COVID 19 Update -March 24, 2020

A small number of ESD employees have submitted unemployment claims.  ESD and school district employees are being paid during the closure period (whether currently being required to report to work or not) as outlined in the Governor’s Executive Order. The Employment Division is being strained by the number of unemployment claims being filed and we ask that employees not add to the backlog by filing a claim during this time.

Today, additional steps were taken to facilitate remote or tele-work from home for employees on the main campus.  Employees whose work assignment is not conducive to work at home will still be able to access the main campus, however, are expected to complete as much work as is practical using their remote access. Supervisors will have routine phone or remote meeting check-ins with individuals and teams.  

Districts in the metro area have opened some classrooms for the provision of child care for children of emergency workers, first responders and health care providers.  Additional sites will continue to open during the week. Rural districts are still developing options for child care.  The ESD continues to confer with districts about how our staff can assist in the provision of child care.

Finally, we know that social distancing and being out of normal routines can be challenging.  We encourage staff to practice self-care strategies such as:

  1. Limit worry by limiting media exposure to a few trusted sources.
  2. Accept that it’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during this time.
  3. If you feel overwhelmed, seek support from a health professional.
  4. Keep your body as healthy as possible by eating well,exercising and getting enough sleep.
  5. Spend time outdoors, while still maintaining social distancing.
  6. Keep to a daily routine, as much as possible.
  7. Spend quality time with children or other members of your household.
  8. Stay connected to family and friends via voice and video communication options.
  9. Offer assistance friends and neighbors who may be more vulnerable (for example, those with no access to the internet or who cannot easily use the internet to shop online).

Employees can email questions to the address.