As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues its “extensive, transparent, data-driven, measured and deliberate approach” to reopening its regional and National Capital Region offices, a spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk that political leadership has returned to on-site work.
EPA personnel, generally, are still encouraged to telework as the agency sticks to maximum telework guidelines. EPA previously stated that employee health and safety remains an agency priority.
“While in Phase 1, EPA employees are encouraged to continue teleworking,” EPA Spokesperson James Hewitt said. “Last week, members of EPA’s political leadership team returned to the office and should follow CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidelines to ensure a safe work environment.”
Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 from CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration lists developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, preparing basic infection prevention measures such as promoting frequent hand washing, and writing policies for prompt identification and isolation of sick people as ways to fight the virus at work. CDC also partnered with EPA on cleaning and disinfecting guidance for the workplace earlier this year.