Is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assisting with the COVID-19 response?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working with the White House, Department of Defense, and other Federal, State and Local partners in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Corps’ largest mission is supporting FEMA and severely impacted states with building alternative care facilities to support the surge in care requirements resulting from the outbreak. The USACE is working around the clock to help states convert hotels, dorms, arenas and other facilities immediate care options for patients. The Corps is focused on the largest outbreak areas, but is across all 50 states and territories (Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands) assisting with assessments/planning.
How is ERDC contributing to efforts?
ERDC is currently offering a series of scientific capabilities to Department of Defense and government entities to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is also adhering to the latest COVID-19 guidance in regards to social distancing and CDC recommendations.
In addition, our USACE Reachback Operations Center (UROC) has been offering 24/7 support to the field, providing updated laptops and software to Forward Engineer Support Teams, and supporting the USACE Common Operating Picture (UCoP) to provide situational awareness to leaders about COVID-19 activities around the country.
We are continuing to Discover, Develop and Deliver ways to serve America’s Warfighters and the Nation.
Read More about what ERDC is doing:
Containerized Medical Solutions
When can employees expect to return to ERDC facilities to work?
ERDC is closely monitoring all DoD and USACE guidance as well as State and Local Shelter-in-Place directives applicable to our facilities. Protecting our personnel from COVID-19 exposure is our top priority. Our senior leaders are crafting plans to allow for the safe return of portions of the workforce. They're collecting employee information to determine who will return and who will telework. These plans are unique to each ERDC facility and based upon safety guidelines from official authorities. Employees should contact their supervisor for the latest information regarding individual circumstances and plans.
Will employees that return to ERDC campuses be expected/required to wear face masks when in common areas such as break rooms, elevators, conference rooms, bathrooms? Will ERDC provide each employee with a mask?
Employees should plan to wear face coverings when outside of their normal work spaces to include bathrooms, elevators, etc. ERDC leadership is working to acquire face coverings to provide to each employee, but our team members can certainly provide their own as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends frequently washing fabric face coverings to ensure maximum protection.
Are employees who are considered high-risk or vulnerable expected to return to work once campus reopens and how can they ensure protection?
Employee safety is our top priority as senior leaders plan for the return of a portion of the workforce. Team members are encouraged to have a discussion with their supervisors to ensure they are aware of your individual status and any pertinent concerns. This knowledge will assist supervisors in planning for employees returning to laboratories and offices.
ERDC Employees will return in a phased/measured approach to ensure employee safety. Upon their return, ERDC will employ actions to ensure proper social distancing occurs and will follow additional CDC recommendations that include hand washing and staying home when you are feeling ill.
How will common areas with the highest potential for virus spread (restrooms and conference rooms) be managed?
ERDC’s cleaning crews will be coming back to work once each site reopens and will be primarily responsible for cleaning the common areas. ERDC leadership is currently working with the contractors to redefine cleaning standards and expectations. In addition, employees are encouraged to practice CDC recommendations of wiping down tables and other commonly used items with disinfectant.
What happens if someone at ERDC tests positive for COVID-19 after we return?
ERDC will respond in the same manner as we do currently. Supervisors will conduct contact tracing within the ERDC footprint and notify the personnel who may have been exposed so they can then be more self-aware of any potential symptoms. We also have a contract in place to conduct a higher level of cleaning for those areas impacted. Above all, we will follow the current CDC guidelines for our actions.