January 26, 2022
As COVID-19 guidelines continue to shift, we want to ensure that IHSS providers have the latest available information and resources. This pandemic is overwhelming and difficult for all of us, but we are thankful to have each other—and our union—so that we can fight together for a better tomorrow. See below for some important updates.
UDW wins COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave!
Thanks to our union’s strong voice at the State Capitol, COVID-19 supplemental paid sick time has been restored for Californians, including IHSS providers, retroactive to January 1, 2022, and up to September 30, 2022. COVID sick pay gives us peace of mind and allows us to focus on staying healthy and not worrying about putting food on the table or covering bills if we do become sick. Members like you made this happen!
Click here to learn about how the extension of COVID-19 sick leave impacts you.
New booster vaccine mandate
As of Dec. 22, 2021, it is now mandatory for some IHSS and WPCS providers to be fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. Under the updated requirements, providers will be required to get a booster shot for the COVID-19 vaccine by Feb.1, 2022, or within 15 days of becoming eligible for a booster if not yet eligible as of Feb. 1, 2022. The mandate only applies to IHSS or WPCS providers who care for a non-family client or a client who does not live with them.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free to all. Register for a COVID vaccine or booster appointment at myturn.ca.gov or call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 (Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) for assistance.
For more information on exceptions, visit the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) website.
Free COVID-19 tests
Free, at-home COVID-19 tests rolled out on January 18 and can be ordered through the USPS website at special.usps.com/testkits. Every U.S. residential address is eligible to order four rapid COVID-19 antigen tests for free from the U.S. Postal Service, which will begin shipping tests in late January. Order your tests today:
Fighting back against omicron
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is working with state and local public health officials to monitor the spread of the omicron variant, which is contributing to a massive uptick in COVID-19 cases in California and across the country.
While transmission numbers are rising, we have the tools to fight omicron: vaccines, masks, and testing. Vaccines remain the best public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. Masks continue to offer protection against all variants. The CDC recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status. For advice about masks and the types of masks that may be right for you, visit cdc.gov. Lastly, tests are the key to early detection and slowing transmission. Visit your local health department’s website or check out your county in the list below to look for the latest local information on testing.
Please also continue to wash your hands thoroughly and often, use social distancing, and limit time spent with those outside your household as much as possible.
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the CDC’s guidelines to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
For detailed information regarding quarantining if you test positive, visit the updated CDC website, here.
COVID-19 supplemental paid sick time has been restored for Californians, including IHSS providers, retroactive to January 1, 2022, and up to September 30, 2022. Click here to learn how you can apply for paid sick leave.
Caring for someone sick at home
Advice for caregivers in non-healthcare settings
If you are caring for someone with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting, follow this advice to protect yourself and others. Learn what to do when someone has symptoms or when someone has been diagnosed with the virus.
*Note: Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions are at higher risk for developing more severe illness from COVID-19. People at higher risk of severe illness should call their doctor as soon as symptoms start.
Seek emergency medical attention if someone is experiencing any of these signs*:
*This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility; Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
Heroes Pay for IHSS providers
Last September, the current administration increased funding for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and thanks to our advocacy, it includes funding to give IHSS providers Heroes Pay: a one-time payment of $500 to any provider who worked a minimum of two months between March 2020 and March 2021. The state has started disbursing the funds, which they are calling “Care Economy Payments” and payouts should be completed by Jan. 28, 2022. If you believe you are eligible and have not received your payment by mid-February, please let us know!
UDW’s Member Benefits Center is here for you
We are here as a resource to all members during these ever-changing and tumultuous times. Call us at 1-800-621-5016* Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Our Member Benefits Center can:
If you have recently tested positive for COVID-19, feel free to call us to request PPE and other supplies or assistance.
*Services available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
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