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All Employee Message

Updated: March 20, 2020

Updates to travel guidelines

Effective immediately, Wellmark is making updates to its guidelines for personal travel.

  • If you or someone you live with or someone you have been in close contact with have traveled outside of Iowa or South Dakota any date from March 15 or later, you are required to work from home for 14 days.
  • This applies to any method of transportation (plane, car, train, cruise, etc.) outside of Iowa or South Dakota.
  • This includes all employees – regardless of your level.
  • Any exception to these guidelines requires approval from SLT.

These restrictions are in addition to previously communicated personal travel and quarantine restrictions. All other guidelines still apply.

We will also be extending our work-from-home declaration until further notice.

We’ve worked diligently to keep our work environment safe, therefore we’ve put processes in place to keep people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 from coming into the work environment.

Please let your leader know if you need any equipment from your workstation and Technology will be in touch with you to make arrangements for pick up.

Updated: March 15, 2020

Work-from-home declaration

Due to the ever-emerging situation regarding COVID-19, we have determined that employees and contractors who have the ability to work from home should begin doing so by Tuesday, March 17, or sooner if possible, at least through the end of March.

Even though many employees will start working from home as soon as possible, at this point, we need the following areas to report to the office as normal: All Directors, Vice Presidents and Senior Leaders, Customer Service, Claims Prep and Entry, Network Administration, and all Health Services staff including medical directors.

Due to the large number of employees who will be working from home, we will be implementing social distancing guidelines for those who remain in the office. This means that some employees may be relocating to unoccupied workstations – including the workstations of people who are working from home. Additional details on this will be coming early this week.

In the event you have something at your workstation that you need in order to work from home (i.e. your laptop, etc.) please collect these items and plan to work from home.

Remote work resources can be found on the COVID-19 resource page on Inside Wellmark. Please stay in close contact with your leader to ensure business priorities continue to be met.

Quarantine guidelines

Given that it is currently spring break time for many, and several employees are traveling, the senior leadership team felt it was important to provide guidelines as soon as possible for employees to consider when they return from their travels – particularly for those that will still be working in the office. Our quarantine guidelines are informed by recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and are based on the facts we know as of March 15, 2020.

All other guidance we have previously communicated regarding reporting your personal travel remains in place. Please know that if you meet the criteria below for quarantine, you will be paid for your time away from work – you will not need to take PTO.

What we need you to report to HR Solutions by email or at (515) 376-4848:

  • Travel to CDC Warning Level 3: If you or someone living in your house full time has traveled to a country or region that is in the CDC Warning Level 3 within the last 14 days, you need to quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Direct Exposure: If you’ve been directly exposed (within six feet) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must quarantine for 14 days.

Process for quarantine after you’ve reported to HR Solutions:

  • Contact your leader to inform them you will be in quarantine and discuss your work-from-home options.
  • Do not return to work for 14 days (from the date of exposure).
  • If you do not have symptoms, you can return to work after 14 days.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19:

In order to return to work, you must receive a release from your health care provider certifying that you are no longer able to transmit the virus.

Other business impacts

The following are also impacted (at least through the end of March):

  • Building visitors: Because many of our staff will be working from home, we have determined all visitors will no longer be permitted at any of our locations. The only exception is if you have deliveries being dropped off for you.
  • Well for Life Center: The Well for Life Center in Des Moines and Sioux Falls will be closed.
  • Blues Café and Blues Market: Both will remain open, however, there will be no self-serve items; all items will be grab-and-go.

Thank you for your flexibility during this time as we take actions intended to keep our entire workforce safe. Please stay in close contact with your leader to ensure you have the latest information. We will be sending additional communications and creating a Q&A site to answer questions.