This is Number Five of a continuing effort to provide PPOA members with relevant timely information. Below is the latest information regarding Facial Coverings, Paid Administrative Leave and Department Required Notifications in relation to COVID-19. Please be advised that the guidance and information provided may change at a moment’s notice. Any such change will be forwarded to the membership as soon as possible.
For up-to-date information on COVID-19 and guidance from Los Angeles Public Health Professionals please go to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/
1. Do I have to wear a facial covering while at work?
As of April 15, 2020, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, following a Board of Supervisors’ motion, has mandated the use of facial coverings.
Department members shall wear a facial covering, whose duties require contact with other employees and/or the public, unless in a situation where a facial covering inhibits officer’s safety. A facial covering’s primary function is to protect other people from being contaminated by the wearer. Facial coverings may help prevent self-contamination by preventing the wearer from touching their mouth and nose area.
Facial coverings must meet the below listed specifications:
(1) The facial covering shall not significantly affect verbal communication. For example, a cloth facial covering should not prevent personnel from giving clear verbal commands to a suspect or communicating clearly via radio.
(2) Cloth facial coverings should be washable for decontamination purposes, have elastic ear over loops and be made of tightly woven cotton or similar tightly woven material which allows for near normal breathing while preventing particulate matter from passing through. Multiple layers of material are acceptable.
(3) Facial coverings should be solid colors only; no patterns (writing/insignias are not permitted and accessories are not permitted to be affixed to the mask)
PPOA has recently distributed hundreds of facial coverings to PPOA members across the Department and is currently engaged in efforts to receive additional facial coverings for future distribution.
PPOA receives donation of medical-type masks from Yi Li, President of Renogy, www.renogy.com. We wish to thank both Ms. Li for the donation and Assembly Member Phillip Chen for the assistance in coordinatng this donation, as well as their concern for our members.
PPOA President Tab Rhodes donating masks to Patrol Divisions, accepted by Assistant Sheriff Steve Gross
PPOA President Tab Rhodes donating masks to Custody Divisions, accepted by Assistant Sheriff Bruce Chase
PPOA Secretary Tony Coleman donating masks to members at the PDC facilities. Pictured with Mr. Coleman are (left to right) Sergeant Cereoli, Captain Holloway, Sergeant Abal, and Custody Assistant Thorne.
Although PPOA’s goal is to ensure that every PPOA member has a facial covering for personal use, do not abandon efforts to obtain appropriate PPEs through your designated chain of command.
If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the use of facial coverings, the DOC is available 24 hours at (323) 980-2101, or COVID19DOCNOTIFICATIONS@lasd.org
2. Will I be eligible for Paid Administrative Leave if I was sent home for COVID-19 related reasons?
COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave is available to any Department employee (including any employee ordered home prior to April 1, 2020) who was ordered by a Department supervisor to remain home —AND—who was unable to work or telework because of one of the reasons delineated below:
An employee who meets COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave eligibility criteria should contact the supervisor who ordered them to remain home and request the ordering supervisor submit an “Authorization for COVID-19 Paid Administrative Leave Form” on their behalf. The Form is available on Personnel Administration Bureau’s Pay, Leaves, and Records Units’ Intranet site.
According to Department guidance, the Ordered Absence will not exceed 30 calendar days unless authorized by the Sheriff. Information regarding the Ordered Absence is confidential and will not be contained in the employee’s personnel file or referenced in the employee’s performance evaluation or on any appraisal of promotability.
3. If a coworker tests positive for COVID-19, is the Department obligated to inform me?
Yes, the Department is obligated to inform you when you have come into close contact with a coworker who has tested positive for COVID-19. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act prevents the Department from revealing the identity of a specific coworker who may have tested positive for COVID-19, the Department is still mandated to inform all employees whenever they are exposed to a coworker known to have COVID-19. The Department must make notification to and should have follow up questions for any employee who had “close contact” with the COVID-19 positive individual.
The CDC defines “close contact” as “a person that has been within six feet of the infected employee for a prolonged period of time.” In settings where the individual is known to have COVID-19, it is reasonable to define a prolonged exposure as any exposure greater than a few minutes. Brief interactions are less likely to result in transmission; however, symptoms and the type of interaction (e.g., did the person cough directly into the face of the individual) remain important and should motivate further inquiry from Department supervisors in order to obtain the full extent of potential coworker infection.
In accordance with all relevant CDC and California Department of Health requirements, PPOA is making every effort to ensure that the Department immediately notifies any Department member who comes into close contact with an individual known to have COVID-19. If you believe that the Department did not make immediate notification of a coworker’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis and allowed you to have close contact with a coworker known to have COVID-19, please contact PPOA at (323) 261-3010.
As mentioned in Part One, additional information about COVID-19 can be found by visiting the Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites.
County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health
- Frequently Asked Questions — http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/FAQ.pdf
- Hand Washing Hand-Out — http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/handwash.htm
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Websites
- Information on Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation — https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html
- Frequently Asked Questions and Answers — https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
Dated: April 18, 2020