer stations leaving the protected area access point and in the Yakima Building operational at all times. There is a limited supply of sanitizer and there is enough for a few weeks. Facilities is exploring different options to keep these sanitizers going if we run out of the bags (i.e. trying to refill with other sanitizer product, setup a station with a pump). Facilities has an indication from the supplier that we could receive some refill bags by mid-April. Facilities will keep the team informed of the sanitizer status. There is a limited a supply across nation and we are a tier 2 user (hospitals/medical are tier 1).

The hand geometry unit is a regulatory requirement and cannot be bypassed. The platen on the reader is covered with a specially formulated antimicrobial coating with silver ions in order to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew to mitigate hygiene concerns. Utilizing hand sanitizer and/or washing hands, along with other good hygiene practices will remain paramount as we continue to navigate the current state of affairs.

How are we addressing ERO callouts if something happens?  Will there be enough people to screen us at the JIC and the site before we go to our ERO duty station?

Emergency Preparedness developed a three-level approach contingency plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently we are in level-1 of the contingency plan. Level-1 states the on call ERO team will respond to their assigned centers as trained. If the criteria to enter level-2 or 3 is deemed necessary by senior leadership, communications will be sent out to the emergency response organization teams prior to entering the next level. Screening criteria has been developed similar to what is being performed at the Security checkpoint. Screening individuals identified for both level-2 and 3 will ensure the safety of the ERO team members and their families is maintained.    

I pass someone in the hall, whether symptomatic or not, what is the likelihood I will get the virus?

​The Centers for Disease and Prevention control states that the virus is mainly spread between people who are in close contact of each other through respiratory droplets. Per the CDC, close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for prolonged period of time; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case or having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). Unless the person you walk by in the hallway is symptomatic and is coughing or sneezing, the chances of contracting the virus by just being in the same hallway is low. Workers are encouraged to review the guidance for screening and actions for employees with risk of COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

I've been told multiple times that Radiation Protection IS NOT in phase 2. Updated reports published show there are now 167 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Tri-Cities. Could you please explain how that doesn't meet phase 2 reduced staffing?

​For clarification, most of the Radiation Protection Phase 2 actions have been implemented, but not all. For example, PT has not been canceled in order to support those families with childcare needs, medical appointments and other activities. As a support organization, the need for RP resources can vary based on maintenance and operations tasks and so to support minimum RP staffing in general, occasionally relief and training shift workers must be called in for support.

The Pandemic Response Team and the Senior Leadership Team are closely monitoring the changing conditions within our community. We are aware of the continued increase of reported cases. To clarify the recent increase (both confirmed and probable cases) you noted for our area, the Washington state Department of Health recently changed their tracking method and experienced a greater than 24-hour delay in their number reporting. Additionally, as more tests become available and the backlog of testing is reported, some larger increases in the numbers are observed and expected. As Bob Schuetz noted in his blog post, our best defense is for all individuals to closely monitor their health, keep in close communication with supervision and take protective measures to reduce exposure risk. 

Can the Employee Assistance Program be used for me and my family during this COVID pandemic?

​Energy Northwest’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider Reliant Behavioral Health (RBH) can support employees in several ways during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

Provide advice on how to manage stress and anxiety, while also engaging in proactive self-care. Click here to access flyers.

Access to the RBH website that offers online tools and educational resources to make life easier. See instructions for locating and accessing the website below.

Up to 3 free phone counseling sessions. Call the 1.866.750.1327 EAP number and request that the counseling service be provided by phone.

Legal and/or financial consultations (30 minutes each by phone). Call the 1.866.750.1327 EAP number and indicate which service you are seeking. 

Website: ibhsolutions.com

- Select Members from the top right corner
- Click on the RBH logo
- Enter Access Code: ennw
- Click the My Benefits button

If you have any questions about or trouble accessing these services, please contact the Pandemic Response Team by submitting questions on the COVID-19 information website or calling 509.377.8715 if you are unable to submit via the web.

​Safety First our #1 priority sometime yesterday during the day, three areas were contained and posted in the Kootenai Building with no confirmed findings. The video from Sawatzke was well received and appreciated, however, it's apparent we still need to

The senior team continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. The agency created an internal website with up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation and the website is accessible from the Current main page. Please take some time to review the material. There is a section for you to ask questions; answers and updated information will be posted regularly. Additional information was covered in the CEO's March 17 message.

