COVID-19 FAQs

Supplying contractors and subcontractors with information

New or Recently Updated Questions

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*New* Am I required to work on site or can I continue teleworking?

Workers not required to be on-site to perform their duties will telework as
approved by their manager. Requests to telework for special situations will
be addressed on a case by-case basis. OccMed and management approval is
required.

Note: In Appendix A, Phase II, the list of permissions to telework for self-
identified vulnerable employees, those who provide care for individuals in
the vulnerable population, etc., has been deleted.

*New* Can I continue to use the Code COV.00.000.03.200.2100VID, or COV.13.012.04.100.1100.011 to perform work or for training courses outside the assigned work scope due to COVID-19?

No, you may no longer charge to perform work or for training courses
outside the assigned work scope due to COVID-1.

N3B is no longer offering the ability to provide Operational Excellence
Initiative or COVID-19 Continuous Learning training as a substitute for
productive work.

*New* I am taking time away from work to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination. May I charge my group’s COVID-19 code?

If you coordinate the time of your COVID -19 vaccination with your
manager, you are allowed to use up to four hours per dose to support doing
so, but only if you send a photo of your vaccination card to N3B OccMed as
outlined in Appendix E.

If a photo of the card is not provided, then your time away to obtain the
vaccination must be done on your own time.

*New* How am I supposed to charge my time if I answer “YES” to any of the questions when performing the Attachment 1, Worksite Daily Screening & Self-Assessment, at home prior to coming on site?

Any person who remains at home based on answering “YES” or is unsure of
how to respond to any of the questions on Attachment 1, Return to Worksite
Daily Screening & Self-Assessment, will charge it to their sick time, unless
there is viable direct project work that may be performed that is pre-
approved by the Program Manager. This will be based on the availability of
work that can be conducted remotely.

If a COVID-19 test is obtained with a positive result, the manager, in
conjunction with OccMed, will determine the appropriate COVID-19 time
charging code for time SUBSEQUENT to the test being identified as positive.

*New* How do I charge my time if I feel COVID 19 symptoms while on site and I leave immediately, per policy?

When you leave the site due to COVID-19-like symptoms, you must charge
it as sick time.

*New* I have been sent home for isolation due to a close contact with a positive or presumptive positive COVID-19 case. I do not have work I can perform remotely. How should I code this in my timesheet?

With your manager’s approval, use the COVID-19 Report Pay code that
pertains to your area of work (CH, ER, or PM). Usage of this leave expires
September 30, 2021.

General FAQ

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Are we going to continue to use the GSA vehicles?

Yes, we will continue to use the GSA vehicles. Employees using GSA vehicles are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting the vehicles before and after each use. Supplies will be provided for use with the GSA vehicles; if cleaning products are not in the vehicle, do not use the vehicle. 

     Team members will also maintain social distancing in vehicles:

  • Only the driver will be allowed in a single-seat vehicle
  • If the vehicle has a back seat, a second person is allowed on the passenger side of the back seat
With the recent rise in COVID cases across the state, and at LANL and N3B, why haven’t we reverted back to EMCA?

Contact tracing and cleaning if deemed necessary based on the timeframe of the involved individual’s last time on site will be communicated for awareness and appropriate action.  In compliance with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), names of individuals are not released or communicated for their privacy.

Based on the governor’s order, a three tiered model will be used to open up counties depending on their positivity rates. If I live in a red county, why is it appropriate to return to work?

N3B, along with other DOE sites, have learned a lot since the onset of the virus relative to effective controls, practices and behaviors that are effective in controlling the spread of COVID-19.  In March, when the virus first hit the US, moving to EMCA was an immediate action until a better understanding of the virus and implementation of controls could be developed. 

As you know, we have implemented numerous protocols in accordance with the CDC guidelines to maintain a safe workplace.  With that in place, N3B transitioned to Phase II in mid-September.  The plan at that time established an approximate 55/45 split of on-site and telework for employees.  In response to the increasing instances of positive cases and based on the recent Governor’s Orders, Phase II has been modified to increased levels of telework.  N3B is currently operating at an approximate 75/25 split of off-site to onsite presence.  We will continue to monitor the positive case rate in NM and the Governor’s Public Health Orders to make further adjustments as necessary.

Why is there a difference between the Triad craft workforce work tempo (schedules etc.) and N3B?

