Associate Health, Safety and Organizational Information

CHANGES TO CDC GUIDANCE REGARDING COVID-19 ISOLATION 

March 5, 2024

This past Friday (March 1) the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a change to their isolation guidance for those who test positive for COVID-19.  This guidance is now in-line with other respiratory viruses such as influenza, RSV, etc.  The change is intended to make it easier to determine return-to-work protocols.

Beginning on March 5, 2024, the protocol for all GCVA and GSI associates will be:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must notify your supervisor and contact Human Resources by calling the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981.  You will receive guidance from HR as to when you can return.  This is unchanged.
  • If your doctor has provided you with return-to-work guidance, provide that information to HR.
  • Generally speaking, you can return to work when, for at least 24 hours,
    • Your symptoms (cough, runny nose, stomach-related symptoms, etc.) are getting better overall, AND
    • You have not had a fever (and are not using fever-reducing medication).  CDC defines a fever as being 1000 or higher.
  • When you return to work, you will be expected to wear a mask for five days.
  • When you return to work, you should avoid being around others in restricted spaces (offices, breakrooms, etc.)
  • Managers continue to have the responsibility and authority to send home any associate who appears to be too sick to be in the workplace.
  • If managers have a concern about an associate’s return to work, they should contact HR. 
  • If, after returning to work, your fever returns, or you begin to feel worse again, you should stay at home and away from others until you meet the criteria above (symptoms and fever), at which time you can return, and your five days of mask usage starts again.

Example:  Associate A tests positive for COVID after going to the doctor on Monday.  They have a runny nose, congestion, and a bad cough.  In addition, they are running a fever of 1020.  On Tuesday, their symptoms and fever persist.  On Wednesday, they do not run a fever, are not taking any type of medication to reduce fever (Tylenol, Advil, Motrin) and their symptoms have begun to improve.  On Thursday, they can notify HR and return to work. 

Please keep in mind that we have associates who may have underlying health conditions.  Please keep these associates in mind when deciding to return to work.  Please use strict mask compliance inside the building at all times and do not congregate in close proximity to your fellow associates as it is possible that you could still transmit the virus.

If you have any questions on this guidance, please contact your supervisor or the Associate Support Line for additional assistance.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 2/10 – 2:17

February 10, 2023

This week, we are pleased to report that there are no locations that are in the High category for the CDC Community Levels.  Therefore, mask wearing is not required at any site.

  • Emporia is in the LOW category this week.
  • The rest of Central Virginia is in the Medium category.
  • All Coastal localities are in the LOW category.
  • Charleston, South Carolina is also in the LOW category.
  • Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Over the past week in Virginia, COVID and influenza case counts have continued to decrease as have hospitalizations and ICU admissions.  We have also seen a drop in the number of internal COVID cases.

Please:

  • continue to use caution in allowing more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.
  • factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.

As always, I urge you to speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

You can go to https://special.usps.com/testkits   and order additional test kits to keep at home.  COVID is still with us.  There will be increases due to variants, etc.  It is a good idea to keep home test kits on hand to allow you to test yourself when you are sick.  That is how most of our positive cases have been identified over the past six to eight months.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 2/3 – 2/10

February 3, 2023

This week there were no changes in the CDC Community Levels this week.

  • Emporia remains the ONLY site in our territory that is in the HIGH category.   If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.
  • The rest of Central Virginia is in the Medium category.
  • All Coastal localities are in the LOW category.
  • Charleston, South Carolina is also in the LOW category.
  • Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Over the past week in Virginia, case counts have continued to decrease as have hospitalizations and ICU admissions.  However, we saw more positive internal cases this past week than previous weeks.

Please continue to use caution in allowing more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  Please factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.

Influenza continues to trend downward and is now at a medium level.

As always, I remind you to speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

You can go to https://special.usps.com/testkits   and order additional test kits to keep at home.  COVID is not going away, there will be increases due to variants, etc.  It is a good idea to keep home test kits on hand to allow you to test yourself when you are sick.  That is how most of our positive cases have been identified over the past six to eight months.

An IRIS message will be sent to Emporia associates this morning concerning the requirement to mask.  If you have any questions please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 1/27 – 2/3

January 27, 2023

This week there were more positive changes in the CDC Community Levels this week.

  • Emporia is the ONLY site in our territory that is in the HIGH category.   If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.
  • The rest of Central Virginia is in the Medium category.
  • All Coastal localities are in the LOW category.
  • Charleston, South Carolina is also in the LOW category.
  • Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Over the past week in Virginia, case counts have continued to decrease as have hospitalizations and ICU admissions.  However, internally we have seen more positive cases this week than previous weeks.

Please continue to use caution in allowing more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  Please factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.

Influenza continues to trend downward and is now at a medium level.

As always, we ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

You can go to https://special.usps.com/testkits   and order additional test kits to keep at home.  COVID is not going away, there will be increases due to variants, etc.  It is a good idea to keep home test kits on hand to allow you to test yourself when you are sick.  That is how most of our positive cases have been identified over the past six to eight months.

An IRIS message will be sent to Emporia associates this morning concerning the requirement to mask.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 1/20 – 1/27

January 20, 2023

There were many positive changes in the CDC Community Levels this week.

  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill) and the City of Petersburg are the ONLY locations in either region that are still considered HIGH.   If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.
  • The rest of Central Virginia is in the Medium category.
  • All Coastal localities are in the LOW category.
  • Charleston, South Carolina is also in the LOW category.
  • Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Over the past week in Virginia, case counts have begun to decrease as have hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Please continue to use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  Please factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.

Influenza continues to trend downward and is now at a medium level.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

You can go to https://special.usps.com/testkits   and order additional test kits to keep at home.  COVID is not going away, there will be increases due to variants, etc.  It is a good idea to keep home test kits on hand to allow you to test yourself when you are sick.  That is how most of our positive cases have been identified over the past six to eight months.

 If you have any questions, please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 1/13 – 1/20

January 13, 2023

There were some changes in the CDC Community Levels this week.

  • Powhatan County and the City of Richmond have moved back to the Medium category.  Therefore, effective TODAY, Stavemill and 6301 are no longer required to mask.
  • The rest of Central Virginia is still in the High category except for Emporia, which remained in low.
  • Newport News, and Portsmouth joined Hampton in the High category.  Hampton is already wearing masks, and our sites in Newport News and Portsmouth are required to mask effective TOMORROW (Saturday, 1/14)! 
  • If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.
  • Charleston, South Carolina and all remaining Coastal region localities remained in the Medium category, which means that mask usage is recommended but not required.  Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Case counts in Virginia continue to increase.  Virginia is now seeing hospitalizations and ICU admissions that are similar to what they were in March, 2022.  This indicates more people with serious illness.

