May 21, 2020 —
The Coast Guard is planning the first stages of a phased approach to return members to the workplace. The approach balances health and mission performance and is designed to reduce stress on units, commanding officers and members, particularly those who are considered high-risk or who have a high-risk family member.
With states beginning to relax stay-at-home orders and some businesses reopening, units will need to assess how to return to full mission capability. The Coast Guard is entering into its busiest season and as mission demand rises mission support must rise with it.
“Returning our members to the workplace will take a phased approach with safety being of the utmost importance,” said Cmdr. Jeremy Denning, Chief of Safety Programs, Coast Guard Safety Program Management Division (CG-1131). “Finding ways to mitigate risk while ensuring the whole Coast Guard family is healthy and safe is essential to remaining always ready.”
The Coast Guard is empowering unit commanders to manage their unique situation with a combination of mitigation measures specific to the command and area of responsibilities.
Units that share a region (Districts, Sectors, Base Commanders, and Commanding Officers) should coordinate their members' return. This will ensure consistency across regions that see improving local conditions and ensure support for the workforce and sustainability of ongoing operations.
The intent is for Coast Guard leadership to help guide units to make decisions that fit their particular conditions and mission.
Units will balance four factors when considering when and how much of the workforce can safely return. The four factors are Public Health Indicators (PHI), Community Service Indicators (CSI), Workplace Readiness Indicators (WRI), Community Service Indicators (CSI), and Personal Readiness Indicators (PRI).
For details, see ALCOAST 183/20 and the Returning to the Workplace infographic.
Public Health Indicators (PHI):
Each unit has access to different healthcare services. In addition, communities and their servicing clinics and hospitals will be impacted by COVID-19 and influenza at different rates. Current infection rates and the availability of health services for our people and their families are critical components for assessing the risks of returning to the workplace.
Community Service Indicators (CSI):
Our units are intertwined with our communities. Therefore, community services available to our members (mass transportation, childcare, schools, etc.) and the associated community mitigation will impact readiness.
Workplace Readiness Indicators (WRI):
Different units have different physical advantages and limitations that will influence risk mitigation activities that can be employed (e.g., distancing, PPE, workplace hygiene, etc.). Additionally, each workforce has unique characteristics that must be considered.
Personal Readiness Indicators (PRI):
Unit Commanding Officers need to understand the risk level for each employee to assess their workforce readiness. An individual's ability to return to the workplace will be heavily influenced by PHI and CSI factors. Commanding Officers must consider high-risk employees or those with high-risk household family members when returning to the workplace.
As the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, guidance will be updated, and managing the risk may require unprecedented and innovative mitigation measures.
Coast Guard leadership is working with our partners across the whole of government to make the best decisions to maximize force readiness and support you and your family.
To find out more and the most up to date guidance, please reference the resources listed below.
1. ALCOAST 183/20 (CAC required)
2. Returning to the Workplace infographic
3. Return to the Workplace Guide
4. COVID-19 Community of Practice Portal Page (CAC required)