The governor’s controls center on reduced community spread through reduced business operations such as restaurants.  Citizens who happen to live in these areas are not quarantined or restricted from movement between counties.  Whether in a Red, Yellow, or Green county, individuals are encouraged to practice the same precautions (face coverings, hand washing, and not gathering in large groups).  The N3B controls, which start daily with the Self-Checks prior to reporting to work and the COVID at work controls, are a defense in depth to our employees’ health and safety.  N3B has, and will continue to monitor the status of the virus, both in our state and at LANL and N3B facilities and will take additional actions should they be deemed appropriate.

What is our policy on using another employee’s office when groups spread out on site personnel, resulting in employees sitting in another person’s space?

N3B and Triad continue to evaluate their own specific work activities to determine what can be done effectively through telework or by applying additional controls, or what work can be deferred with minimal mission impact. While we are aligned with Triad on procedures, the application of those procedures may vary due to our different mission activities.

Have the work site pre-plans been updated to ensure they meet the current COVID policy controls?

First and foremost, common courtesy applies.  When planning to use another person’s office space, notify the owner prior to use.  This will also ensure there is no other concurrent planned use.  N3B-AP-0003 COVID-19 Resumption of Operations, revision 11, section 6.8 On-Site Work states the following for shared office spaces:

“For shared office spaces, it is important that a thorough cleaning has been performed beyond routine cleaning by custodial services to minimize the spread of transmission of the virus. Attach N3B-Form-6310, Shared Office Space Use Log and Checklist, to the office door or other visible area, sign the form to indicate date(s) occupied the office, and verify that required cleaning required in the checklist has been performed after the office has been vacated for each day of use.”

The office should be left in the same condition in which it was found.

The policy for use of government vehicles allows for two personnel to be in the vehicle at a time. How does this relate to the new close contact definition of within six feet for more than three minutes?

Yes.  The ER and CHTRU teams have reviewed work plans for appropriateness and currency with COVID controls.  For unique activities such as the CRA for Glovebag Drill and Drain operations, changes were made and reviewed through the Resumption of Operations team and senior management.

How do we communicate to the workers when there is a positive or presumptive in their work area?

N3B has very tight controls on individuals who are allowed on site using the 5 day with test exemption.  As our policy states, this is a rare exemption, requiring N3B president approval.  We have curtailed allowing guests and visitors currently for other than mission critical work.  For the mission critical work with out of state workers, a preplan is generated, reviewed through the ROC team and, if agreed to, is presented to the N3B president.  Additional controls such as 10 ft. distancing, face shield in addition to face masks, reduced group sizes, etc. are documented in the preplan to ensure not only the safety of the N3B workforce, but also the out of state personnel.  There may be instances, although rare, where N3B workers may use the reduced time exemption for a specific mission critical need.  These instances will require the same level of expanded controls and approvals as discussed above.

How does the governor’s order on gatherings of ten apply to my work?

The governor’s order on gatherings of ten refers to situations when individuals are in proximity with one another and not engaged in planned work activities that have been briefed and reviewed for controls 

Gatherings refers to such situations as break rooms, lunch areas, meeting rooms, instances of work delays when teams are waiting to restart work, etc. N3B has updated the maximum allowed occupancy of areas with new postings. The CHTRU and ER management teams have also evaluated break areas, etc., to ensure appropriate distancing is maintained while providing options for employees.

The ten person gathering term does not apply to the N3B policy for use of government vehicles. This policy requires before and after use cleaning, and for vehicles with two rows of seats, two people can be in the vehicle, staggered across the seats and sides of the vehicle diagonally, with face coverings in place. In addition, there is evidence that opening windows, weather allowing, also decreases the hazard. 

In the event of a positive or presumptive positive case at our facilities, the contact tracing that is performed will include the close contact which occurred during vehicle use. As with any situations involving a need to conduct close contact tracing, affected employees will be notified and instructed on the course of action to be taken.

What is the policy for interacting with friends and family and other Out-of-State visitors?

There is no self-isolation period for visitors (college students, family members, friends or other out-of-state visitors).Workers, subcontractors, visitors or guests are reminded that when they are on their personal time off-site, they are subject to all COVID-19 restrictions established by New Mexico and applicable home state executive and health orders. 

If a visitor then starts showing symptoms (either during the visit or shortly after departure), then the employee should report this as a new issue (household/close contact to a symptomatic person) to the LANL COVID-19 Hotline, N3B Occ Med, and their manager.

