As you are aware, On March 6, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency related to the emergence and spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19. As a result of this Proclamation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been taking numerous steps to mitigate and prevent the spread of the virus while maintaining the programs and services provided by the Commonwealth to its citizens.
As a contractor to the Commonwealth, it is critical that we work together to achieve the goal of preventing the spread of the virus. Many basic precautions have been set forth by the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health and should be followed by all your staff, not just those working with the Commonwealth.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your face when possible and wash your hands if you do touch your face.
• Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remote controls, and other frequently touched items.
For additional information about COVID-19, please refer to the Department of Health's website, health.pa.gov, Facebook page and Twitter account.
In addition to these common-sense precautions, Contractors are also reminded that any staff resources should not report to their Commonwealth work locations if they are sick. The symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If staff resources are showing symptoms of COVID-19, the Prime Contractor should ensure, through proactive communications with its staff or subcontractors, that those individuals remain at home. If contracted resources exhibit symptoms in Commonwealth work locations, the agency will contact the onsite contractor supervisor, Commonwealth Contracting Officer, and/or the Prime Contractor directly to determine an appropriate and safe course of action for the individuals. Prime Contractors and their subcontractors must comply with all directives and requirements related to COVID-19 that come from the Centers for Disease Control, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, or any other state or federal authority, including any required reporting of suspected COVID-19 cases. Finally, the Commonwealth also encourages contractors to be as flexible as possible with respect to their leave policies for Commonwealth contracted resources directly impacted by COVID-19.
The Commonwealth agencies, in accordance with Governor Wolf's direction, may temporarily suspend all out-of-state and international travel work for its Contractors. Additionally, Commonwealth agencies may expand telework opportunities and virtual (SKYPE) meetings in place of in-person meetings when possible and practical. In situations where the Contract does not allow
for telework or requires in-person meetings, the Contracting Agency will have the authority to temporarily authorize an appropriate adjustment of these prohibitions or requirements to allow for telework and/or virtual meeting participation by the Contractor and its staff.
For Contractors providing services to the Capitol Complex and Dauphin County, as well as to Commonwealth locations in Montgomery, Chester, Bucks, and Delaware counties, subject to the operational needs of the individual agencies and program areas, the Commonwealth is strongly encouraging telework and virtual (SKYPE) meetings. Unless specifically required by the individual agencies and programs areas, Contractors and contracted resources are not to report to Commonwealth locations in the Capitol Complex or Dauphin County and to work with the Contracting Agency to establish telework and virtual meeting opportunities. For delivery of supplies and materials to Commonwealth locations in the Capitol Complex and Dauphin County, Contractors should call prior to attempting to deliver to ensure that the location is able to accept the delivery. Contracts for materials and supplies or services may need to be suspended for the next two weeks. Such a determination will be made by the Contracting Officer and Contractors are encouraged to continue communications. If Commonwealth locations in other counties are closed or access is restricted, the above-guidance will be applied.
Contractors should monitor eMarketplace, as well as SRM or Jaggaer, for any changes in solicitation due dates for active solicitations (Invitations for Bids, Requests for Proposals, and Requests for Quotes). Commonwealth Agencies may adjust due dates as they deem appropriate based upon agency needs and closures of Commonwealth locations.
There may be other adjustments that may need to be made to maintain contract operations. Such authorization shall be in writing from the Contractor Officer. Once the Governor's Proclamation of Disaster Emergency has been rescinded, operations will return to the requirements of the contracts.
Communication and cooperation between the Commonwealth and its Contractors are critical to ensure that the Commonwealth is able to maintain its operations while taking all possible actions to keep its citizens safe and heathy as we fight COVID-19 on a state and national level.