​I see that we can check out computer hardware for telecommuting. What about our office chair or desktop sit/stand? Is bringing something like that home an option?

​The removal of office furniture from work is not an option. There are limited Facility support resources available to assist and the moving of office items such as an office chair and desk presents an increased industrial safety risk to employees. 

What should employees do if they are scheduled to exit EN during the time that non-essentials are working remotely?

​Employees should connect with their HR Generalist to work through the details. Each employee exit actions may be unique and individual direction will be provided.

I’m an essential Maintenance employee and I’ve been told to stay at home until my turn comes to rotate into work on a pre-scheduled basis. If I miss a call, I’m expected to call within 30 minutes. I can’t get through to report, what do I do?

​Information Services has worked to ensure EN systems, including phones, can handle increased volume now that a large number of employees are telecommuting. At this time, no problems are being experienced, so the normal phone number you use should work as expected. Call the Pandemic Response Team line at 509.377.8715 to report the problem.

​My cell phone carrier isn't listed as an option for getting text messages. It's Xfinity Mobile. Can that be added so I can stay informed and get important alerts?

​We deleted the field to add mobile carriers. Please go to the site and sign up.

​What are the entry criteria for Columbia to enter Phase 2 and Phase 3 of our newly developed essential staffing plans?

​Phase 1 Pandemic is declared, with Washington state having an increasing number of confirmed cases of the virus anywhere in the state (current status).

Phase 2 The virus is confirmed to be present in Benton and/or Franklin counties and EN management determines that the spread of the virus locally necessitates a move to increase preparedness for possible staffing shortages. This will be declared at management discretion.

Phase 3 EN management determines that there is a sufficient absence or threatened absence of employees to necessitate a need to protect the health of essential workers in order to safely operate Columbia Generating Station. This will be declared at management discretion and can be done separately by department.

Could dates be applied to these Q&A's located on this COVID-19 site?

​New and updated questions and answers will stay at the top of the questions section for 24 hours and are sorted in descending order by modified date. After 24 hours the question and answer will be viewable in the relevant category section. Questions in the category sections are sorted in descending order by created date.

​Can we give any of our PPE to area hospitals to help them? Lab coats, Tyvek suits, dust masks, faceshields....

​We are in contact with local hospitals and provided almost 1,000 masks last week.

​Do we have extra PPE, such as masks that could be donated to local health facilities that need them?

​We are in contact with local hospitals and provided almost 1,000 masks last week.

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 Employee Advisory

 
  
Employee Advisory Bulletins

​Company Specific COVID-19 Notifications

 

 EN Supporting Documents

 
  
  
COVID 19 Screening Checklist.pdfCOVID 19 Screening Checklist
COVID-19 Restart Plan_Full Text Version.pdfCOVID-19 Restart Plan_Full Text Version
COVID-19 Restart Planning.pdfCOVID-19 Restart Planning
Disinfecting Guidelines.pdfDisinfecting Guidelines
EN Face Coverings Required.pdfEN Face Coverings Required
Essential Employee Authorization Letter.pdfEssential Employee Authorization Letter
GBP-HR-40 Pandemic Plan.pdfGBP-HR-40 Pandemic Plan
Guidance for Screening and Actions for Employees with Risk of COVID-19 Exposure or Symptoms.pdfGuidance for Screening and Actions for Employees with Risk of COVID-19 Exposure or Symptoms
Instructions for making a facemask.pdfInstructions for making a facemask
Return to Work Criteria.pdfReturn to Work Criteria
Temperature Screener Schedule.docxTemperature Screener Schedule
Temperature Self-screening Station Instructions.pdfTemperature Self-screening Station Instructions
 

 EN Telecommuting Info

 
  
Establishing Remote Access

If you do not already have remote access, please review the procedure GBP-IS-19 Remote Access.

Please review the Remote Access User Guide (ISDI-MAN-07)

Call Forwarding

1. Login to the Cisco Unified Communications Self Care Portal with your normal user credentials at the following link: http://phonesettings

2. Select 'Call Forwarding'

3. Check the box to 'Forward all calls to:'

4. Enter the desired phone number, starting with '9' + Area Code. ( see following screenshot).

5. Click 'Save'.

CallFwdng.png 

Using Skype

 

Click the following link to view the Skype Instructions.