Note: New Mexico recommends isolation and testing after contact with out of state visitors and should be considered when determining appropriate actions prior to returning to the worksite. If a gathering of greater than 10 individuals is attended, the same return to work requirements as those for out-of-state domestic travel apply. 

Does this random COVID testing policy in Appendix D apply to me?

This random COVID testing applies to those workers who are on site full time or preponderance of their time (>50%). You cannot opt out of this test. It is required, similar to other test protocols. And as with other tests, your Supervisor does not need to escort you.  

You must complete and submit an acknowledgement form. Your Supervisor will ensure that you have completed and submitted this form.

If you are not scheduled to be on site that day, you do not need to come to work for the test. Let LANL know and reschedule the test.

You do not need to quarantine after the random COVID test, unless a positive result is received. 

How will I find out the COVID random test results?

Results will be provided to you via phone or email from OCCMed. If needed, your supervisor will be notified.

N3B has adopted a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Does this vaccination policy apply to me?

This policy applies to all workers, regardless of vaccination status.

Does N3B require that workers be vaccinated?

The Company strongly encourages all employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. All workers are encouraged to register with the New Mexico Department of Health (https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org)

I am taking time away from work to obtain a COVID vaccination. Can I charge my group’s COVID code?

Yes. You should work with your manager in coordinating the time away to obtain your COVID vaccination, and are allowed to use up to four hours per dose to support doing so.  A picture of your vaccination card is to be sent to N3B OccMed as outlined in Appendix E.

Where can I find additional information about the N3B COVID Vaccination Policy?

See Appendix E of N3B-AP-003, Rev.14 COVID-19 Resumption of Operations for additional requirements and FAQs regarding the N3B Vaccination Policy. 

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Health of Team Members

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Does N3B have a program for monitoring team members (such as temperature, verifying no symptoms, etc.)?

Yes:

  • Before coming to work each day, employees must use the Return to Worksite Daily Screening & Self-Assessmentat home prior to coming on site. If you respond “YES” or “NOT SURE” to any question, contact the LANL COVID hotline at 505-606-2667 for guidance before coming onsite.

The purpose of this tool is to minimize risk of exposure among the N3B workforce, but is not intended to be submitted daily for formal tracking purposes. However, anyone who has not completed their daily screening may not be on N3B work sites in an effort to reduce risk to the workforce.

  • Individuals are required to have their temperature checked prior to beginning work each day (i.e., before going into the office or on-site).
    • There will be temperature-screening stations strategically located at N3B facilities.
    • A color-coded wristband will be issued by the personnel performing the checks and is required to be worn to document successful completion of temperature screening.
    • Additionally, individuals who are required to work less than six feet from other coworkers must complete temperature screenings prior to starting assigned work.
    • Any worker who has a reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more must leave N3B property and then contact the LANL COVID hotline by phone for further guidance.
  • N3B will implement random temperature screenings across the workforce. Infrared thermometers will be used to complete this screening and require no invasive touch. Individuals who have a reading of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more must leave N3B property and contact LANL COVID hotline at 505-606-2667 by phone for further guidance. 
What happens if a co-worker I’ve been in contact with, or works in my facility, has COVID-19 symptoms, tests positive for COVID-19 or learns they have a close contact who has tested positive for COVID-19?

N3B will follow a checklist to ensure implementation of all necessary actions and notifications, which may include contact tracing, disinfection and cordoning off of work spaces, and proper notifications.

What if someone who is sick comes to work? How do I handle that?

Employees who are ill should never remain in the workplace.  Employees who are ill will be sent home. If you believe a coworker may be ill, notify your manager.

What if someone might have COVID-19?

Any employee, subcontractor or visitor affiliated with N3B who meets the following criteria must immediately leave the site, if present, and notify N3B Occupational Medicine via phone:
• Has had close contact or household contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined as being face-to-face for 15 minutes or more, or being in the same closed area for at least 2 hours in which social distancing of 6 feet or more cannot be maintained, or direct contact with infectious secretions (such as being sneezed on by an infected person.)
• Is sick with COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, sore throat, muscle pain not due to physical activity, or new loss of taste or smell).
• Has undergone a COVID-19 test due to possible exposure or due to symptoms, and the test results are either pending OR positive.
• Is under investigation by the New Mexico Department of Health.
N3B has adopted protocols to follow, which include cleaning and disinfecting operations, incident coordination with LANL and contact tracing.

