Returning to the Workplace

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Hello state employees,

Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together. 

Last week, Governor Holcomb announced the next steps the state is taking to get Indiana Back on Track. Restrictions will be lifted in stages, including beginning to return some state employees to state offices, and eventually, providing additional in-person service to Hoosiers. These changes will happen gradually and each agency, working with the governor's office, has developed a detailed plan for safely returning some individuals to their normal worksites in phases starting Monday, May 11.

Remote work will continue as the primary option for many employees, especially those 65 and older and employees who have high-risk medical conditions; however, some employees who can best perform their work in their normal worksite, will be among the first to return. Your agency leaders are responsible for determining the schedule for employees to return to office buildings and field offices and will be in contact with you.

For the time being, public access to buildings will remain closed, and Hoosiers will be asked to continue to use remote tools, such as online options, phone and mail to continue to transact business. We will continue to review options to safely return visitors to state offices.

The Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA) and the Indiana State Personnel Department (INSPD) will implement the following standards to ensure a safe and healthy work environment as many employees return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daily Health Self-Screening

COVID-19 Symptoms:

Information about COVID-19 symptoms may be found on the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) website.

 Temperature Checking:

  • Employees should conduct a daily self-assessment before leaving home to come to work. When possible, employees should take their temperature.
    • If an employee has a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, they should contact their manager and stay home.
    • If an employee has a fever and symptoms such as a cough or trouble breathing, they should stay home and call their manager and health care provider.
    • If an individual does not own or cannot obtain a thermometer, they should monitor for symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, cough, shortness of breath).


  • Before leaving for a worksite, an employee should answer the three questions below.  If an employee answers yes to any of the questions, they should contact their manager before arriving at their worksite for further instructions.
  • Upon an employee’s arrival to their worksite, they should complete three self-screening questions daily:
    1. Have you had close contact with someone who has tested positive for  COVID-19 within the past 14 days?
    2. Are you currently ill? Do you have symptoms of a cold, cough, or shortness of breath? Have you temporarily lost your sense of taste or smell?
    3. Do you currently have a fever or have you had a fever within the past week?
  • These questions will appear on signs at worksite entrances and on computer screens when logging on.

Employees are not required to document their answers; however, if an employee answers yes to any of the questions while in an office setting, they should contact their manager to discuss next steps, and call their health care provider. The Anthem NurseLine will provide a free symptom screening for anyone on an Anthem health insurance plan by dialing 800-337-4770.

Employees Not Presenting Symptoms:

If an employee does not have symptoms, they should proceed to work as normal.

Employees Presenting Symptoms Consistent with a Known Cause: 

If an employee has symptoms that correspond to a known cause (asthma, chronic sinusitis, allergies, etc.) they should proceed to work as normal unless there has been exposure to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Employees Presenting Symptoms Consistent with COVID-19:

  • If an employee has symptoms that do not correspond to a known cause (asthma, chronic sinusitis, allergies, etc.) and they have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, the employee should stay home and contact their manager and health care provider.
  • Employees with COVID-19 symptoms must leave the worksite and get tested
    • Employees testing positive may return to work once: 
      • They have been symptom free for a minimum of 72 hours.
      • At least 10 days have passed since the onset of their symptoms.
    • Employees testing negative may return to work 48 hours after their symptoms have subsided.

Employees Tested for COVID-19:

  • If at any time a health care provider confirms the cause of a fever or other symptoms is not COVID-19 and approves an employee’s return to work, then the employee should return to work.
  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they should contact their manager and health care provider. Employees are required to immediately report their positive test results to their manager and HR representative. Immediate notice is critical to adequately notifying impacted employees and ensuring CDC recommendations are followed.

Social Distancing in the Workplace

  • Proper social distancing means maintaining 6 feet of distance from another person.
  • Employees should practice social distancing at all times while at work.
  • Employees should refrain from entering or meeting with colleagues in their cubicles.
  • Employees should refrain from borrowing supplies from coworkers’ cubicles.
  • It is preferable that internal and external meetings are conducted via conference call or using IOT-approved virtual meeting tools such as Microsoft Teams.
  • If a conference room is needed, proper social distancing must be observed.
  • Chairs and tables will be removed from break rooms and other common assembly areas to discourage gathering. 
  • Waiting room chairs and computer terminals should be appropriately spaced in each lobby or common space.
  • The cafeteria will offer to-go options and ensure tables are safely spaced and cleaned in seating area.
  • Snack shops will encourage one direction flow of walking through the shop and place floor markings on where to stand while waiting to pay.

