The COVID-19 situation is rapidly changing.
Please utilize this COVID-19 Resource Center for updates, cancellations and current State and Federal guidelines.
- Click here for the latest advice from the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Administrative Services
- Click here Latest SEBAC Response
SEIU State Council Letter to Governor Lamont
The following notice is from Dave Glidden, Executive Director, regarding CSEA’s response to COVID-19.
Dear CSEA Member:
COVID-19 Work Absence & Telework Policy
COVID-19 Update 3/27
Since December of 2019, the number of infections and death due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) has increased from a handful to over 10,500 deaths and 250,000 infected worldwide (at the time of this writing). And even still, as our attention has quickly moved from the flu to the COVID-19, flu deaths in Connecticut and across the country have soared to record levels.
Whether your fear is rooted in the COVID-19 or the flu, your defense is the same—excessive hand hygiene, avoid those infected (and stay home or seek medical attention if you are!), cover your coughs and sneezes, avoid touching the “T Zone” (eyes, nose, mouth), and clean surfaces thoroughly and frequently. Symptoms for both the flu and COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath and can appear as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
If you are not exhibiting symptoms then there is no benefit to buying and wearing a mask. Masks are only helpful in reducing the spread of the virus from someone infected—it will not reduce your chances of becoming infected. Hoarding of masks right now is causing a global supply issue and is keeping medical personnel and those infected from being able to have them. Currently hospitals in our communities are desperately seeking donations of personal protective equipment so that healthcare workers being directly exposed to COVID-19 are properly protected.
Be Careful of Fraud During this Time
Attorney General William Tong has recently released a report of a multitude of bad actors who are taking advantage of this global pandemic and trying to sell “cures” and “treatments” which include edible solutions, masks, and eyewear. Do not fall victim to these scammers and instead rely on official communications from the State of Connecticut’s Public Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other local and federal departments.
Across the country, people are peddling miracle COVID-19 cures, such as colloidal silver and cow manure which promise to protect and treat against this pandemic. Others are price gouging masks and hand sanitizer on Amazon and Craigslist hoping to make a profit. It’s important to rely on your primary care provider, the CDC, and State and Federal agencies for any and all information regarding COVID-19 quarantining, testing, eventual vaccinating and treating.
Other bad actors include those leveraging fears of income loss and sending phishy emails, texts and mail to those collecting Social Security or those covered by Medicare threatening to slash monthly checks or erroneously claim you need an additional Medicare plan to get COVID-19 coverage. Always look for the official seals of the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as seen below.
The Social Security Administration’s commissioner wants you to know you’ll still get paid, but the agency is changing a few other policies in the midst of the coronavirus crisis — and wants recipients to be aware of potential threats to their financial security too.
“The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits,” said Andrew Saul, commissioner of the Social Security Administration, in a statement on Thursday, March 19th.
This is true whether Americans are receiving their Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments via direct deposit or mail, though they should check in with the U.S. Postal Service for any updates as well. Right now, the USPS is “closely monitoring” the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The Surgeon General, World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have all said there’s currently no evidence the disease can spread through mail.
Americans need to be vigilant about digital threats, Saul said in his statement. “Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true,” he said. “Don’t be fooled.”
COVID-19 is a virus with no antiviral treatment or vaccine yet identified, therefore infected individuals should be treated to relieve the associated symptoms as much as possible, vulnerable patients with severe infections should be treated to maintain the function of their vital organs.
UnitedHealthcare, Oxford and Anthem-covered members will have access to testing (if available) for COVID-19 at a $0 copayment. It is important to follow your local protocols regarding the testing process, including eligibility, the best person to contact is your primary care provider.
Many Americans will be infected with COVID-19 at some point in the next several months, fortunately, most will only be mildly infected and recover quickly. Vulnerable populations, however, such as those over 60 years old and immune-compromised patients, are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and succumbing to its symptoms.
If you are sick or showing symptoms related to COVID-19 or the flu, please self-quarantine and, even if you don’t have symptoms, it is important for everyone to stay at home as much as possible and maintain 6ft between each other indoors and outdoors.
We must do our part on a personal basis to reduce the risk for ourselves and our loved ones through transmission mitigation and early and often testing as much as possible. CSEA wants to make sure that our members are aware and concerned, but not panicked.
- Click here for the latest information on CONVID-19 from the State of Connecticut
- State Office of Policy & Management and the Department of Administrative Services Memo Re: COVID 19-related personnel situations in state agencies
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) & Prevention
Resources For Members
- For CT Residents, dial 211 or text “COVID19” to 898211 for up to date information
Social Security Scams-Don’t Be Fooled!
- “I want you to hear directly from me how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our services. The first thing you should know is that we continue to pay benefits. Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into thinking the pandemic is stopping your Social Security payments but that is not true. Don’t be fooled.” -Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security
- Visitors will not be accepted at Social Security Offices until further notice
- Social Security Coronavirus Updates
- National Slam the Scam Day Press Release