As these case counts increase, I would suggest that you use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  Please factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.  I do not anticipate that things will improve much until late January or into February.

Influenza continues to trend downward but remains at a high level.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

An IRIS message will be sent to associates this morning in all locations that are required to mask.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 1/6 – 1/13

January 6, 2023

There was a significant shift in the CDC Community Levels this week.  Unfortunately, several localities moved into the High category.

  • All Central Virginia locations are now in the High category except for Emporia, which remained in low. 
  • The City of Hampton also moved into the High category.
  • If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks EFFECTIVE TOMORROW, JANUARY 7, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.
    • You should consider using a mask today, but we wanted to make sure that we gave everyone an opportunity to be prepared with a mask that they are comfortable with.
  • Charleston, South Carolina and all remaining Coastal region localities moved into the Medium category, which means that mask usage is recommended but not required.

Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Why the Change?

  • Case counts in Virginia continue to increase.  And we know that reported cases are only a portion of actual positives, due to the use of home tests.
  • We have had 18 new cases in the last two weeks, with 8 of those coming since Sunday.  This was anticipated, given the holiday gatherings that we saw last week.
  • However, Virginia has also seen significant increases of COVID patients being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and being placed on ventilators.
  • The High Community Levels are primarily driven by the rate of new hospital admissions per 100,000 residents.  It’s not driven only by increasing cases.  This CDC metric is intended to identify increasing hospitalizations so that we can take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of the disease so that we do not overwhelm our hospitals.
  • Influenza continues to trend downward but remains at a high level.

As these case counts increase, I would suggest that you use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  Please factor separation into workstation placement and all work-related activity.  I do not anticipate that things will improve until late January or into February.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

If you have any questions, please contact Mark Sacra.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 12/23 – 12/30

December 23, 2022

We continue monitoring the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels.  This week we have three localities that are in the “HIGH” category.  The City of Colonial Heights, County of Henrico, and the City of Petersburg are now in a mask-required location.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  These localities have seen significant increases in the rate of new cases, and hospitalizations are up, therefore moving them into the High category. Emporia has dropped into the low category, and all other Central Region locations are in the medium category which means that masking is recommended, but not required.  All Coastal localities remain in the low category.   Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Case counts in Virginia continued to increase this week over last week.  Virginia also continues to see increases in COVID patients being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and being placed on ventilators.

Support staff, please carry a mask with you, in case you visit a site that is required to mask as you are expected to follow their guidelines.

FOLLOWING THE HOLIDAYS:

Since most of us will gather with family and friends over the holiday weekend, I ask you to consider the following:

  • Do not to come to work with symptoms.  Whether it be COVID-19 or the flu, no one else wants it.  Keep your teammates in mind and stay home if you are sick!
  • Consider wearing a mask next week, whether you are required to or not.  You never know when you are going to encounter someone who has COVID.  However, you may not find out for several days.  If you wear a mask at work, it will reduce the risk of spreading COVID to other members of your team.

Influenza continues to be at very high levels in Virginia but the data reflects that we have peaked and the numbers are trending downward.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

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SPECIAL YEAR-END MESSAGE FROM MARK A. BARTH, PRESIDENT & CEO

December 23, 2022

Fellow Goodwill Team Member:

First, I want to thank you for your extraordinary effort in managing through 2022.  While we are not quite back to “pre-COVID” operations, we have made exceptional strides in our recovery and growth efforts this past year. I want to take this opportunity to provide some exciting news as we head into 2023!

Our first phase of market-based wage increases will take place beginning January 1st and will be included in paychecks on January 13, 2023. (Note that the new wage will only apply to days worked in 2023 in this first pay period.) 

JANUARY 1st:

  • Minimum starting wage for new hires will move to $12.00/hr. to meet state mandated minimum wage requirements.
  • Any GCCVA associate making less than $12.00/hr. will be brought up to $12.00/hr.
  • Any GCCVA associate earning $11.01/hr. to $20.00/hr. will receive an increase of $1.00/hr. increase above the wage they were earning on 12/31/22. 

JANUARY 8th (to be paid in January 27, 2023 paycheck):

  • GCCVA Associates (excluding Directors and Executive Team) earning $20.01 or more will receive a 5% market adjustment to base pay beginning 1/8.
    • Directors and ET are excluded in this phase of market adjustments as they are part of a separate compensation review cycle that we plan on conducting in the first quarter of 2023. More information will be forthcoming on this next year. 

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR MANAGERS:

  • All PCNs will be CLOSED December 25th to January 25th to allow time for these changes.
  • Department managers will be able to access their associates wage information in UKG. 

This market adjustment does not apply to Goodwill Services Inc. (GSI) contracts associates, who are paid according to the terms of our contracts.  This is not a merit increase or bonus, but rather a market adjustment to align with new state minimum wage standards and current economic conditions.

We are committed to remaining a competitive employer, not only with our wages but in our benefits, leave and paid learning opportunities available to our associates. I encourage each of you – and your teams – to take full advantage of each of these offerings.

I look forward to working together to make us an even better organization in 2023. Thank you for your continued commitment and effort every day to support our worthy mission.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 12/16/22 – 12/23/22

December 16, 2022

Good morning!  We continue to see changes in the COVID-19 Community Levels, including two localities that are in the High category. The Blackstone retail store, and the Petersburg retail store are now in a mask-required location.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Both Nottoway County and the City of Petersburg have seen significant increases in the rate of new cases, and hospitalizations are up, therefore moving them into the High category. All other Central Region locations are in the medium category which means that masking is recommended, but not required.  All Coastal localities remain in the low category.   Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Case counts in Virginia continued to increase this week over last week.  Virginia also continues to see increases in COVID patients being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and being placed on ventilators.  As we continue to see these increases, I would suggest that you use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  I know that you will be planning your holiday parties shortly, so please factor some separation into your plans.

We do have one retail location that has had multiple cases in the last week.  We are continuing to require mask usage in that location for the next few days to try to prevent any internal spread.  We will continue to watch case counts in specific locations and will act in those locations as needed to prevent internal spread.  Support staff, please carry a mask with you, in case you visit a site that is required to mask as you are expected to follow their guidelines.

You are reminded not to come to work with symptoms.  Whether it be COVID-19 or the flu, no one else wants it.  Keep your teammates in mind and stay home if you are sick!