Add / Update Cell Phone Number in Outlook

How to Add your mobile phone number:

Open your mailbox settings in Outlook on the Web  (Webmail, OWA)

From an Internet Browswer on internal network type: webmail
This will resolve to: https://email2.energy-northwest.com/owa/

In the Upper right hand corner there is a "Gear" icon next to your picture
Left Click on that Icon

Now Left Click on: Options


When the Options Window Opens up Expand>General  and click: My account

Towards the Bottom of the "My account" window you can fill in, add or remove your mobile phone number.

Enter your Mobile phone number in the format XXX-XXX-XXXX

Once you have your phone number entered then press, Save (towards the top of the screen above "My Account" and your picture).
OutlookProfilePhoneNumber.png

Your mobile phone number will be updated in the Outlook address book, It may take up to 24hrs for it to appear for all users. This phone number will not display in "https://TheCurrent"  "Employee Directory".

If you try to modify any other field then it will not let you save this form. Only modify the "Mobile phone" field.

By adding your Mobile phone number in the directory you are permitting ALL energy northwest Employees and Contractors (with LAN accounts) to see your Mobile phone number. This information could be shared by individual users if they forward your complete contact information to an outside entity.

Please ensure you understand the impacts of allowing anyone in the organization access to your personal or work mobile phone number. Energy Northwest assumes no responsibility for the costs 
incurred with calls made to your mobile device from Energy Northwest employees or contractors.

Audio Conferencing

Click the link to view the voice conference instructions.

Signatures

Because of the increased number of employees working remotely, the following methods are allowable in place of physical signatures.

  • Electronic signature via APW for those items using APW workflows
  • DocuSign - for help on this contact the ECRM Team at ECRMSupport@energy-northwest.com
  • Signature per telecom - just include words per telecom and date and time of approval, along with printed name and signature of individual signing with the words for and who they are signing for (e.g. Linda Mar for Jon Cohen).
  • Email in lieu of signature - an email approval may be used in place of signature as long as the email then gets attached to the document​
Request for Computing Hardware to Support Work from Home

​​In consideration of the temporary ability for non-bargaining employees to engage in Energy Northwest approved work from home (WFH) capacity during the pandemic, non-bargaining employees may remove the certain computer hardware from their existing work stations to their homes to support extended WFH durations.

In order to support this, download and complete the form for each individual non-bargaining employee. We need to document what equipment is being taken home and ensure that the employee and the department manager agree to ensure the equipment is returned when this phase of work from home is ended.

Completed forms need to be forwarded to the IS Solution Center to provide the ability to perform asset tracking.

Questions can be forwarded to IS Solution Center at 509.377.8400 or off-hours, the IS duty officer 509.372.5656.

Home Office Ergonomics

​Optimizing the ergonomics of your home office can boost productivity and reduce the risk of injury.

Click here for a guide on setting up an ergonomic home office.

General WFH and Skype Tips and Tricks

​This is a comprehensive list based on calls the IS Solution Center has been receiving. Not all situations apply to all users. There are many different setups and configurations while working remotely. Many users encounter issues are localized to them due to the personal equipment and reliability connection problems. Users that have newer equipment and stable hard wired high speed (100mb plus) internet connections usually do not have issues with Audio or video when using the remote sessions. 

Different Scenarios:

  • Home PC connecting to VMware Horizon remote session.
  • Home Laptop connecting to VMware Horizon remote session.
  • Home Mac or iPad connecting to VMware Horizon remote session.
  • EN laptop at home connecting to VMware Horizon remote session.
  • Home Device connecting to VMware Horizon remote session, then remoting to EN laptop/pc onsite.

Refer to the Knowledge base articles or help files for comprehensive detailed responses and instructions. This is just a list of things to consider. 