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Human Resources & Benefits

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Will our health insurance cover COVID-related health expenses?

COVID-19 illness is covered like any other illnesses under N3B’s health insurance plans.

Will I still be able to take vacation time once we return to work?

If you have accrued vacation time, you will be able to take vacation under the same circumstances that existed prior to the partial stop work. However, managers may have to prioritize requests in order to manage a large number of employees being away at the same time.

Why is N3B implementing a flexible work schedule arrangement?

N3B is committed to helping employees who face the demands of juggling work, family and personal obligations by offering alternative flexible work schedule arrangements within limits set by management.

What is a flexible work schedule arrangement?
  • A flexible work schedule arrangement allows employees to begin and end work at nonstandard times within limits set by management. See examples below:
  • Staggered hours within a fixed schedule: Employees, with management approval, establish start and end times that differ from N3B’s normal business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday), but keep the same schedule each day.
  • Core hours within a variable schedule: Employees must be present during specified core hours determined by the manager, but may adjust their arrival and departure times each day. 
  • Midday flex schedule: Employees may take a longer scheduled break than usual if they make up the extra time by starting work earlier or staying later. 

All hours of the alternative flexible work schedule arrangement must be performed during the assigned work week in the Costpoint timekeeping system. 

What is a compressed work week schedule?

A compressed work week schedule allows employees to flex their schedule while working full-time hours in fewer than five days a week. There are three types:

  • 5/40 work schedule – a full-time schedule of work is accomplished by working four 10 hour days.
  • 9/80 work schedule – employee would have every other Friday off, but could flex their work time on the scheduled work days  
  • 4/10 work schedule – depending on the nature of the position, an employee may compress scheduled work on the first or fifth day of the work week.

Nonexempt employees must make up time within the work week. Time is flexible through midday on Friday.

Are all employees eligible for a flexible work schedule arrangement?

All exempt and non-exempt employees, except those employees covered by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, can be considered for an alternative flexible work schedule arrangement on a case-by-case basis. However, such work arrangements are not appropriate for all employees or positions and are not a universal employee benefit.  

To be eligible, the employee must:

  • have a satisfactory attendance record
  • meet all performance expectations in his or her current role, and 
  • consistently demonstrate the ability to complete tasks and assignments independently on a timely basis. 

The nature of the employee’s work and responsibilities must be conducive to an alternative flexible work arrangement without causing disruption to performance and/or N3B’s mission.

What are the operating hours for Information Technology (IT)?

IT will establish core IT operating hours that support alternative flexible work arrangements. Hours may fluctuate to address emerging issues and employees will be given as much advanced notice as possible of schedule changes.

  • Core IT hours of support remain 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • N3B network hours are 4 a.m.-10 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
  • N3B network hours 4 a.m.-8 p.m. on Tuesdays

Employees will receive advanced notice of weekend network downtimes to help them plan weekend work activities. 

How do I apply for a flexible work schedule arrangement?

Employees must complete the Alternative Flexible Work Schedule Arrangement Form, which can be obtained from their organization’s administrator, manager or Human Resources.The Alternative Flexible Work Schedule Arrangement Form will be located in the online forms repository by August 28, 2020.

Does the Flexible Work Schedule Agreement Form need to be completed for a compressed work schedule?

No. Managers have the flexibility to approve compressed work week schedules on an as needed basis.

Can a manager disapprove an employee’s request?

Yes. Accepting or rejecting a proposal is a manager’s decision based on sound business reasons, which include performance issues, inability to service delivery requirements or other business considerations. Managers disapproving a request will document the business reasons for the decision and discuss the reasons with the employee. 

N3B is not obligated to provide flexible work arrangements to any employee. Each case will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Can my supervisor change my flexible work arrangement back to my original schedule at any time?

Yes; managers may amend or end the arrangement with reasonable notice.  

It is important to remember that employee work schedules are subject to change based on business needs. Managers are to provide employees with reasonable notice before altering the current arrangement.

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Requesting Work From Home

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Will we all be required to return to work or can we choose to work from home?

Return to work will be accomplished in phases. In each phase there may be circumstances that justify continued telework by employees who otherwise would be returning to the workplace.  These situations will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable legal requirements and company policies.

