By MARY SELL, Alabama Daily News
Gov. Kay Ivey on Sunday said that state government agency directors should advise employees to work from home if possible starting today.
Ivey’s announcement comes as schools and colleges across the state close in response to the new coronavirus. As of Sunday evening, Alabama had 22 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Ivey on Friday issued a state of emergency in response to the global pandemic.
— Governor Kay Ivey (@GovernorKayIvey) March 15, 2020
Directors should consider implementing telework, flexible work schedules, and other techniques for accomplishing necessary functions while minimizing employee exposure to COVID–19, a memo from Ivey said. If working from home is not feasible, the employee should remain away from the workplace and practice social distancing, as appropriate, for the next several weeks.
Employees should plan to return to regular work schedules on Monday, April 6. These employees will be on paid emergency leave and will not be required to utilize their personal leave.
Departments providing public safety, direct care and other essential services must plan and schedule their activities accordingly, with the directors of those departments determining staffing needs and work requirements to ensure the continued operation of essential and emergency services, the memo said.
Alabama has more than 29,000 state employees, not including K-12 school and college and university staff, according to a 2018 state personnel report. More than 10,000 of them work in Montgomery County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday recommended that all events and gatherings of more than 50 people be postponed for the next eight weeks.
Ivey also told all agencies to postpone all non–essential travel until further notice.