Influenza continues to be at very high levels in Virginia.  Virginia is one of the worst states in the nation for influenza measurements.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 12/9/22 – 12/16/22

December 9, 2022

Unfortunately, we have seen several localities move upward in the COVID-19 Community Levels scale, including two localities that are in the High category. The Blackstone retail store, and the Centerville retail store are now in a mask-required location.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Both Nottoway and Goochland have seen significant increases in the rate of new cases, and hospitalizations are up, therefore moving them into the High category. All other Central Region locations are in the medium category which means that masking is recommended, but not required.  All Coastal localities remain in the low category.   Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Case counts in Virginia continued to increase this week over last week.  Virginia has also seen significant increases COVID patients being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and being placed on ventilators.  As these case counts increase, I would suggest that you use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office or crowding into the breakroom.  I know that you will be planning your holiday parties shortly, so please factor some separation into your plans.

We do have one retail location that has had three positive cases in the last few days.  We are requiring mask usage in that location for the next few days to try to prevent any internal spread.  We will continue to watch case counts in specific locations and will take action in those locations as needed to prevent internal spread.  Support staff, please carry a mask with you, in case you visit a site that is required to mask as you are expected to follow their guidelines.

You are reminded not to come to work with symptoms.  Whether it be COVID-19 or the flu, no one else wants it.  Keep your teammates in mind and stay home if you are sick!

Influenza continues to be at very high levels in Virginia.  Virginia is one of the worst states in the nation for influenza measurements.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

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CDC COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: 12/2/22 – 12/9/22

December 2, 2022

Unfortunately, we have seen several localities move upward in the COVID-19 Community Levels scale, including one locality that has moved back into the High category. The Blackstone retail store is now in a mask-required location.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Nottoway County’s rate of new cases has grown significantly this week, and hospitalizations are up, therefore moving Nottoway into the High category.  The following localities went from low to medium:  Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, and Richmond.  In the medium category, masking is recommended, but not required.  All other localities remain in the low category.  Please check the table below to see where your work site is situated.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

Case counts in Virginia have doubled this week over last week.  This was anticipated, given the holiday gatherings that we saw last week.  However, Virginia has also seen significant increases COVID patients being hospitalized, admitted to the ICU, and being placed on ventilators.  These measures usually lag behind case increases, so it is concerning to see them being in lockstep with case counts.

As these case counts increase, I would suggest that you use caution in putting more than 2 people in an office, or crowding into the breakroom.  I know that you will be planning your holiday parties shortly, so please factor some separation into your plans.

In addition, influenza continues to be at very high levels in Virginia.  Virginia is one of the worst states in the nation for influenza measurements.  Virginia suffered its first pediatric death of this flu season during this past week.

As always, I ask that you speak with your medical provider to see if the influenza vaccine, or the COVID vaccine/boosters are right for you!  In addition, make no assumptions when you are feeling bad.  Don’t come to work with symptoms, or when you feel ill.

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END OF YEAR ASSOCIATE MESSAGE FROM MARK A. BARTH, PRESIDENT & CEO

November 22, 2022

Dear Fellow Goodwill Associate,

2022 continued to present challenges to our organization with increased expenses and economic pressures beyond our control. Our Goodwill, however, continues to experience steady progress during these turbulent times thanks to the efforts of you, our associates.  The success of our organization is the result of your hard work, drive and commitment to our values, day in and day out.

Historically, our all-associate bonuses are paid in February, based on the performance of the previous calendar year. Because of your extraordinary effort in meeting our challenges with great success throughout 2022, I’m very pleased to announce that all associates who were hired on or before July 1, 2022, will receive a bonus* in their December 16, 2022 paycheck.  Full time associates will receive $500 and part time associates will receive $250.  The timing of this bonus is not our norm, and likely will not be going forward, we understand the impact inflationary times are having on our associates, especially around the holidays.

For the past several years we have issued $30 gift cards to all associates in lieu of holiday parties so that they may purchase food or other items to celebrate as they choose.  This year, instead of distributing physical gift cards to our nearly 1,200 associates, you will receive an additional $30 in your December 16th paycheck.  This, too, is not our norm but we feel is in the best interest of our associates this year and is a more efficient way to get this year-end gift directly to you.

On behalf of our entire Executive Team, thank you for your personal dedication to our mission in 2022; helping our fellow associates help themselves through the power of work!

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President and CEO

* Please note that the bonus compensation is taxable income.

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COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE:  11/4/22 – 11/11/22

Friday, November 4, 2022

We have managed to stay out of masking requirements now for six weeks.  Once again, we do not have any locations that fall into the High or Mask Required category, unless required by a contract site.  However, this week, Emporia, Mecklenburg, and Petersburg are all in the medium category, which means that mask usage is recommended.  Case counts in Virginia are stable, but much of Virginia is now considered to be in a plateau (flat), situation, or in slow growth.  Internally, we have had three new cases so far this week, which is up over the previous weeks.

Confirmed influenza cases in Virginia continue to double each week.  One of the metrics that Virginia Department of Health watches for influenza has sharply increased in the last week and is approaching the levels from the peak of the season the last two years.

RSV, a respiratory virus is also quite common, which could be serious in children and older adults.  There continues to be every indication that we will begin seeing COVID-19 case numbers go up within the next month or so, and that surge is expected to last through the holidays.  If this begins to happen, we will continue to monitor the CDC metric to determine if mask-usage is appropriate.  Here are some steps that you can take to try to limit the spread of the virus:

  • Don’t come to work sick.  If you have symptoms, you should absolutely take a home test prior to coming in.  Headache, sore throat, and runny nose are the most common symptoms of COVID right now.
  • Supervisors, if you have an associate that is having symptoms, you should send them home.
  • Wear a mask when close contact cannot be avoided.  Just because the mask isn’t required, does not mean that you can’t wear one.
  • Use your hand sanitizer
  • Be aware of your situation and try to avoid instances where several people are gathered in a small space.
  • Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if the latest booster shot is right for you.  Consider receiving the bivalent COVID booster.  Currently, only 8.5% of eligible Americans have received this booster.  It provides important protections against the original version of COVID, and the Omicron variants.  Speak with your healthcare provider about this vaccine as well.
  • Influenza continues to spread
    • Our entire region is now seeing high levels of influenza-like illness
    • Hospital visits for influenza-like symptoms are highest in children and adolescents.
    • Speak to your doctor about whether you should get a flu shot this year.  Flu is expected to be more prevalent, and possibly more severe this year, particularly those who are unfortunate enough to get both viruses.  Receiving the annual shot may not prevent it but will help prevent serious side effects.

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COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE:  10/7/22 – 10/14/22

Friday, October 7, 2022

For the second consecutive week, we have no locations that fall into the High or Mask Required category, unless required by a contract site.  We have been watching new case counts (both internal and statewide) decrease for several weeks, and the hospitalization numbers have also been declining.  There were no changes to the categories this week.  Only one locality (Mecklenburg) is in the Medium category.  Everyone else is in the low category.