Some of us are in vulnerable categories, or have vulnerable family and are worried about taking the virus home. What about us?

In phase two and three, self-identified vulnerable employees as well as those who live with or provide care for individuals in the vulnerable population will not be required to return to the workplace and will continue to telework. If you believe you are in this category, let your manager know.

There are still many other impacts to me and my family due to school closures and other limitations to commerce. Will I be able to have flexible work hours to ensure I can meet all of my commitments in and out of work?

In phase two and three, employees who are responsible for caregiving in instances where services are closed due to COVID-19, will be permitted to continue to telework.  Other limitations will be handled on a case by case basis; please check with your manager.

Please also note the Department of Labor flyer about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act and CARES ACT, which provide certain rights to employees.

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Resumption Plan

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What is the overall plan for return to work?

We will return to work in three phases. For details on the phases, please see the Phased Resumption One-pager for details. Your manager will also notify you of any changes to schedule or location for you.

All team members will continue to work from home until they are notified by their manager to return on-site. No team member may return onsite without notice of approval from their manager.

What are you using as the threshold for returning to work?

The following criteria must be met before we return to work for phase one:

  • A 14-day downward trajectory of regional COVID-19 cases and flu key parameters
  • Sufficient capacity at medical facilities
  • N3B policies in place for COVID-19 hazard
  • DOE EM and EM-LA approval to proceed

The same criteria must be met before entering phase two and three, plus applying lessons learned from the prior phase. Before entering the final phase of resumption, N3B will also assess whether COVID-19 controls have been effective, and we will have a plan for reducing those controls.

The Resumption plan is based on recommendations from the CDC and NM DOH in regard to COVID cases in the state for return to work criteria and guidance provided by DOE/EM and has been approved by EM-LA and HQ. 

Is our return to work in overall compliance with the State of New Mexico order?

 Yes; N3B policies are consistent with all state orders, and in some cases may be more stringent.

Will we receive hazard pay for returning to work?

No. While the latest stimulus bill contains provisions for hazard pay for essential workers, N3B’s personnel would not fall within the categories covered. 

Do our return to work policies align with LANL’s policies?

N3B is closely coordinating with Triad. Our policies are similar to Triad’s but may not be identical in all respects.

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Safety at Work – Face Coverings, Social Distancing, Work Planning

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Will face coverings be required?

To date N3B has not encountered evidence that the virus is spread through rodents.  However, as always, employees who notice evidence of rodent infestation should contact appropriate facilities personnel.

What kind of face covering will be required?

Will face coverings be required?

Yes, all employees, subcontractors and visitors must wear a face covering that follows CDC guidelines while on N3B work sites or in transit between sites when in the presence of other people (indoor or outdoor) and/or when there is a high potential to interact with others (indoor or outdoor), such as in all common areas. Common areas include, but are not limited to, bathrooms, kitchens, break rooms/areas, meeting rooms/areas, training rooms/areas, hallways, stairwells and elevators.

Face coverings must always be worn by the worker at shared work stations or in shared work vehicles (including forklifts, industrial trucks and heavy machinery), even if no one else is present.

Everyone on site must have a face covering on their person ready to don immediately in the above-listed scenarios.

Face coverings are not required to be worn in the following situations:

  • When the worker is eating or drinking at six feet or greater social distance
  • If assigned work requires the use of other higher level respiratory protection (i.e. Respirator) as specified in an approved work control document (i.e., work package or Technical procedure) or Radiation Work Permit (RWP)
  • If the individual is in a privately assigned walled office with the door closed, and in which no one else is present
  • When a Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) or N3B Security representative directly requests you to temporarily remove your face covering

Note: Wearing a face covering does not preclude the need for social distancing. Social distancing must be practiced at all times unless an authorized job requires otherwise.

What if I cannot wear a face covering?

According to CDC guidelines, all face coverings should:

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the sides of the face
  • completely and securely cover the nose and mouth, and is secured under the chin
  • include multiple layers of fabric and allow for breathing without restriction
  • allow for laundering and machine drying without damage or change in shape.

Instructions for making face coverings can be found on the CDC website.

Face coverings must be appropriate for a professional setting – the wearer should exercise the same discretion in choosing a face covering as when choosing clothing to wear to work

Will face coverings be provided by N3B?

