Dennis Group COVID-19 Updates

DG COVID-19 
Updates

Dennis Group's COVID-19 Response

Updated September 19, 2020:

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic Dennis Group — through you — has continued to safely support our clients in both traditional and innovative ways. While we all had hoped we would be operating in a more normal state by now, the rate of Covid-19 spread unfortunately remains elevated, leading to an array of travel restrictions and pausing reopening plans in many parts of the country. 

Dennis Group continues to operate as we have in recent months: with flexibility, vigilance, and under the guidelines stated below and issued at an office level. We continue to actively monitor various federal, state, and local directives designed to slow the spread of Covid-19 and will report updates via email and on SharePoint. 

Dennis Group Offices and Jobsite Access

Dennis Group has implemented a phased approach to returning to our offices that aligns with all applicable government guidelines and coordinates with our Human Resources, Safety and site leaders to ensure each location is ready to receive team members. Recognizing that Covid-19 is impacting communities in different ways, we have empowered local office leadership and safety committees have been charged with establishing office specific-guidelines and return to office decisions with the following in mind:

    • We continue to encourage team members to work remotely where appropriate and possible at this time
    • Return to the office decisions at the discretion of each team member during at this time
    • Team members that are considered at a high risk of severe illness from Covid-19 in accordance with local and CDC guidance such as older adults and those at any age with compromised immunes system and underlying health issues are advised to be cautious and thoughtful about returning to the office at this time

What Dennis Group is doing to protect you in the office during this transition period:

    • Hand sanitizer is available at common touch point areas
    • Medical non-contact thermometers and pulse oximeters are available in all of our offices
    • All employees and visitors are required to sign-in and out of our offices for contact tracing purposes (badges or paper logs may be used)
    • We are endeavoring to notify employees via individual and office-wide communication when an employee who has recently been in an office has been impacted by Covid-19
    • Non-DG employee access to our offices remains limited. Where exceptions are made, the visitor is asked to complete and return our visitor questionnaire to you prior to their arrival. Individuals that answer in the affirmative to any question on the questionnaire should postpone their planned visit and/or contact our HR team before visiting our offices. Questionnaires should be sent to AskHR@dennisgroup.com.
    • Seating capacity in conference rooms has been reduced by removing chairs and posting temporary capacity signage
    • Social distancing notices are posted in congregate areas. Coffee pots, microwaves, and refrigerators may be accessible in some locations with a supply of cleaning products adjacent to these appliances. Seating areas in common spaces and kitchen areas remains closed. 
    • Onsite gyms and locker rooms remain closed unless reopening is approved by the office safety committee, allowed by local ordinance, and local transition rates are low
    • Office cleaning programs and schedules are regularly reviewed and approved by the DG Safety team.  All conference rooms and common areas are cleaned daily with EPA approved supplies
    • We are maintaining an adequate stock of cleaning and sanitizing supplies for each office
    • We may stagger team member access by role, discipline, project team, or workstation in some locations

What we ask you at this time:

    • Abide by these as well as all CDC and existing DG COVID-19 guidelines for accessing our offices
    • Take your temperature twice daily, including prior to arriving in an office, and keep a log to help monitor your health for signs of illness.  Report irregularities to a member of our HR team if you are, or have recently been, in an office or on a jobsite.
    • Wear masks at all times when not at your workstation or in a private office by yourself
    • Be considerate of those around you and obey social distance guidelines (i.e. stay at least 6 feet - about 2 arms’ length - from other people, don’t physically gather in groups)
    • Wipe down desktops and work areas daily; DG will provide supplies
    • Limit meeting size in conference rooms to accommodate social distancing.  Note that some conference rooms may not be suitable for meetings in the near term due to size and configuration. 
    • Take your computer home each night. Access to offices / jobsites may be closed without warning. 
    • Remember that COVID-19 is impacting us all in different and sometimes personal ways.  Be respectful and understanding of colleagues approaching return to the office decisions differently than you. 
    • Use good judgment

Office and Jobsite Access

Employees planning to come into our offices or visit a client site must abide by our site access guidelines or client-specific guidelines prior to entering the location.  Office leadership and Human Resources have full authority to send individuals home who are showing signs and symptoms of illness. Our Construction Managers and Site Safety teams have the same authority on site.  All employees have a right to report concerns to Human Resources, Site Safety and DG leadership. 

Individuals looking to enter or travel to any Dennis Group or client location must ask themselves the following questions BEFORE doing so:

    1. Are you traveling or returning to state or region with Covid-19 travel restrictions?  What are the quarantine and testing requirements associated with the restriction?
    2. Have you in the past 14 days traveled from, to, or through countries on the CDC Health Notice List COVID-19?
    3. Have you or a member of your household come into contact with another individual that has recently traveled from, to, or through countries on the CDC Health Notice List COVID-19 in the past 14 days?
    4. Have you or any member of your household been in close contact with person(s) diagnosed with or person(s) suspected with COVID-19 or person(s) who have been quarantined at home during the last 14 days?

If the answer to questions 2 – 4 is "Yes", you must contact Dennis Group Human Resources or our Safety team before entering Dennis Group or client locations until further notice.

Individuals experiencing a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), sore throat, dry cough, and/or respiratory-related trouble breathing in the past 72 hours are advised to seek medical advice and contact Dennis Group Human Resources or Site Safety team prior to entering any Dennis Group or client location. Our Human Resources and Safety teams can help find testing resources when necessary. 

A reminder to those exhibiting symptoms:

    • Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Healthcare staff will help you figure out the next course of action to provide you with care and protect their existing patients. Also consider a telehealth visit, such as Amwell Telehealth instead of visiting a physician’s office. Click here for Amwell Telehealth app instructions.
    • Be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travel and your specific symptoms.
    • Our Construction Manager and Site Safety personnel are directing all workers on every jobsite regarding the appropriate trainings on safety, cleanliness, and preventative measures. Our Construction Managers maintain full authority to send individuals home who are showing signs and symptoms of illness. Dennis Group is basing return to jobsite decisions on the stricter of current CDC guidance or client-specific rules.
    • Please note: to help fight the spread of COVID-19, Cigna is waiving all co-pays or cost shares for testing prescribed by health care providers. Please click here for more information.

Return to Work Decisions for Covid-19 Impacted Individuals

Dennis Group is basing return to jobsite decisions on the stricter of current CDC guidance or client-specific rules.  Dennis Group's office return to workplace decisions are based on current CDC guidance and provides individuals impacted by Covid-19 with two options: 

Time-based strategy for confirmed or suspected cases:

    • At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset and
    • At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and
    • Other any symptoms have improved.

*for individuals with mild to moderate symptoms; those with more severe cases or severely immunocompromised must consult a physician and/or wait 20 days since the onset of symptoms. 

Test-based strategy for confirmed cases:

    • At least two negative Covid-19 test results must be produced in a row, from tests done at least 24 hours apart.

Note: traces of Covid-19 may last in the body for 3+ months and the ability for some to obtain a negative test may not be possible in a timely manner.  The CDC therefore is recommending the time-based strategy rather than the test-based strategy for most return to work decisions. 

Strategy for test-confirmed, asymptomatic individuals:

    • Persons infected with Covid-19 who never develop related symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive test

A reminder to those exhibiting symptoms:

    • Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Healthcare staff will help you figure out the next course of action to provide you with care and protect their existing patients. Also consider a telehealth visit, such as Amwell Telehealth instead of visiting a physician’s office. Click here for Amwell Telehealth app instructions.
    • Be sure to tell your doctor about your recent travel and your specific symptoms.
    • Please note: to help fight the spread of Covid-19, Cigna is waiving all co-pays or cost shares for testing prescribed by health care providers.

If you have had Close Contact with someone who has Covid-19, when can you return to work?

After having Close Contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19, you must self-quarantine at home for 14 days to watch and wait to see if you develop symptoms of Covid-19. Do not return to work or a jobsite.

Close Contact is defined as:

    • living in the same household or being an intimate partner of someone who has confirmed Covid-19,
    • spending at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone with confirmed Covid-19 who was not wearing a face mask, or
    • having direct contact for any amount of time with bodily fluids and/or secretions of someone with confirmed Covid-19 (e.g., was coughed or sneezed on, shared utensils with, or was provided care by or provided care for them without wearing a mask, gown, and gloves)

at any time during the period starting 48 hours before the person with Covid-19’s symptoms began (or the date of their positive test if the person with Covid-19 had no symptoms).

If you have had Close Contact and:

    • do not develop any symptoms, you can end quarantine 14 days after your last close contact with the confirmed Covid-19 case;
    • receive a positive Covid-19 test, then you have confirmed Covid-19 and you can end isolation using one of the three options described above; or
    • receive a negative Covid-19 test, you must still remain in quarantine for 14 days after your last close contact with the confirmed Covid-19 case.

If you have had Close Contact with someone who has been exposed to an individual confirmed or suspected to have Covid-19 you may continue to work while monitoring symptoms.

Business Travel

Dennis Group is considered an essential business as a key supplier of professional services to the food and beverage industry.  Essential business travel is permitted, but employees are strongly encouraged to minimize travel to the degree possible for their safety and to limit the spread of Covid-19. Where practical use Teams, Skype or phone to conduct meetings - and use video for more active communication. Business travel to and through countries on the CDC Health Notice List Covid-19 remains suspended until further notice.

Before traveling to any client location, employees must contact their project manager and/or client representative to understand any client-specific restrictions and ensure that the visit has been approved. Please also be aware of travel and other Covid-19 related restrictions both at your destination and home. Quarantining and / or receiving a Covid-19 test may be required and lodging and meal options may be limited. 

Dennis Group is committed to supporting our clients to the degree possible, but employees that feel uncomfortable traveling to site or remaining on site should contact their project manager as soon as possible so we can work on alternative arrangements.

Safety & Hygiene

You can protect yourself and your community and limit the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and good hygiene. Do this by observing the following:

  1. WEAR A MASK
  2. Refrain from touching your face, neck, eyes, ears, and mouth. When you must touch these areas, always wash hands before AND after doing so.
  3. Cover your face with the bend of your elbow if you cough or sneeze.
  4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.
  5. Work from home if possible. This protects both you and others who cannot perform their work from home and must come into the office or be in public.
  6. Avoid gatherings, congregate settings, and physical contact with others. Maintain distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others, especially those living outside your household, whenever possible.

We continue to monitor this evolving situation and will adjust our approach as necessary. Please do not hesitate to contact the Human Resources team if you have any questions. Stay well!