Please understand that there is every indication that we will begin seeing case numbers go up at some point during the fall, and that surge is expected to last through the holidays.  If this begins to happen, we will again monitor the CDC metric to determine if mask-usage is appropriate.  Here are some steps that you can take to try to limit the spread of the virus:

  • Don’t come to work sick.  If you have symptoms, you should absolutely take a home test prior to coming in.
  • Supervisors, if you have an associate that is having symptoms, you should continue excluding them from the workplace
  • Wear a mask when close contact cannot be avoided.  Just because the mask isn’t required, does not mean that you can’t wear one.
  • Use your hand sanitizer
  • Be aware of your situation and try to avoid instances where several people are gathered in a small space.
  • Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if the latest booster shot is right for you. 
  • As of this week, the Virginia Department of Health considers Influenza to be at the widespread level, meaning that there are laboratory-confirmed cases throughout the state.
    • Cases are higher in the Eastern Region than the Central
    • Hospital visits for influenza-like symptoms are highest in children and adolescents.
    • Speak to your doctor about whether you should get a flu shot this year.  Flu is expected to be more prevalent, and possibly more severe this year, particularly those who are unfortunate enough to get both viruses.  Receiving the annual shot may not prevent it but will help prevent serious side effects.

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COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE:  9/30/22 – 10/7/22

Friday, September 30, 2022

For the first time since we have been monitoring the Community Levels metric from the CDC, there are NO localities that host a Goodwill or GSI location that fall into the High or Mask Required category.  We have been watching new case counts (both internal and statewide) decrease for several weeks, and the hospitalization numbers have also been declining.  Only one locality (Mecklenburg) is in the Medium category.  Everyone else is in the low category.

Please understand that there is every indication that we will begin seeing case number go up at some point during the month of October, and that surge is expected to last through the holidays.  If this begins to happen, we will again monitor the CDC metric to determine if mask-usage is appropriate.  Here are some steps that you can take to try to limit the spread of the virus:

  • Don’t come to work sick.  If you have symptoms, you should absolutely take a home test prior to coming in.
  • Supervisors, if you have an associate that is having symptoms, you should continue excluding them from the workplace
  • Wear a mask when close contact cannot be avoided.  Just because the mask isn’t required, does not mean that you can’t wear one.
  • Use your hand sanitizer
  • Be aware of your situation and try to avoid instances where several people are gathered in a small space.
  • Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if the latest booster shot is right for you.
  • Consider receiving a flu shot this year.  Flu is expected to be more prevalent, and possibly more severe this year.  Receiving the annual shot may not prevent it but will help prevent serious side effects.

__________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 9/23/22 – 9/30/22

Friday, September 23, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Some localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside). IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

__________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 9/16/22 – 9/23/22

Friday, September 16, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Some localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside). IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

__________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 9/9/22 – 9/16/22

Friday, September 9, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Some localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside). IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

__________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 9/2/22 – 9/9/22

Friday, September 2, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Some localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside).

IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

__________________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 8/26/22 – 9/2/22

Friday, August 26, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.  If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Several localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside).

IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

__________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY LEVELS UPDATE: LOCATIONS WHERE MASKING IS REQUIRED FROM 8/19/22 – 8/26/22

Friday, August 19, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.

If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Several localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside).

IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

__________________________________________________________________

IMPORTANT COVID-19 MASKING UPDATE

Monday, August 15, 2022

We have been continuing to monitor case counts in our territory, along with guidance changes from the CDC.  With case counts in Virginia declining for three consecutive weeks, we are ready to announce the following changes to our practices which are effective TODAY:

  • We will return to our practice of following CDC Community Levels in masking decisions.  Currently, these localities are in the “High” category, and therefore MASKING CONTINUES TO BE REQUIRED: 
    • Central:
      • Chesterfield
      • Colonial Heights
      • Goochland
      • Hanover
      • Henrico
      • Mecklenburg
      • Nottaway
      • Petersburg
      • Richmond
    • Coastal:
      • Portsmouth
    • South Carolina:
      • Charleston

If your site is in one of these localities listed above, you must continue to wear a mask while at work.This is reassessed each Friday when the CDC posts their weekly data.

  • In accordance with CDC guidance, if you are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19, you must continue to notify HR, however, you will not be required to quarantine.  However, for the first 10 days after exposure, you will be required to wear a mask for 10 days to return to work.  If you become symptomatic, you must stop working, contact HR and follow their instructions.
  • If you test positive and complete your isolation, but then become symptomatic again (rebound case), you should notify HR and you will be expected to isolate for an additional five days.
  • While the CDC is not putting as much emphasis on physical distancing, you are urged to continue to maintain distance between yourself and others, especially when unmasked.
    • Office gatherings (2 people) should be limited in time, and mask wearing is encouraged
    • Anytime that you are having more than two people in an office space, you are expected to wear a mask.  If possible, leave the door slightly open to improve ventilation.
  • Associates should continue to wash their hands frequently, use hand sanitizer, and frequently clean common surface areas.
  • Associates and managers should continue to notify HR of exposures or positive cases by calling the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981.  If no one answers, you should leave a message.  You should not email specific individuals, as they may be on leave, or may not see the email right away.  We have staff assigned to monitor the Associate Support Line and if you leave a message, they will return your call as soon as possible.

We appreciate your cooperation with the masking requirements.  We do not make these decisions lightly, and we make them for the protection of all of our team members.  If you have any questions about this, please see your manager.

_______________________________________________________________________

IMPORTANT COVID-19 COMMUNITY MASKING UPDATES

Friday, July 22, 2022

Effective July 23, 2022, associates in all locations will be expected to wear masks until we communicate otherwise. The only exceptions are the areas where individuals are working outside; working in the heat and separated by at least 6 feet; and some of our contract sites where our associates work in areas where separation is consistent.

Why we’re returning to universal masking:

Over the past week, the organization has had 14 associates report positive tests.  This is the highest number of new cases since January.  In addition, there are several sites that have had multiple cases and have resulted in local health departments reaching out to inquire about our mitigation measures.  Associates at these sites have not always been required to wear a mask.  The combination of increased community spread, and optional mask usage, provides an increased risk of internal transmission.

The Risk Management team has been using the CDC Community Levels metric to guide our decision-making on mask requirements.  This metric, while considering case counts, relies heavily on hospitalization rates by locality.  Fortunately, up to this point, with a high percentage of Virginians having been vaccinated, and the current COVID variants seeming to cause less severe illness, hospitalizations have not been at an alarming level.  However, hospitalizations are up 13% over the past two weeks.