Masks and Gloves

  • It is highly recommended that employees obtain and wear a reusable mask at worksites and in public settings.
  • Employees are encouraged to use their own personal, reusable mask at work to reduce the use of disposable masks. Although agencies will be provided disposable masks, they are not recommended as the long-term solution for employees. Employees should utilize a reusable mask of their own that can be sanitized after each use. Cloth masks or simple surgical masks are acceptable.
  • Employees should review the CDC’s guidance about how to appropriately use and maintain masks.
  • Gloves should only be worn by individuals who are opening the mail or exchanging items with individuals they are servicing.
  • In regular office settings it is recommended employees do not wear gloves.

Workplace Cleanliness

  • All internal doors will be propped open if it is safe to do so. This decreases the need for individuals to touch door handles and maximizes air flow in office spaces.
  • Hand sanitizer will be located on each floor inside of agency entrances. 
  • Employees may bring their own hand sanitizer and additional cleaning supplies, if desired.
  • Employees should wash hands regularly throughout the course of the workday. 
  • Water fountains will only be used for filling water bottles.
  • Pooled vehicles will be equipped with wipes or spray bottles. Employees will be required to wipe down vehicles before and after use.
  • At the Government Center campus, the vendor will clean hard surfaces multiple times a day, however, employees will be responsible for cleaning their personal desk spaces.
  • All other statewide worksites will work with IDOA, the landlord (if applicable), and any other agencies sharing the same worksite, to develop a routine for cleaning frequently-touched surfaces.
  • If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and was in their workspace 72 hours prior to taking the test, IDOA will assist in arranging a complete disinfecting of the space and adjoining work stations and offices. The impacted area should be evacuated and employees may return to the area 48 hours once the disinfecting has been completed.
  • Cleaning will be performed in compliance with the latest CDC guidelines.

Visitor Policies

  • Visitors to any state office site should be by appointment only until further notice. An employee who schedules a meeting is required to share the self-screening questions before the meeting occurs and must meet the visitor at the public entrance to their building.
  • Before entering the building, each visitor should read the public-facing sign (also available: Spanish version) at all public entrances asking visitors to self-screen for symptoms before entering.
    • If a visitor is experiencing symptoms, state employees should help visitors understand alternative ways to obtain the service needed.
  • All worksites should ensure the public-facing sign is posted on all entrances.
  • The bottom of the public-facing sign was intentionally left blank to allow space for each location's to customize the sign (with permanent marker) with that locations preferred contact information.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided to all agencies for further distribution and will be available in public spaces.
  • Social distancing guidelines should be maintained.
  • Physical barriers such as plexiglass screens or sneeze guards will be used where available and appropriate.

Processing Emotions in a Healthy Way

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and it’s normal to need help processing all the changes in our personal and professional lives. There are many healthy ways to help with this, including:

  • Practice mindfulness – don’t ignore your feelings. Make time to listen to what you’re feeling. Process your thoughts with friends, loved ones, co-workers, or even a personal journal.
  • Utilize a mental health professional. As a state employee, you and all adults in your household receive eight (8) free sessions with a mental health professional. This is an incredible benefit! Don’t underestimate the power of leveraging this free and anonymous resource to help you. Find out more at or by calling 800-223-7723.
  • Seek other resources to help manage your mental health such as, a free resource to help all Hoosiers stay connected and maintain their wellbeing.

We are taking extra precautions to ensure our return to work process is as safe and effective as possible. Remember, one of the most important things you can do to stop the spread of the virus is to wash your hands frequently. Employees should review the CDC’s guidance on proper handwashing to ensure their technique is effective.

General questions about COVID-19 may be directed to the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) COVID-19 Call Center at 877-826-0011 (8 a.m. to midnight, daily) or via e-mail at

Thank you for your continued public service in these unprecedented times. Our workforce has adapted quickly to unexpected and difficult conditions and we could not be more grateful. If you have any questions, please contact your manager or local HR representative.