I would like to begin by thanking you for your incredible dedication during this truly challenging time. We have been in an active response to the pandemic since the middle of March and have more than sustained our operations while keeping so many of us safe and healthy, which is a tribute to all of you.
We are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 cases across the enterprise and at Headquarters. This week we received confirmation that one new Headquarters employee tested positive. This individual was last on the Germantown campus on 6/2/2020. All work-related close contacts self-quarantined for 14 days with no one exhibiting symptoms. When an employee tests positive, we take recommended steps to prevent any potential spread within the affected workplace.
We are also continuing to monitor previously confirmed cases. We are pleased to report that another of our previous confirmed cases has recovered.
On Monday, June 29, we will transition Headquarters to Phase 2, and as we do so, we will continue to act in alignment with our DOE COVID-19 Return to the Federal Workplace Framework and with state and local conditions in the National Capital Region. As a reminder, we released a set of Return to the Headquarters Workplace Frequently Asked Questions.
The COVID-19 Hub includes some important updates to the “80 Hours of Families First Act Sick Leave” Frequently Asked Questions. On June 25, the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS), who is the ATAAPS system owner, released secondary leave codes specific to the Families First Act sick leave. If you used any Families First Act sick leave between April 1 and June 25, you will need to make revisions to your timecard, as described in the Frequently Asked Questions. Instructions on how to use the secondary leave codes will be posted in ESS.
I also ask you to consider helping those in need by participating in the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and the Feds Feed Families (FFF) campaign. You can donate to a food bank or pantry through the CFC by June 30 and then record your donation on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s FFF Hub. There are still a few days remaining to take advantage of this two-for-one giving opportunity. If you have questions, please contact your office’s FFF Champion or DOE’s Agency Chair, John Dupuy.
This is a challenging time, and you may want to consider discussing your concerns with a trained Employee Assistance Program (EAP) counselor to assist in relieving grief, loneliness, fear, and stress. Federal employees at DOE Headquarters can contact the Department’s EAP Specialist at (202) 586-4995. Federal employees outside of the DC area may contact Espȳr at (877) 801-5752 to speak to a counselor. For additional resources, Federal employees may access the Espȳr website (the DOE password can be found on the internal EAP page).
With the coronavirus continuing to touch all aspects of our lives, I remain honored and grateful for your commitment to fulfilling our mission and for your perseverance in safeguarding the nation’s national security. I appreciate all you are doing for our nation during these challenging times, and know we will get through them together. Be well and stay safe.
Secretary of Energy