COVID-19 Information & Updates
A Message from Populus Group President, Bobby Herrera:
There's a ton of information about COVID-19 out there. This page contains the important updates that relate to you, your contract assignment and COVID-19.
With so much going on, we recommend you also visit your local or state Department of Health websites for local updates and guidance as it pertains to COVID-19 in your area.
We understand how difficult this time is. It's stressful and there are still many unknowns. We're here to inform and support you as much as we can. We’re working closely with our customers to relay information that might be specific to your assignment. We understand your manager may be communicating updates directly to you, that’s okay! If you have specific questions about your assignment that are not answered on this page, please reach out to your Populus Group Representative.
Important: if you believe you’ve come in contact or test positive for COVID-19, please reach out to our HR Team immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s a lot of information coming out each day – it’s important to make sure you’re getting information from reputable sources. Here’s a few places you can read more about what’s going on.
These are National or International resources. We also recommend visiting your local or state Department of Health websites for local updates and guidance as it pertains to COVID-19 in your area.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
Have questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine – like it’s development, safety and clinical considerations to take before taking the vaccine? The CDC has provided a great level of detail surrounding the vaccine – all of which is provided here.
Also, if you’re interested in receiving the vaccine, please refer to your state’s health department website for more information around when the vaccine may be available to you. As more states increase availability of vaccines, take a look at the vaccinfinder.org site to find vaccine locations near you!
Wells Fargo has updated our plan with the new CARES Act provisions that directly impact retirement plan participants. Interested in learning more? Check this out!
Here are some additional resources for how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19:
If you test positive or come in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 work with your local Health Department on next steps and recommended actions. Additionally, if you believe you’ve come in contact or test positive for COVID-19, please reach out to our HR Team immediately at email@example.com.
Health & Benefits
For any contractors who are enrolled in our Benefits, here is some helpful information during this time.
Virtual Doctor Visits: You can utilize virtual visits through Blue Cross Online Visits or through telehealth medical visits with a physician in your network to reduce your exposure to COVID-19 by visiting a medical office. It is important to call your provider first, unless you're experiencing a life threatening emergency, before going into a healthcare facility.
Medication Refill Limits: For those who have a medical plan provided by CareFirst, CareFirst is waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day maintenance medications (consistent with a member's benefit plan) and encouraging members to use their 90-day mail order benefit.
If a medical professional decides to test you for COVID-19: If you are enrolled in a medical plan (Basic, Bronze or HDHP plan) you may receive the test for COVID-19 at no cost to you.
Wells Fargo & your 401(k): We know this is a scary time. Wells Fargo is continuing to evaluate the health & safety of their employees. They've communicated with us that their call center teams are running leaner and there is the potential for longer wait times and delays in requests because of this precaution. Please continue to be patient and we recommend using www.wellsfargo.com for account management.
Wells Fargo has updated our plan with the new CARES Act provisions that directly impact retirement plan participants. So if you're currently enrolled in our 401(k) through Wells Fargo and are interested in learning more - Check this out!
Our partners at Wells Fargo have great educational resources available right now! Check out these recorded and upcoming webinars:
March: Financial Health: Investing with Market Uncertainty (webinar)
April: Social Security: What You Need to Know (webinar)
UPCOMING May: Navigating the Financial Markets - Tuesday, May 19th at 12pm Eastern. Get more info and register for the live webinar here.
CAPTRUST Financial Advice released their recent webinar about how the coronavirus is impacting our financial markets. Did you know you have access to a financial advisor? Head to www.captrustadvice.com to learn more.
Don't forget your Mental Health! Things are pretty crazy right now, and we all are being impacted in different ways. The EAP (Employee Assistance Program) is a program available to all employees. They have resources for confidential help with just about anything 24/7. Simply call 1-866-799-2728 (toll-free) or visit online at www.healthadvocate.com/members to access Employee Assistance or Work/Life services.
Are you looking for health insurance? States have been opening their marketplaces for health insurance if you're uninsured - for some information please go to https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace-in-your-state/
Pay Related Information
Many contractors will be able to work remotely, but we know that some of you cannot. We’re tracking the changing federal & state recommendations.
In the meantime, here are some reminders about getting paid by Populus Group:
- Don’t forget to submit your time: Make sure you’re entering your time worked in the appropriate online tool or however you’re used to submitting your hours.
- Paychecks & Paystubs are available online at mypaychex.com
This guide (PDF) will help you get your account set up – but we’re here if you need help with your username or password.
- Direct Deposit is strongly encouraged right now. Please complete this form and email it into your Populus Group Representative so we can get you set up for Direct Deposit.
- Paid Sick Leave options are ever changing – to identify if you qualify for Paid Sick Leave, contact your Populus Group Representative to discuss what may be available for you.
General information about Unemployment
The federal government is allowing new options for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:
- An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.
Go to this website and select your state from their provided list to find details on their Unemployment I program, including and additional flexibility offered to those impacted by coronavirus. Many states require you to file for unemployment benefits on the web. Some provide toll-free numbers or other ways to obtain assistance in filing.
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