Dear Sisters and Brothers,
COVID-19 is spreading in California, and particularly in the Los Angeles region. New cases are on the rise, hospitalizations are increasing, and the critically important "Positivity Rate" is rising.
You may have heard that rising cases is mostly a product of more people being tested. However, the daily Positivity Rate tracks how many persons test positive for every 100 persons tested, and therefore is not impacted by any increase in the number of persons tested.
- On June 12, the LA County reported a 7-day average of the daily Positivity Rate of 5.8%.
- On June 22, the County reported that the 7-day average of the daily Positivity Rate has risen to 8.4%.
Public health experts agree that this rise in the daily Positivity Rate is due to a combination of:
- The reopening;
- Some of the large protest gatherings; and
- The growing number of people who are not heeding the warnings of local health officers by not wearing masks or socially distancing.
In the Probation Department, many members have seen an increase in the number of positive tests for the Coronavirus among co-workers and juveniles in the Institutions, as well as in the Area Offices. This has led to an increase in individuals being quarantined and office closures to allow for deep cleaning and sanitizing.
In our Joint Labor-Management Committee COVID-19 weekly conference call, Local 685 agreed with Chief Leyva and the Probation management team to work closely together to identify ways to slow the spread of the Coronavirus in the workplace. Local 685 members have done a remarkable job in slowing the initial spread of the virus and bending the curve by adhering to physical distancing and wearing face masks. However, over time, we are becoming more relaxed, especially regarding wearing face masks…
The continued rise in COVID-19 cases, and the daily Positivity Rate average, are important reminders that we need to redouble our guard and strictly adhere to wearing a mask and keeping our distances of at least 6 feet.
Now is not the time to become complacent in our duty to be safe personally. Nor is it the time to become lax in our duty to create a safe working environment for our co-workers and for the juveniles and adults in our care. Rather, now is the time to remain vigilant and resolute and follow the requirements of our public health experts.
As Probation Peace Officers and as emergency responders in both the Probation Department and the Department of Children & Family Services, the health and safety of our clients, our co-workers, and our families is paramount.
We all must fight COVID-19 together.
Labor-Management COVID-19 Protocols
- Wear your mask
- Engage in active physical distancing
- Wash your hands frequently
- Use your personal protection equipment (PPE) consistently
- Sanitize surfaces where COVID-19 can be spread in the work environment
- Be mindful of where you go and who you interact with
- If you feel sick or are exposed to someone with Coronavirus, stay at home
- Remain vigilant and be proactive in guarding against COVID-19
If you have any ideas or suggestions that would enhance the safety and protection of staff and clients, please contact your Executive Board Members or Stewards, or notify the Probation Department.
The days, weeks, and months ahead will be challenging as COVID-19 will be here with us until a vaccine is developed. Let us all, as Brothers and Sisters, work collectively together with the Board of Supervisors and Probation and DCFS management to make our work environment safe and to protect our clients, co-workers, and families.