11.11.2020 Back to News

Coronavirus Update: Methodist Employee Communication, Nov. 11, 2020

Here is the latest information for employees regarding Methodist Health System’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) efforts:

Reminders

Nonessential Meetings

Per recommendation of the leadership team and Infection Prevention, all nonessential meetings should be canceled through Dec. 31, 2020. Essential meetings should continue via phone or Webex.

Compliance

All HR compliance-related activities have been delayed until at least Jan. 31, 2021, including the flu shot deadline and performance evaluations. Human resources is awaiting direction from the states of Nebraska and Iowa on the extension of licensure renewal past Dec. 31, 2020. It is anticipated this will be pushed out further into 2021. Please disregard any automated notifications you may receive on any of these items.

How you can help us in the fight against COVID-19?

The number of Methodist employees diagnosed with COVID-19 continues to rise, which puts a strain on the clinical care we provide. Please mask when you are working on site at all Methodist Health System locations. This is our policy and the best method to keep you and others safe. As a reminder, masks should cover both your nose and mouth.

We can confidently say that most employee exposures to COVID-19 are not occurring at work but by community spread. The community plays a vital role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. As employees of the health system, we should be setting an example and following the recommendations of our experts.

We offer these friendly reminders:

  • Wear your mask in public and when you can’t properly social distance.
  • When gathering with your colleagues for lunch in our cafeterias, table groups should be no more than four.
  • The number of people having lunch in break rooms should be limited if social distancing is not possible.
  • An ideal place for the virus to spread is indoors when people are not masked. Be mindful of attending weddings, football parties, social gatherings, etc.
  • Please be careful with what you post on social media. Photos in which people aren’t masked and those from large events are being noticed by the community.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What “phase” is Methodist in for allowing visitors, vendors, in-person classes, etc.?

A: Given the increasing COVID-19 numbers in our hospitals and communities, Methodist Health System is operating within Phase 2 of our Programs and Services Phasing Policy.

In general, Phase 2 calls for appropriate social distancing of at least 6 feet, encouraging virtual classes and meetings, and restricting common areas (like cafeterias and coffee shops) to employees only. Staff members should be mindful during breaks, maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from others, particularly while eating. Nonessential meetings should be canceled, and meetings and classes should occur virtually whenever possible. Product and service vendors should be restricted to support and/or repair based on patient and procedural needs.

Visitors are being limited based on our Visitor Access Policy. As a reminder, visitors must stay in patient rooms and wear masks at all times. Some programs may move between phases at different times based on need and affiliate leadership direction.

Q: What is health system doing to make sure we have enough staff to take care of our patients?

A: Human Resources has created a new Labor Pool process to assist staff with picking up additional shifts and hours at Methodist Hospital, Methodist Women’s Hospital and Methodist Fremont Health during the COVID-19 surge. Because we are having spikes in patient volume, we are asking employees to help work extra shift(s) in addition to their regular schedule or to supplement hours. These efforts are being supported by Nebraska CARES Act dollars allocated by the governor.

Keep in mind, many of our needs are in-patient care or directly connected to the work with COVID-19 patients. Methodist recognizes that employees have different skills and competencies based on their licensure, certifications and experience. While you may be asked to take on new roles and tasks, you will be provided training as needed and will not be placed into roles for which you are not competent.

If you are interested in extra shifts at Methodist Hospital, Methodist Women’s Hospital or Methodist Fremont Health, you will need to complete a labor pool form. If you are deemed qualified and needed, you will be called and provided instructions on how to be scheduled. At Methodist Jennie Edmundson, contact Nursing Service, your respective department director or Human Resources.

Human Resources is finalizing next steps, which includes activating Kronos Self-Scheduling for many of these shifts. In the meantime, any staff that are interested in picking up shifts to help with the COVID surge (including salaried staff) should complete the Labor Pool form.

You can learn more here, or, if you have questions, please email laborpool@nmhs.org.

Q: What order should providers put in to test for the flu and COVID-19?

A: All hospital and clinic providers can order the following lab panel:

  • Respiratory panel flu/COVID (2019 Novel Coronavirus) by PCR

Providers at all hospital locations can choose from the following:

  • Respiratory panel flu/RSV/COVID (2019 Novel Coronavirus) by PCR
  • Respiratory panel expanded (inpatients only)

All respiratory testing is available to order individually, however, we encourage you to utilize a panel if ordering more than one test.