If an individual has an underlying medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering, they should contact N3B Occupational Medicine for guidance prior to coming on site.  Any work-related exceptions or variances to the face covering requirement must be approved by the Resumption Operations Center (ROC).

Are face coverings considered PPE?

N3B is providing two cloth face coverings to staff as they return on-site as part of a welcome-back package.

However, as a policy, N3B is not providing additional supplies of face coverings to team members at this time. Given the high demand and nationwide shortage of bulk order face coverings, beyond the two provided in the welcome-back package, N3B employees must supply their own personal face covering that meets the CDC guidelines and does not have an exhalation valve.

If N3B develops the capability to supply face coverings to the workforce, more information will be provided regarding designated distribution areas.

Instructions for making face coverings can be found on the CDC website.

For those who must work in a contamination area, N3B will provide one-time use disposable face masks.

Will gloves be required?

No; face coverings are not considered PPE, because they do not protect against identified workplace hazards.  COVID-19 is not a hazard specific to the workplace.

Are we maintaining social distancing upon return to work?

Gloves should be worn when:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting workspaces
  • Cleaning GSA vehicles
  • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces

Cleaning should be done in accordance with the instruction of manufacturers of cleaning and disinfecting products. Cleaning supplies and nitrile gloves for this purpose will be provided.

N3B provides required PPE for all work-related activities.  Gloves are not recommended as a method of preventing COVID-19 spread and are not considered PPE

What if I cannot social distance due to the nature of my work, or I share an office, or work in a crowded trailer?
  • N3B team members will maintain social distancing (at least six feet from co-workers whenever possible) and minimize time in close contact
  • If an employee must be within six feet of another person due to safety or job requirements, then a set of protocols must be followed, located in (link) 6.8 On-Site Work.
  • Each facility will have its own protocols to increase social distancing – use of hallways and stairways, for instance – and will have signs to indicate the rules.
Have you considered all of the transmission vectors for the virus, not just through employee contact, such as rodents?

N3B has established a process, delineated in 7.0 On-Site Work Controls, to plan and execute work in accordance with safety precautions due to COVID-19.

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Travel, Visitors, New Hires, Definition of Quarantine Period and Gatherings

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Under what conditions are all workers, subcontractors and visitors affiliated with N3B exempt from the DOMESTIC travel isolation requirements as specified in Section 6.3 of N3B-AP-003, R.15, COVID-19 Resumption of Operations?

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated, per the CDC definition, are exempt from domestic quarantine/isolation requirements if all the following requirements are met:

  • A copy/picture of the completion of your vaccination card is provided to N3B OccMed,
  • No post-travel COVID symptoms are experienced, and
  • Daily self-checks are performed with satisfactory results.

Note:  Individuals who have completed their COVID vaccination as defined by the CDC, and provided a copy to N3B, are not required to obtain prior approval to travel domestically.

Note: Fully vaccinated team members are also removed from the random COVID testing pool.

Assuming that I am going to complete the N3B requirements to allow domestic travel without quarantine, how do I meet the requirements of being fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC?

To be a fully vaccinated individual as defined by the CDC, the following requirements are met:

2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janseen vaccine.

What if I have been out of state? Do I still need to self-isolate for 14 days

Workers, subcontractors, visitors and guests are reminded that when they are on their personal time off-site, they are subject to all COVID-19 restrictions and regulations established by New Mexico and applicable home state executive and health orders.

Workers, subcontractors, visitors, and guests, on their personal time, who in the past 14 days have been in close contact with out-of-state visitors, or that have attended gatherings of 5 or more individuals not from the household or gatherings with visitors from out-of-state that are not explicitly permitted by the current NM public health order, are subject to the gathering, travel and self-isolation requirements and restrictions as shown on the New Mexico travel restriction website, https://cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations/

I have someone who is visiting me and they recently traveled from out of state via commercial travel (e.g. plane, bus, train). Do I have to self-isolate because this person is visiting me and/or staying at my home?

All employees, subcontractors and visitors affiliated with N3B must abide by the following travel restrictions; domestic travelers arriving to New Mexico have one of three options, as applicable:

  • Complete a fourteen-day self-isolation period away from the work sites to ensure no COVID-19 symptoms develop.
  • Prior to travel, obtain approval for an exception request based on one of the following three reasons for an exception to a fourteen-day self-isolation period:
    • Travel out of state to obtain medical care for the traveler.
    • Travel out of state for less than 24 hours for parenting responsibilities.
    • Travel from and return to the state of New Mexico from a state not included on the NMDOH list of high risk states, i.e., “low risk states.”

