April 13, 2020 Alert

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for all you continue to do to keep California functioning amidst these unprecedented times. State Scientists’ work has always been essential to the maintenance and advancement of the State as a political, economical, and ecological gem. We’ve always known this, but now, it seems, the public is finally starting to recognize it, too. 

CAPS has been hard at work assisting members with individual and group representation issues related to COVID-19, continuing our usual representation activities, and advocating for safer employer practices to ensure State Scientists’ safety while they continue to perform these essential duties. 

CAPS now has a COVID-19-specific section of the CAPS website, where you can easily find all the resources that have been shared regarding the State’s response and your rights. The page can be accessed here

In a memo received by CAPS on April 10, CalHR has provided additional guidance to departments surrounding masks and other face coverings as a result of the guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health. The guidance is as follows: 

  • State healthcare workers, first responders, and social services workers providing care to a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 positive person should wear an N95 or KN95 mask. 

-These types of masks should be prioritized for these employees. 

  • Departments should continue to use appropriate occupational standards for the professions within their departments as it relates to personal protective equipment (PPE). 

-Departments whose employees interact with the general public should evaluate what steps may be necessary to provide PPE and hand sanitizer, and to ensure physical distancing as part of ongoing operations.

  • State employees who interact with coworkers or the general public may consider the personal option of wearing a cloth face covering.

-It is not recommended that these employees wear an N95 or KN95 mask.

-Departments that wish to order cloth masks for employees may do so through the usual procurement process or inquire with the State Operations Center. 

In addition to the guidance surrounding face coverings, CalHR provided guidance for all state employees to perform a daily self-screening process, each morning, to lessen the community spread of COVID-19. The self-screening process provided by CalHR is below: 

  • Take your temperature. 
  • Assess yourself for the following symptoms currently, or in the last 24 hours: 

-Fever (subjective or measured)
-Shortness of breath
-Sore throat

  • If you have any of the above symptoms, or if you have a recorded temperature of greater than 100.4 degrees, you should stay home and work with your supervisor/manager on alternate work arrangements and leave options. 

  • If you are deployed or redirected, you should also work with your acting supervisor for the assignment. 

  • For employees who do essential work, please continue to check for symptoms throughout the day. If symptoms develop, tell your supervisor and go home immediately.

If you encounter issues with leave related to COVID-19 after talking to your supervisor, contact CAPS (). 

Once again, due to the unprecedented impact of the novel coronavirus, all CAPS Alerts have been sent to all State Scientists in Unit 10, members and nonmembers alike. These regular communications are a privilege typically reserved for CAPS members. CAPS feels this information is too important to withhold from nonmembers; however, we ask that you consider joining today. We are stronger together. Help us continue to advocate on behalf of all State Scientists. 


In Solidarity,

CAPS Executive Committee

Margarita Gordus

Daniel Ellis
Vice President

Kelley Aubushon

Kris Wiese