While severe illness is less prevalent with the current strains, any associate positive COVID-19 case impacts staffing and potentially the health of other associates at the worksite. The organization’s responsibility is to take the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of our associates.  Associates will encounter COVID-19 outside the workplace.  It is important that we are doing everything that we can to prevent transmission in the workplace and to prevent an outbreak.

Looking ahead:

We continue to monitor case counts in Virginia.  Counts have been steadily climbing for several weeks.  Most of our internal positive cases were home tests which are not reflected in the Virginia case counts, and the result of community spread (parties, family contact, etc. outside the workplace). Leadership is hopeful that the Virginia cases will peak and begin to decline in the next few weeks.

The Risk Management team will be monitoring internal cases, as well as Virginia case counts.  As we see these numbers trending downward, we will determine when it is appropriate to go back to using the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels metric as guidance for our mask requirements.  Until that time, associates at all locations are required to mask.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981 or speak with your direct supervisor or leader.

_________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, July 15, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.

If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Several localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside). 

IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

CDC COVID COMMUNITY LEVELS

EFFECTIVE THE WEEK OF JULY 15 – JULY 22, 2022

LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH
MASKS SUGGESTED   MASKS RECOMMENDED   MASKS REQUIRED
CENTRAL COASTAL   CENTRAL COASTAL     CENTRAL SOUTH CAROLINA
Emporia Chesapeake   Hanover Hampton     Chesterfield Charleston
  Portsmouth   Powhatan Newport News     Colonial Heights  
  Williamsburg     Suffolk     Henrico

Goochland

COASTAL NONE
  York     Virginia Beach     Mecklenburg  
              Nottoway

Petersburg

 
              Richmond  
                 

If you have any questions regarding your masking status, please see your supervisor.

————————————————————————————————-

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, July 8, 2022

As we continue to monitor the CDC COVID-19 Community Levels each week, we are communicating the masking status for our locations.  This is based on the locality that your site is in.

If your locality is in the High category, associates are required to wear masks, unless they have an accommodation through Human Resources.  Please check the table below to determine if your work site is required to mask.  Several localities that were in the high category last week have dropped out and are no longer required to mask.  However, case counts continue to be elevated, and mask usage is still a good idea.

Please note, there are some tasks where it is acceptable to remove the mask (workspaces that allow for greater than 6’ separation between associates; high heat environment and working with separation; working outside). 

IRIS messages will be sent to locations that are in the High category.  This graphic is updated each Friday after the CDC has updated their information on Thursday evening.

CDC COVID COMMUNITY LEVELS

EFFECTIVE THE WEEK OF JULY 8 – JULY 15, 2022

LOW   MEDIUM   HIGH
MASKS SUGGESTED   MASKS RECOMMENDED   MASKS REQUIRED
CENTRAL COASTAL   CENTRAL COASTAL SOUTH CAROLINA   CENTRAL COASTAL
Emporia Chesapeake   Goochland Hampton Charleston   Chesterfield NONE
  Portsmouth   Hanover Newport News     Colonial Heights  
  Williamsburg   Petersburg Suffolk     Henrico  
  York   Powhatan Virginia Beach     Mecklenburg  
              Nottoway  
              Richmond  
               

 

 

If you have any questions regarding your masking status, please see your supervisor.

______________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, July 1, 2022

Associates in most of our territory will continue to be required to wear a mask when indoors unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.  Supervisors, please communicate this to your associates today, and ensure that you have masks on hand tomorrow.

This week we saw several localities move back into the HIGH category

Contract sites are subject to the rules in effect at their host site.  However, if Goodwill’s requirements are more stringent, Goodwill’s requirements take precedence.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors, per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

NOTE:  LOCALITIES IN BOLD FONT ARE NEW TO THE LIST THIS WEEK

CENTRAL VIRGINIA                                                         

  • Chesterfield                                                                          
  • City of Colonial Heights                                                      
  • Goochland                                                                              
  • Hanover                                                                             
  • Henrico County
  • Mecklenburg
  • City of Petersburg
  • City of Richmond

COASTAL VIRGINIA

  • Chesapeake
  • Portsmouth
  • Suffolk
  • Virginia Beach

The CDC recalculates the “Community Level” metric each Thursday evening.  As had been previously communicated, when a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level is “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  New cases increased across our territory last week.  We will provide an update next Friday.

MEDIUM-  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

CENTRAL

  • Nottaway (Blackstone)
  • Powhatan

COASTAL

  • City of Hampton
  • City of Newport News
  • City of Norfolk (NIWC Site)

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • City of Charleston, South Carolina (NIWC Site)

LOW-    Mask Usage Is Suggested

CENTRAL

  • Emporia

COASTAL

  • City of Williamsburg

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We continue to see associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please forward these through your direct supervisor.

_______________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, June 24, 2022

Associates in some of our Central Virginia sites will continue to be required to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.  Supervisors, please communicate this to your associates today, and ensure that you have masks on hand tomorrow.

This week we saw several localities move from the High category to Medium or Low.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors, per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

NOTE:  LOCALITIES IN BOLD FONT ARE NEW TO THE LIST THIS WEEK

CENTRAL VIRGINIA                                                         

  • City of Colonial Heights
  • Henrico County
  • City of Petersburg

COASTAL VIRGINIA

  • NONE

The CDC recalculates the “Community Level” metric each Thursday evening.  As had been previously communicated, when a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level is “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  New cases declined slightly last week in Virginia.  We anticipate that we will see some fluctuation in these measures over the next few weeks, as evidenced by Hanover County over the past three weeks.  We will provide an update next Friday.

MEDIUM-  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

CENTRAL

  • Chesterfield County
  • Goochland County
  • Hanover County
  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill)
  • Nottaway County (Blackstone)
  • Powhatan County City of Portsmouth (High St)
  • City of Richmond
  • City of Virginia Beach

COASTAL

  • City of Hampton
  • City of Newport News

SOUTH CAROLINA

  • Charleston County, South Carolina (GSI site)

LOW-    Mask Usage Is Suggested

CENTRAL

  • Emporia
  • City of Suffolk
  • City of Virginia Beach
  • City of Williamsburg
  • City of York

COASTAL

  • City of Chesapeake
  • City of Portsmouth

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We continue to see associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please forward these through your direct supervisor.