*Travelers arriving to New Mexico from anywhere internationally (outside of the United States) must complete a full fourteen-day self-isolation period away from the work sites. No exception to this required isolation period will be granted for any international travel.

Workers and subcontractors experiencing COVID-19 symptoms while on travel outside New Mexico must contact the LANL COVID-19 Hotline and Occ Med, and self-isolate. If COVID-19 symptoms worsen, workers and subcontractors should seek guidance from a local urgent care facility and attempt to get tested. When the worker or subcontractor returns to New Mexico, their return to work on-site must be coordinated through their line manager and Occ Med via the LANL COVID-19 Hotline.

If an employee is traveling a low risk state as designated by the New Mexico Department of Health, then N3B-Form-6325, Employee Travel Isolation Exception Request (For Out-of-State Travel from Low Risk States to New Mexico), must be completed by the employee and provided to the employee’s manager for approval.  Following approval, the form is submitted to Occupational Medicine for review, approval, and tracking.  If approved, the manager and employee will be notified. 

Upon employee return, they will complete their daily self-check checklist, which will include answering “yes” to out of state travel and will notify Occupational Medicine of their arrival date in New Mexico.  Occupational Medicine will validate that the state being returned from has remained in “low risk” status and release the employee to return to work.  If the status has changed to high risk during the individual’s travel period, then the individual will be deemed to be returning from a high risk state and will be subject to the mandatory 14 day isolation period. 

The traveler bears the risk that a state’s status can change during the travel period. If the status of the involved state(s) has changed to high risk during the individual’s travel period, then the individual will be deemed to be returning from a high risk state and will be subject to the mandatory self-isolation period. States designated as low risk by NMDOH can be found here.

N3B Occupational Medicine will issue a written return-on-site clearance to the traveler and their assigned manager after verifying completion of the isolation period with no development of COVID-19-related symptoms.  

Additionally, when an employee travels willingly out of the State of New Mexico and there is no telework available for the employee to perform after returning, vacation time must be charged while the employee is under their self-isolation period.

What about consultants who are coming from high case-rate areas or from out of state?

If an employee receives visitors from out of state, the employee must isolate for 14 days.

What about business travel?

The travel policy applies to all people who work at N3B or visit N3B property.

Will we offer tours during resumption?

All domestic work-related travel outside of New Mexico requires prior approval by line management, the Program Manager (PM), the N3B president, and DOE-EM-LA. Employees, subcontractors, visitors and guests traveling outside of New Mexico on approved domestic work-related travel are required to self-isolate before returning to work on-site.

In lieu of self-isolating for 14 days, personnel returning from approved domestic work-related travel must self-isolate for a minimum of five (5) days, after which they may obtain a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

If the test is negative, the workers will inform and provide proof of the negative result to Occ Med, and notify their manager of the negative test result and may return to work on-site once N3B Occ Med releases them to do so. After returning on site, the employee will be required to follow the N3B’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols at all times while on-site.

If the PCR test is positive, the worker will immediately inform the N3B Occ Med and their manager and follow all self-isolation requirements as specified by N3B Occ Med and the LANL COVID-19 hotline.

International work-related travel also requires prior approval by line management and the PM and requires additional approvals by DOE/EM-LA. Return to New Mexico from international work-related travel requires self-isolation for 14 days.

Will visitors and deliveries be allowed?

All public or large tours are canceled during Resumption. After return to full operations, this policy will be reconsidered.

Small tours (1-2 people) requested by HQ, EM-LA or corporate parents will be accommodated, in compliance with all resumption policies, including self-monitoring.

What is the protocol for new hires at N3B regarding COVID-19?

Visitors are allowed but will comply with all resumption protocols. All visitors will have an N3B Sponsor, who will be responsible for prior authorization of the visit. Visitors must complete a screening form prior to coming on site.

Deliveries will be accepted under work controls and facility protocols defined by facility.

What is the definition of a 14-day quarantine period?

When a new hire arrives in New Mexico from out of state to begin work at N3B, they must self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival to the state.

If the new hire is required by their particular assignment to work on-site beginning on their pre-arranged start-date, their manager, working with HR, must arrange for the new hire to have arrived in New Mexico 14 days before their start date to ensure sufficient time for self-isolation.

