The Department of Defense (DoD) issued a memo April 13 to supplement its existing COVID-19 coronavirus procedures, including restrictions to workplace access and information on collecting employee health information.

The new memo supplements DoD Instruction 6200.03, the overarching department guide to managing services during a public health emergency. The memo’s author, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew Donovan, writes that the new procedure will be implemented immediately.

DoD components will start restricting workplace access to any individual that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not go in to work. This includes any employee experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, sick employees, and employees with potential exposure to the virus.

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Employees that must go into DoD facilities as essential employees should minimize close contact by maintaining six feet of social distancing and wear face masks. In states and localities with stay-at-home orders or similar guidance, employees should consult with their commander or supervisor on whether to report to location or telework.

As DoD explains in Instruction 6200.03, the agency is collecting some coronavirus-related health data from employees. The memo authorizes DoD components to collect health information as it relates to restricting access to the workplace through a DoD-approved assessment form. The information is not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and all personally identifiable information will be appropriately safeguarded.

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Katie Malone
Katie Malone
Katie Malone is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.