Late yesterday, we learned that an employee at the USCIS Seattle District Office started exhibiting flu-like symptoms four days after visiting the nursing home in Kirkland, Washington that has experienced COVID-19 infections. Although the employee returned to work after the visit, which was prior to the infections being found at the nursing home, the employee and their entire family have now isolated themselves at home in self-quarantine to protect others. While the employee does have flu-like symptoms, it has not yet been determined if they have COVID-19. However, out of an abundance of caution, the office building has been closed. In addition to USCIS, CBP, FPS, and ICE have employees in that building—all are now working from home for 14 days to help prevent the spread of any illness.
While this news and the resulting building closure may be startling, rest assured all of our actions were taken with your health and that of your families in mind. Education and precautions are our strongest tools against infection. Keep yourself apprised of the latest facts by visiting the CDC’s COVID-19 website or the updated DHS Employee Resources site. Continue to practice good health habits, avoid unnecessary travel, refrain from handshakes or hugs as greetings, reconsider large in-person meetings, and clean hands and surfaces appropriately. Do not hesitate to talk to your supervisor about your concerns or possible symptoms as they arise. They have been given guidance about how to help you with workplace flexibilities during this time. If you are a contractor, please ensure you and your Contracting Officer’s Representative have discussed actions you can take during this situation as well.
I will continue to provide you updates throughout this situation.
Chief Human Capital Officer