Coronavirus Information and FAQs

Click here for the most recent issued guidance for House offices.

2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information about the coronavirus is changing rapidly. For the most up to date and authoritative information about the coronavirus, symptoms, prevention and treatment, and the CDC’s response, please refer to the CDC website. The Committee on House Administration (CHA) recommends that Members and their staff monitor the official social media platforms of your state and local government and health officials for the most current information specific to your districts.

For additional information of particular interest to the House community, please visit the website of the Office of the Attending Physician.  In particular, CHA encourages Members and staff to watch the videos recorded by the Attending Physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, which answer frequently asked questions and address practical prevention techniques. Those videos are available below and on OAP’s website.

Resources:


Prevention

The Office of Attending Physician (OAP) in concert with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, and state and local health departments continues to aggressively monitor and engage the current COVID-19 coronavirus threat. While general recommendations and updates may be found at the OAP website via Senate, House, Architect of the Capitol and Capitol Police intranet sites, the following mitigation actions are prudent to reinforce at this time. These suggestions reflect best judgement of an evolving circumstance that may require revision as more experience with the SARS-CoV-2 infection is gained.

Update from the Attending Physician: Pandemic Social Distancing and Daily Health Screening Implementation Guidelines for Congressional Offices and Work Centers (9/9/2020)

The following is a summary of guidance issued by the Attending Physician. Click here for the full guidance.

The following guidelines provide for Pandemic Social Distancing and Daily Health Screening implementation in Congressional workplaces. These guidelines, version 3.1, are based on current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention best practices to minimize risk of coronavirus transmission in the workplace through use of social distancing measures, face cover wear, daily screening of employee health prior to reporting for duty, and incorporate aerosol based viral transmission considerations  Wearing an approved face covering, when in the company of another person, is a necessity while occupying an indoor space at the Capitol.

  1. Reduce the Number of Staff in the Work Center: Each Office (Member office, Committee group, Support office) should continue to commit to established social distancing guidelines when considering in office staffing plans. In circumstances where social distancing standards are unable to be met in an office space, emphasis should be placed on limiting the number of personnel physically present in a work center.
  2. Use Telework or Staggered Schedules: Office Staff in excess of the maximum occupancy of the work center (see section 5.1) should be in a telework status. Telework status is among the best options to limit individual risk of disease from workplace encounters. Staff may be rotated between a telework and in-office status or individual staff arrival and departure work hours may be staggered as determined by individual Offices.
  3. Use of Face Covers: Current Evidence and Consensus. Additional information has been released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, international public health organizations, regional government officials, scientific organizations and private industry that better inform best practices and the case for individual mask (a face covering consisting of a surgical mask or a cloth based mask that covers the nose and mouth completely) use. Unless required by specific Agency policy, the use of face coverings (approved surgical masks or cloth face covers) completely covering the nose and mouth is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to be worn when an individual is in an enclosed, Congressional space with at least one other person present. Face coverings are NOT required in indoor spaces when an individual is alone. Face coverings are not required in outdoor settings when six-foot separation between individuals is able to be maintained. If unable to maintain separation in outdoor public spaces, the use of face coverings is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. Use of a face covering is a separate secondary method of lowering transmission risk. It is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Even if you wear a face covering, every effort should be made adhere to six-foot social distancing guidelines.
  4. Screen Visitors: Official Visitors should use hand sanitizer upon entry and prior to departure, and utilize a face covering for the duration of their visit.
  5. Maintain Meaningful Social Distancing Standards: Determine Maximum Occupancy of Each Work Center or Other Space. Each Office should determine the maximum number of individuals that can safely occupy a work center or other space and conduct their work where possible without exceeding social distancing standards (six-foot separation). This number will be the maximum allowable number of individuals in the office at any given time. Each Office should evaluate activities within their work centers that cause individuals to aggregate together and avoid or limit such activities. Daily meetings, staff recognition events, etc. should be modified to occur via teleconference, outside, or meet distancing requirements. Each Office should consider regulating business practices related to mealtimes and other breaks. Each Office should evaluate general food and beverage procedures. Each Office should alter the physical layout of work center spaces where possible in accordance with any Architect of the Capitol or Chief Administrative Officer parameters to maximize 6-foot distancing between Members, staff, and visitors.
  6. Health Monitoring of the Work Force: Participation in a health monitoring program is required for all Congressional employees unless impacted by a collective bargaining agreement or in those instances where employment is exclusively by telework or at an isolated/solitary occupancy duty station. Employees already participating in an employer health monitoring program (for example US Capitol Police) do not have additional health monitoring requirements or reporting obligations. Each Office should assign an individual as Work Center Monitor in each work center. This person will have the responsibility of coordinating results of the health screening inventory from all employees in their assigned work center on a daily basis.

For House Offices

Guidance:

Resources:


Watch: Medical Equipment for your Home - Pulse Oximeters

Watch: Medical Equipment for your Home - Thermometers

Watch: Attending Physician Coronavirus Update (4/15/2020)

Watch: Coronavirus Update (4/8/2020)

Watch: Coronavirus Update and Homemade Mask Demonstration (4/7/2020)

Watch: Coronavirus Update (4/1/20)

Watch: OAP Guidance - Mask Usage (4/1/20)

Watch: OAP Coronavirus Update (3/13/2020)

Watch: OAP Coronavirus Update (3/6/2020)

Watch: Coronavirus Update - Office of the Attending Physician (3/2/2020)

Watch: Overview of the Coronavirus, guidance from the Attending Physician

Watch: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions