Director Hugh Halpern Places GPO on Emergency Operational Status March 16th


I am writing to update you on the status of agency operations as the Coronavirus continues to spread through the D.C. Metro area and the country. First and foremost, your health and safety is my priority. That is why after talking with the executive team today, I am putting GPO on emergency status effective Monday, March 16 with the start of shift one.

    This is what that means for you, our GPO team:
  • Emergency designated teammates are required to come to work to continue to carry out the critical services we provide to Congress, The White House and Federal agencies;
  • For those of you who are required to come to the building, there will likely be changes to the way we work designed to maximize social distancing and protect all of us and our capabilities;
  • Due to the additional risk, we are recommending that teammates 70 years or older DO NOT come into the building. If you’re in that category, please talk with your supervisor about next steps;
  • Telework-capable employees will continue or begin to telework;
  • Teammates who are not telework-capable, designated as an emergency employee, or otherwise able to work will be placed on weather and safety leave; and
  • All business travel is canceled effective immediately, unless it is critical to the agency’s mission and approved by me.

I want to stress that we are taking these actions for two reasons: (1) I believe these steps will help minimize the exposure of our team to the virus, slow its spread, and ultimately keep people healthy and save lives; and (2) I also believe that these are the best methods for maintaining GPO’s readiness so we can respond to the immediate needs of Congress and our other Federal customers.

Your supervisors will begin contacting you shortly to provide additional details and address any questions you may have. I am not sure how long GPO will be in this emergency status, but I will be communicating with you regularly. There also will be additional information tomorrow in Employee Headlines.

And if you are teleworking or on leave at home, please practice social distancing and minimize your contact with others to reduce the spread of the virus.

Finally, as I said last week, I know the anxiety everyone is feeling. And we’re probably going to experience some bumps as we execute this plan, but I ask for your cooperation and patience as we take these actions for the benefit of everyone. As a team, we will get through this together.

Please keep those who are sick in your thoughts, stay safe, and stay healthy.

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