March 24 update on COVID-19

MOW testing process and notifications to the workforce

With many Sandians and contractors working remotely, members of the workforce have asked how notifications will be provided if an employee or contractor tests positive for COVID-19 while working onsite or offsite.

Each case will be examined individually to determine what precautions or notifications might be needed, and minimizing the risk of transmission is a priority. For example, working with the state health departments, Sandia would determine if contact exposure could have occurred prior to the employee working off site. In such a case, notifications to co-workers would follow the process we would use to notify employees if they had contact exposure to a co-worker that tests positive.

Sandia Medical is tracking all employee and contractor testing, whether they are working on site or not. Offsite employees and contractors are reminded to report any COVID-19 testing — prior to results — to Medical.

Employees are also reminded to follow existing social distancing guidance to prevent exposure.

New Travel Approval Process

Due to the continued impacts caused by the COVID-19 virus, all new trips in the Expense Report Plus System will require the approval of the MOW’s Associate Laboratories Director/Senior Director. A justification for the travel will also be required as non-essential travel should be postponed.

Technical support available daily through Cyber Cafes

Sandia is hosting twice-daily Skype-only Cyber Cafes to answer employees’ technology questions. Cyber Cafes are from 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. MDT Monday-Friday. Employees are encouraged to bring their technology questions.

Fidelity provides 401(k) clarification

Fidelity Investments, the plan administrator for Sandia’s 401(k) plan, clarified that President Trump’s March 13, 2020, declaration of a national state of emergency does not enable participants to request hardship withdrawals in 401(k) or 403(b) plans.

Given the considerable impact of COVID-19, Fidelity reports many participants are reaching out to access funds from their retirement plan. Fidelity is actively working to support potential withdrawal options when they become available. Plan members should contact Fidelity with questions.

How to protect yourself and others if symptoms develop

If you’re experiencing fever and other flu-like symptoms or think you might have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider right away and ask what telehealth options you can use to meet with them virtually.

Your health plan (BCBSNM, UHC or Kaiser – call the number on the back of your ID card) also offers access to care options. The Sandia Total Health Plan will cover the test and office/urgent care/ER visit for COVID-19 screening at 100%. Follow-up care for a diagnosis of COVID-19 currently is subject to applicable deductibles, coinsurance payments, and out-of-pocket maximums.

Immediately contact Sandia Medical to report the following:

If you are seeking advice, support, and guidance about COVID-19, or treatment for other illnesses like the flu, allergies, pinkeye and more, telehealth and virtual visits can provide access to care from your home. Virtual visit doctors are available 24/7 by phone or video. Although virtual visits can’t test for or treat COVID-19, they will help minimize your, and others, exposure to potentially contagious viruses in such public places as doctors’ offices.