If the new hire is not required to work on-site on their pre-arranged start date, their manager must arrange for the new hire to effectively telework for at least the 14-day self-isolation period after their start date.

Are there any restrictions regarding personal gatherings?

When observing a fourteen-day self-isolation period as related to travel, Day 0 is noted as the date of entry into New Mexico, and fourteen calendar days are counted from there.

As such, the earliest possible day the individual could be eligible to come onto N3B work sites when observing a fourteen-day isolation period is Day 15. Prior to coming on site after being in self-isolation, N3B Occupational Medicine must issue a written clearance to the individual and the assigned manager.

When employees willingly travel out of the State of New Mexico and there is no telework available for the employee to perform upon return, vacation time or unpaid leave must be charged while the employee is under their self-isolation period.

What is the earliest I can come off isolation, test for COVID-19 and return to the work site after returning from domestic out of state travel?

All workers, subcontractors and visitors affiliated with N3B returning from personal out of state travel, including work related travel, shall choose either a 5- day isolation and a PCR test on day 6 (since your first day back is counted as day 0), OR a 10-day isolation and no test.

If the COVID-19 PCR test is negative, the worker will inform their manager of the negative test result and may return to work on site once their manager releases them to do so. The manager will be responsible to ensure the employee has met the isolation requirements prior to testing, and that the test was the appropriate test (PCR), and that the results are negative. 

If the appropriate test (PCR) result is positive, subcontractors, visitors, and guests (through their N3B sponsor) must immediately inform the LANL COVID-19 Hotline, N3B Occ Med, and their manager and follow all self-isolation requirements as specified by N3B Occ Med and the COVID-19 Hotline.

For employees currently on isolation status, the days of isolation may be used towards the five or 10 day new requirement upon issuance of this revision with OccMed notification (N3B-AP-0003, R13, COVID-19 Resumption of Operations, Section 6.3).

Where can I go to get a COVID-19 PCR test after returning from domestic travel?

An employee can register for a COVID-19 PCR test through NMDOH at: https://cvtestreg.nmhealth.org/

Note: Rapid antigen tests, where results are received in approximately 10 to 60 minutes, are not acceptable. 

Can I be asked by my employer for a copy of my test results?

No, that is your personal information. If there is a need for a copy of your test result to be presented, it is required to be through N3B OccMed.

How is my personal out of state or international travel to be Monitored, Controlled and Tracked?

You shall discuss travel plans with your Manager/supervisor BEFORE travel occurs, to ensure mission needs can be met (isolation coverage).

Your Manager/supervisor shall ensure, through questioning, that you have met the isolation and testing (type and result) requirements prior to returning to the work site.

What is the earliest I can come off isolation, test for COVID-19 and return to the work site after returning from international travel?

Employees returning from international travel are required to isolate for a full10-day period, starting with day 0 as the date of arrival to New Mexico. The earliest the employee may return on site is day 11. 

Employees returning from international travel cannot shorten their 10-day isolation period with a negative COVID-19 PCR test (N3B-AP-0003, R13, COVID-19 Resumption of Operations, Section 6.3).

Under what conditions are all workers, subcontractors and visitors affiliated with N3B exempt from the DOMESTIC travel isolation requirements as specified in Section 6.3 of N3B-AP-003, R.15, COVID-19 Resumption of Operations?

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated, per the CDC definition, are exempt from domestic quarantine/isolation requirements if all the following requirements are met:

  • A copy/picture of the completion of your vaccination card is provided to N3B OccMed,
  • No post-travel COVID symptoms are experienced, and
  • Daily self-checks are performed with satisfactory results.

Note:  Individuals who have completed their COVID vaccination as defined by the CDC, and provided a copy to N3B, are not required to obtain prior approval to travel domestically.

Note: Fully vaccinated team members are also removed from the random COVID testing pool.

Assuming that I am going to complete the N3B requirements to allow domestic travel without quarantine, how do I meet the requirements of being fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC?

To be a fully vaccinated individual as defined by the CDC, the following requirements are met:

2 weeks after the second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janseen vaccine.

Email

N3BOutreach@em-la.doe.gov

Address

N3B Los Alamos
1200 Trinity Drive
Suite 150
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Phone

(505) 257-7690

Contact N3B

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