  • Slow internet- We have talked to several users with less than 2mb connection shared with their family and spouses also working remotely.
    • Test your connection at https://www.speedtest.net/ to see what kind of throughput your ISP (internet service provider) is providing. Also check out the Ping (ms) section which indicates an important latency metric that can impact the quality of voice calls and remote session experience. An ideal number is below 40. If this number is above 60-80 your experience will be degraded.
    • Users should look at alternative ISP or upgrading bandwidth with their current ISP during this time.
  • Unstable internet or Wi-Fi issues in your house.
    • Try unplugging your ISPs equipment (cable modem, wireless antenna) and your personal router for 30 seconds, then power it back on again. Wait a few minutes before attempting to connect again.
    • Users should consider hard wiring there pc into their router
    • Consider upgrading/replacing your Wi-Fi router
    • Consider disconnecting wireless devices not in use or not essential
  • Slow old personal computers – or infected computers
    • If you're still running Windows 7, your personal device is a security risk (GBP-IS-06) and should not be used to access EN resources.
    • It may be time to consider a new computer at home
    • Request a Loaner Laptop from ISSC
  • Using the wrong tools –
    •  VMware Web (HTML) instead of installing the full client
      • This is handy when out and about but the full client should be used.
      • Skype audio and video will not work through the Web version of Horizon View.
    • DON'T install the universal web platform (Windows Store) version UWP of Horizon.
    • DO upgrade to the latest version available at https://www.vmware.com/go/viewclients#win64
    • You may need to connect to your VM using PCoIP vs Blast. Right click on the Windows 10 Standard Desktop option to switch types.
  • Using outdated VMware clients- not updated on personal machines.
  • Not reading the tips and tricks and procedures. (Available internally only).
  • Running multiple instances of Skype
    • Don't run skype in multiple locations such as Cell Phone, VM and Remoted desktop onsite.
    • Run skype in 1 location, in your VM.
    • Don't use skype on a remote desktop after you already remoted into a VM. Audio and video will not work.
  • Skype Delegate issues:
    • The delegate and Delegator must be on the same version of skype.
    • They must be delegate with at minimum editor rights on the calendar.
    • Both the delegate and delegator must have Skype Open. Only 1 instance of skype each.
  • NOTE: Skype will run on your EN laptop on home wi-fi with limited functionality (no calendar), however you will see prompts for password as it tries to connect to exchange calendar, this can be ignored. And ensure you do not also have skype running in your VM if you are using it locally at home on your EN laptop.
  • If you are not able to upgrade your equipment or your internet speeds there are some general things you can do to keep our session running smoothly. This does not apply to users with reliable high speed internet and newer computers.
    • Limit video sharing in the VM session (video camera and playing videos)
    • Reduce the size of the video or presentation so it's not in Full screen mode.
    • Close internet tabs not in use
    • Close applications not in use (both on your home PC and the VM)
    • During Skype meetings or presentations limit what apps you have open in your VM
    • Don't use High resolution or multiple (TVs, large monitors) displays, the more HD the display the more bandwidth required
  • Joining Skype from a NON EN Computer
    • Joining a meeting from a home (without a VM) or from non EN computer should be joined through the "Try Skype Web App" link in a meeting invite, this method does not require the client to be installed on the computer you are using. (if you have a VM, join in the VM)
    • Microsoft Skype for Business - Getting Started
  • If you have a USB headset use it or get one, this will provide the best audio experience and limit "feedback or echo"
    • If you are using your Home PC/laptop to connect to your VM you can connect your Bluetooth headset (same one you use with your cellphone, airpods, bose, etc.) to your home PC and it will work in your VM session.
  • Some settings will not Stick each time you log in
    • You are using a pool of 600 computers, each day or each time you log in you might be put on a different computer.
    • Plug-ins you install for your browser, applications you install from the software catalog may not show up next time because you are not on the same Virtual PC.
  • Sign off, don't just X out, but click "Start Button" then click the "User Icon" and choose "Sign Out" on your virtual machine (VM) when you are away, even if it's just for lunch.
  • Limit how long you share your video camera feed during meetings. Saves bandwidth and helps your VM perform better.
  • Browse the internet from your local or home computer not in your VM (especially for personal related browsing).
  • If all you need is access to email, then use Webmail (link available on the employee portal @ http://www.energy-northwest.com/Pages/Employee-Portal.aspx). This frees up VMs for users that need access to other network resources and applications.
  • If you have an EN laptop at home and only need on for a Skype meeting, then use Skype directly on that laptop without logging into a VM.
  • Use computer based audio for conversations with a headset in lieu of tying up a phone line at work.
  • Review telecommuting tips on the COVID-19 Information SharePoint site.
  • Review Protecting EN's corporate resources (Available internally only).
 

 EN General Business Changes

 
  
Training
  • ​Suspend Management Certification Class and Boiling Water Reactor Introduction, pick up where we are right now when temporary actions are ended.
  • Reschedule second quarter manager-supervisor training.
  • Reschedule the remaining first quarter manager-supervisor sessions.
Leadership Meetings
  • ​Suspend all leadership alignment meetings (alternate Friday’s). We will look for an approximately weekly or bi-weekly LAM via teleconference to help ensure leadership alignment due to frequently changing conditions. Day/time TBD.
  • Cancelled manager-supervisor meetings.
  • Suspend monthly department meetings and replace with a video (plant general manager action) and read and sign for the safety meeting (Performance Improvement manager action).
Core Business Meetings
Meeting organizers are in the process of updating meeting invites to include teleconferencing.
 

​No Change
Conduct the following core business meetings as normally scheduled for all on-site workers.

  • Daily-15 (include review of COVID-19 webpage once activated)
  • Accredited Programs & Security Continuing Training
  • ILC activities

Quorum Members Only
Conduct the following core business meetings as currently scheduled for quorum members only.  Others who attend will do so via teleconference.  Practice social distancing during these meetings to maximum extent practical. 

  • 0615 Production Meeting
  • Operational Focus Meeting & CR Management Review Team
  • 1530 Management Accountability Meeting
  • 1600 PGM End of Day Alignment Meeting
  • T-2 Work-Week Readiness Meeting
  • T-20
  • T-3/7
  • Sub-Plant Health Committee
  • Project Review Committee
  • PHC

Teleconference Only
Conduct the following core business meetings as normally scheduled by teleconference.

  • Hiring Panel [owner arrange private line]
  • Discipline Review Board [owner arrange private line]
  • Condition Report Review group (no change from current)
  • Work Request Screening

Canceled
The following core business meetings until further notice. Should there be an urgent need to conduct these meetings the meeting owner will arrange a teleconference via email.  Normal preparation and read-ahead material should be prepared and distributed.

  • Training Review Board
  • MRMs
  • Steering Committee Meetings
  • All-Employee Meetings
  • Any other meeting not specifically mentioned

 

Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family Medical Leave

Click here to view changes to sick leave and family medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Procedure Issuance

​Records and Information Management (RIM) is currently available to support the plant and provide immediate assistance. Personnel stand ready to assist, please contact Linda Mar at 509-531-1934, and she will help to find the best solution to meet your needs.  As such, RIM is implementing an alternate process that allows for RIM Services to get afterhours procedures issued using a modified method, including updating Asset Suite/SharePoint.

SWP-PRO-02, Section 5.9, provides direction for issuance of a procedure revision when RIM Services is not available on-site.  This process includes the individual/organization issuing the document to notify RIM via email and also ensure documents are filed in the Main Control Room as per procedure.  Currently, RIM has an agreement with Operations to provide the procedures to the PSRO and ensure they get filed in the appropriate plant locations.

In addition, as part of this alternate method, the Technical Support Center full volume procedure sets located in the rolling shelves in the room where the Engineers work in the TSC (not the position specific books) are being downgraded to a Level 2 filing location and all document revisions will require verification prior to their use.  Revisions will be uploaded to Asset/Suite/SharePoint on the next business day by RIM Services.  This will ensure the document revision is available in Asset Suite and can be validated in DataGlance.

RIM Services will maintain a list of any procedures issued in this manner and file them upon the return to site (normal operations) and any other Non-Level 1 location.  Also, an excel file has been posted here:  Afterhours Issued Procedures during Pandemic Response on the showing what documents have been updated.

 

 Health and Safety Information

 
  
  
2019-nCoV-factsheet - sick.pdf2019-nCoV-factsheet - sick
2019-nCoV-factsheet.pdf2019-nCoV-factsheet
CDC workplace-school-home-business guidance.pdfCDC workplace-school-home-business guidance
Coronavirus Myth Busters.pdfCoronavirus Myth Busters
COVID-19 Hazard Alert - WA DOSH FY20-444.pdfCOVID-19 Hazard Alert - WA DOSH FY20-444
N95 Dust Mask Requirements.pdfN95 Dust Mask Requirements