_______________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, June 17, 2022

Associates in many of our Central Virginia sites will continue to be required to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.  Supervisors, please communicate this to your associates today, and ensure that you have masks on hand tomorrow.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors, per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

NOTE:  LOCALITIES IN BOLD FONT ARE NEW TO THE LIST THIS WEEK

  • Chesterfield County
  • City of Colonial Heights
  • Goochland County
  • Hanover County
  • Henrico County
  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill)
  • Nottaway County (Blackstone)
  • City of Portsmouth (High St)
  • City of Richmond
  • City of Virginia Beach

The CDC recalculates the “Community Level” metric each Thursday evening.  As had been previously communicated, when a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level is “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  New cases declined slightly last week in Virginia.  We anticipate that we will see some fluctuation in these measures over the next few weeks, as evidenced by Hanover County over the past three weeks.  We will provide an update next Friday.

In addition, several localities are in the medium category.  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

  • Chesapeake
  • Charleston County, South Carolina (GSI site)
  • Emporia
  • Hampton
  • Newport News
  • Powhatan
  • Suffolk

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We continue to see associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please forward these through your direct supervisor.

_______________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, June 10, 2022

Associates in many of our Central Virginia sites will continue to be required to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.  Supervisors, please communicate this to your associates today, and ensure that you have masks on hand tomorrow.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors, per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

  • Chesterfield County
  • City of Colonial Heights
  • Hanover County returned to this list
  • Henrico County
  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill)
  • City of Richmond

The CDC recalculates the “Community Level” metric each Thursday evening.  As had been previously communicated, when a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level is “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  New cases declined slightly last week in Virginia.  We anticipate that we will see some fluctuation in these measures over the next few weeks, as evidenced by Hanover County over the past three weeks.  We will provide an update next Friday.

In addition, several localities are in the medium category.  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

  • Chesapeake
  • Charleston County, South Carolina (GSI site)
  • Goochland
  • Hampton
  • Newport News
  • Nottaway
  • Petersburg
  • Portsmouth
  • Powhatan
  • Suffolk
  • Virginia Beach

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We continue to see associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please forward these through your direct supervisor.

__________________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, June 3, 2022

Associates in many of our Central Virginia sites will continue to be required to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.  Supervisors, please communicate this to your associates today, and ensure that you have masks on hand tomorrow.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors, per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

  • Chesterfield County
  • City of Colonial Heights
  • Henrico County
  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill)
  • City of Richmond

GOOCHLAND AND HANOVER LOCATIONS ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO WEAR A MASK, BUT IT IS STILL RECOMMENDED.

The CDC recalculates the “Community Level” metric each Thursday evening.  As had been previously communicated, when a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level is “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  New cases declined slightly last week in Virginia.  We anticipate that we will see some fluctuation in these measures over the next few weeks.  We will provide an update next Friday.

In addition, several localities are in the medium category.  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

  • Chesapeake
  • Charleston County, South Carolina (GSI site)
  • Emporia
  • Goochland
  • Hampton
  • Hanover
  • Newport News
  • Nottaway
  • Powhatan
  • Virginia Beach
  • York County

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We continue to see associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please forward these through your direct supervisor.

_______________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 COMMUNITY TRANSMISSION AND MASKING UPDATES

Friday, May 27, 2022

Today, we are announcing that associates in most of our Central Virginia sites will be required to wear a mask when indoors, unless they have an approved accommodation through Human Resources, effective tomorrow, May 28, 2022.  This will remain in effect until communicated otherwise.

Any work site in the following localities (retail, transportation, workforce development, support, contracts) must wear masks when indoors per GCCVA and GSI requirements:

  • Chesterfield County
  • City of Colonial Heights
  • Goochland County
  • Hanover County
  • Henrico County
  • Mecklenburg County (South Hill)
  • City of Richmond

You will recall that when the DOLI standard was revoked, we announced that our requirements would follow CDC guidance.  Therefore, when CDC considers a locality’s COVID-19 Community Level to be “High”, we will require associates to wear a mask.  This metric is a combination of new case rates and hospitalizations and is designed to prevent the overload of hospital facilities.  We anticipate that until case rates begin to decline these localities will remain in the high category and mask usage will be required.

These levels are updated each Thursday night.  Therefore, we will provide an update next Friday.

In addition, several localities are in the medium category.  Mask usage is recommended but not required in these localities:

  • Chesapeake
  • Emporia
  • Hampton
  • Newport News
  • Nottaway
  • Powhatan
  • Virginia Beach
  • York County

We anticipate that some of these will move into the High category within a week or two.

Again, if your work site is in a locality considered to be High, you must wear a mask indoors unless you have obtained an approved accommodation through Human Resources.  We have seen an increase in the number of associates reporting positive test results (usually through home tests).  The requirement to wear a mask is an attempt to prevent anyone from spreading the virus while on the job.

If you have any questions, please direct these through your direct supervisor.

Have a good holiday weekend and be safe!

– Mark D. Sacra, Safety Manager

__________________________________________________________________

6301 SUPPORT CENTER OPERATIONS UPDATE FOR Monday, May 9, 2022

Situation Summary (Sunday, May 8, 2022 – 8:40pm)

GCCVA leadership continued to work with state and federal law enforcement throughout the day today investigating the recent threats made against our 6301 Support Center.  Law enforcement visited the site again on Sunday, meeting with Mark A. Barth and our Risk/Asset Protection leadership to tour the facility and further discuss the safety of our associates. As with any incident of this nature, we take threats against our associates in any form very seriously, with safety and security being our number one priority.

Following extensive meetings and discussion over the weekend, both internally and with law enforcement, we feel the building is safe for our associates to return, with the following operational decisions made for Monday, May 9th at the 6301 Support Center only.

Impact

  • ALL ASSOCIATES WHO ARE SCHEDULED TO WORK AT 6301 SHOULD REPORT TO WORK ON TIME ON MONDAY, MAY 9, 2022.  
    • This includes:
      • Transportation
      • Logistics
      • Post-Retail
      • Production
      • Outlet
      • E-Recycling
      • E-Commerce
      • Support and Workforce Operations (Those who have been teleworking should continue to do so.)
  • NO PUBLIC WILL BE ALLOWED INTO THE BUILDING BEFORE 12:00PM ON MONDAY, MAY 9TH. 
    • There will be NO AUCTION on Monday, May 9th.
    • Outlet will open to the public at 12:00pm.
    • Workforce Development and Talent Acquisition are not to have applicants or outside associates in the building before 12:00pm, and are encouraged to meet with these individuals at another GCCVA facility if possible.
  • All operations will undergo a quick safety meeting with Asset Protection between 9:00am and 12:00pm on Monday morning.  Attendance at these trainings is mandatory if you are scheduled to work at 6301 on Monday, May 9th.

On behalf of the GCCVA leadership team, thank you again for your patience and cooperation over these past few days.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Director or District Manager directly, or call the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981.

_______________________________________________________________________

6301 SUPPORT CENTER OPERATIONS UPDATE FOR Sunday, May 8, 2022

Situation Summary (Saturday, May 7, 2022 – 8:40pm)

GCCVA leadership, in coordination with state and federal law enforcement, continue to investigate the recent threats made against our 6301 Support Center.  We appreciate the patience and cooperation of our associates during this time as we work to ensure associates remain safe while in our facility.

The following operational decisions have been made for Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 6301 Support Center only:

Impact

  • ALL OPERATIONS AT THE 6301 SUPPORT CENTER WILL REMAIN CLOSED ON SUNDAY, 5/8/22
    • This includes:
      • Transportation
      • Logistics
      • Post-Retail
      • Production
      • Outlet
      • E-Recycling
      • E-Commerce
      • Support Operations
  • NO associates are to be onsite at 6301 on Sunday, 5/8/22. Any associates who will be allowed onsite have been notified by their Executive Team leader.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Director or District Manager directly, or call the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981. Thank you.

A follow-up communication and information for Monday, May 9th will be provided the evening of Sunday, May 8th.


6301 SUPPORT CENTER OPERATIONS UPDATE Saturday, May 7, 2022

Situation Summary (Saturday, May 7, 2022 – 9:00am)

On Friday, May 6th, our 6301 Midlothian Turnpike location was the target of several bomb threats. We took immediate action, notified authorities and are now working with federal law enforcement to investigate the authenticity of the threats.

Goodwill takes the protection of our associates, donors and shoppers very seriously. As a result, we have made the following operational decisions for Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 6301 Support Center only:

 Impact

  • ALL OPERATIONS AT THE 6301 SUPPORT CENTER WILL BE CLOSEDON SATURDAY, 5/7/22. 
    • This includes:
      • Transportation
      • Logistics
      • Post-Retail
      • Production
      • Outlet
      • E-Recycling
      • E-Commerce
      • Support Operations
  • NO associates are to be onsite at 6301 on Saturday, 5/7/22.
  • If you have questions or concerns, please contact your Director or District Manager directly, or call the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981. Thank you.

A follow-up communication and information for Sunday, May 8th will be provided during the early morning hours on Sunday, May 8th.

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COVID-19 Guidance Update – Friday, April 1, 2022

Associates-

On Wednesday, March 23, 2022, the Virginia Health and Safety Codes Board revoked the workplace standard for the prevention of COVID-19.  This is what we have referred to as the DOLI standard that has mandated many of our COVID practices during the pandemic.

With that decision, Goodwill and GSI leadership have consulted with our legal advisors to determine how we would continue to protect our associates from this virus that continues to exist, while trying to balance the feelings of associates who prefer not to wear a mask.  While case numbers, both internally and statewide, continue to drop, experts continue to predict “waves” as new variants appear.  Thus, we want to remain nimble and be able to adapt to these waves.

What is the “COVID-19 Community Level”?

  • The Centers for Disease Control posts a “COVID-19 Community Level” for each locality on a weekly basis. This measures the rate of new cases, the rate of new COVID-19 hospital admissions, and the percent of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.  This provides a good picture of the level of serious illness in a locality.
  • This Community Level determined weekly, and we will continue to monitor and use it in making decisions regarding mask wearing requirements.
  • Changes to the COVID-19 Community Level which impact mask usage at any of our locations will be communicated as information is made available.
  • Currently, all localities in our territory are in the low or medium categories, so mask wearing is not required. But, if a locality goes into the high category, we will again require mask wearing by associates.  It is our responsibility to protect all associates.

What if I qualify for an exemption from mask wearing, regardless of community level?

  • Any associates who feel that they qualify for a religious or medical accommodation from mask wearing is expected to file an accommodation request through Human Resources.

What if I want to continue wearing a mask, regardless of community level?

  • Associates who choose to wear a mask are encouraged to continue doing so. We also continue to encourage associates to get vaccinations and boosters in accordance with your medical professional’s advice.

Leadership continues to monitor the situation daily, and as necessary will communicate any necessary adjustments to the attached guidelines.

Please review this document which outlines our updated Guidelines. 

If you have any questions about this communication or our COVID-19 guidelines, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981.

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CDC Mask Guidance Update – Tuesday, March 1, 2022

On Friday, February 25, 2022, the CDC announced new masking recommendations which are based on the COVID-19 Community Level. The DOLI standard provides that if we are compliant with the CDC standard, we are compliant with the DOLI standard.  Therefore, we must follow CDC guidance at a minimum.

Each week we will be sharing this COVID-19 Community Level Graphic. This information informs the guidelines you are about to read.

The following decisions are being announced effective Tuesday, March 1, 2022:

RETAIL OPERATIONS:

  • Masks will be REQUIRED at all sites that are in a locality listed as a High COVID-19 Community Level.
  • Masks continue to be RECOMMENDED for anyone with an underlying medical condition, or who are immuno-compromised, if your locality is in the Medium category. 
  • At all sites, if two or more people are in an office, masks are REQUIRED.
  • If you are unable to maintain physical distancing, masks are REQUIRED.

CONTRACT OPERATIONS

  • Contract Services sites (both GSI AND GCCVA) will be guided by the mask requirements at their respective work location. 

SUPPORT OPERATIONS:

  • Masks will be REQUIRED at all sites that are in a locality listed as a High COVID-19 Community Level.
  • Support Staff and those who visit multiple locations (District Managers, Operations Managers, Workforce Development & Learning teams, etc.) will continue to wear a mask when visiting any location
  • Telework continues as we work to develop a strategy for returning to the office.

ALL OPERATIONS:

  • At all sites, if two or more people are in an office, masks are REQUIRED.
  • If you are unable to maintain physical distancing, masks are REQUIRED.
  • If two or more people are in a vehicle, and effective fresh air ventilation cannot be maintained due to inclement weather or temperature extremes, masks are REQUIRED.
  • Masks are recommended at all sites and associates may continue to wear a mask if they choose.
  • Daily Wellness Checks will continue.
  • Periodic disinfection will continue.
  • Continue staying away from work if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Continue reporting symptoms, or exposures to your site manager and to Human Resources.

NOTE:    This data is updated weekly (Monday) by the CDC/VDH.  We will communicate on a weekly basis (late Monday/early Tuesday) any necessary changes to masking status.

We appreciate your ongoing support and diligence.  If you have any questions, please contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.


EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION UPDATE for Saturday, January 29, 2022

 Situation Summary (Saturday, 1/29/22, 7:00am)

A winter weather system moved into our territory late yesterday evening and into the early morning hours.  Snowfall totals range from a dusting to a few inches closer to the oceanfront, but most major roadways across the area are clear thanks to pre-treating and early plowing. The chance for isolated icy patches remains as temperatures will remain at or below freezing, and winds will remain gusty throughout the day.

With those conditions, and the safety of our associates and customers in mind, we have made the following operational decisions for Saturday, January 29th:

 Impact

    • ALL CENTRAL REGION OPERATIONS (including Laburnum, Emporia, Blackstone and South Hill) will open at NORMAL OPERATING HOURS on Saturday, 1/29/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Central Region of our territory (this includes the 6301 support center).
    • ALL COASTAL REGION OPERATIONS (Williamsburg and locations east) will operate on a DELAYED OPENING OF 12:00pm on Saturday, 1/29/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Coastal Region of our territory.
      • NOTE: All associates scheduled to work should not report to their location before 11:00 am on Saturday, 1/29/22 (this includes the 1911 support center).
    • Contract Services Associates and GSI Associates should check with their supervisor for further instructions.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly. Thank you.

Reminder of Policies Related to Leave for Closings

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities should experience an all-day closure, early closure, or late opening due to an emergency situation, such as inclement weather, nonexempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to “make whole” hours for scheduled time missed due to the closure.

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities is closed for a week or more, exempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to be paid for time attributable to the closure.

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EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION UPDATE, FRIDAY, JANUARY 28, 2022

Situation Summary (Friday, 1/28/22, 3:30pm)

A winter weather system will move into our territory later this evening and into the early morning hours of Saturday, 1/29/22.  While forecasted snowfall totals have been lowered, the potential for strong winds and hazardous conditions still exists into the morning hours.  The Hampton Roads area of our territory is expected to see the biggest impact from this system.

With those conditions, and the safety of our associates and customers in mind, we have made the following initial operational decisions for Saturday, January 29th:

Impact

    • ALL CENTRAL REGION OPERATIONS (including Laburnum, Emporia, Blackstone and South Hill) WILL OPERATE ON NORMAL OPERATING HOURS on Saturday, 1/29/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Central Region of our territory (this includes the 6301 support center).
    • ALL COASTAL REGION OPERATIONS (Williamsburg and locations east) will operate on a DELAYED OPENING OF 12:00pm on Saturday, 1/29/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Coastal Region of our territory.
      • NOTE: All associates scheduled to work should not report to their location before 11:00 am on Saturday, 1/29/22 (this includes the 1911 support center).
    • Contract Services Associates and GSI Associates should check with their supervisor for further instructions.

We will provide follow-up communication following the 7:00am weather call on Saturday, 1/29/22.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly. Thank you.

__________________________________________________________________

EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION UPDATE  FOR SATURDAY, JANUARY 22, 2022

Situation Summary (Saturday, 1/22/22, 8:15 a.m.)

A winter weather system moved through our area during the overnight and early morning hours, dropping accumulating snow across much of the Coastal region of our territory.  This winter weather event has concluded, but persistent cold temperatures and several inches of snow will cause hazardous travel conditions in some areas.

With those conditions, and the safety of our associates and customers in mind, we have made the following operational decisions for Saturday, January 22nd:

Impact

    • All operations in the Central region (including Williamsburg, Mechanicsville, Laburnum, Emporia, South Hill and Blackstone) will operate on a DELAYED OPENING OF 12:00pm on Saturday, 1/22/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Central Virginia area.
      • All associates scheduled to work should not report to their location before noon on Saturday, 1/22/22 (this includes 6301).
    • Operations in the Coastal region (Yorktown and locations east) will be CLOSED on Saturday, 1/22/22.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s and Retail Operations throughout the Hampton Roads area.
    • Contract Services Associates and GSI Associates should check with their supervisor for further instructions.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly.  Thank you.

Reminder of Policies Related to Leave for Closings

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities should experience an all-day closure, early closure, or late opening due to an emergency situation, such as inclement weather, nonexempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to “make whole” hours for scheduled time missed due to the closure.

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities is closed for a week or more, exempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to be paid for time attributable to the closure.

 

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EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION UPDATE  FOR FRIDAY, January 21, 2022

Situation Summary (Monday, 1/3/22 at 7:00 a.m.)

A winter weather system moved through our area during the afternoon hours yesterday leaving small amounts of precipitation and freezing temperatures.  Additionally, we continue to monitor the potential for another band of winter weather that will move through our territory during the evening hours tonight and into tomorrow morning.  Our facilities and leadership teams have been actively surveying sites this morning, clearing and adding ice-melt where needed.

With conditions as they stand now, we have made the following operational decisions for Friday, January 21, 2022:

Impact

    • All Donated Goods operations will operate on NORMAL schedules across the entire territory.
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s, E-Commerce and Retail Operations (outlet, auction and retail stores).
      • We will continue to monitor the weather throughout the day and make adjustments to closing schedules as needed.  Please stay alert for future communications.
    • 6301 and 1911 Support Centers will open as normal.
      • Associates currently teleworking should continue to do so.
    • Contract Services Associates and GSI Associates should check with their supervisor for further instructions.

We will continue to monitor weather throughout the day and send follow-up communications as needed. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly.

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SCOTUS Vaccine Mandate Ruling – Update

January 13, 2022

This afternoon the Supreme Court issued its ruling regarding the private employer vaccine mandate for employers of more than 100 employees.  With this ruling, a vaccine mandate will not go into effect for private employers.  This ruling applies to GCCVA operations.  

At this time, no ruling has been made on the vaccine mandate for Federal Contractors, which includes our GSI operations.  We will continue to monitor the status of this mandate as it moves through the courts.

For the health and safety of our associates, GCCVA will continue to follow and at a minimum comply with all Virginia DOLI (Department of Labor and Industry) and OSHA-DOL (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) guidelines, as well as require masks and social distancing for associates in all our locations.  

Thank you for your continued patience and diligence during this pandemic.

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EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION UPDATE  FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 3, 2022

Situation Summary (Monday, 1/3/22 at 2:30 p.m.)

A winter weather system began moving through our area during the early morning hours and has dropped accumulating snow across much of our territory.  This winter weather is expected to conclude in the next few hours, but persistent cold temps overnight will cause hazardous travel conditions.

With those conditions, and the safety of our associates and customers in mind, we have made the following operational decisions for Monday, January 3rd and Tuesday, January 4th:

Impact

    • All operations in the central region (including Williamsburg, Mechanicsville, Laburnum, Emporia, South Hill and Blackstone) will close at 2:00pm on Monday, 1/3/22 and will have a delayed reporting time of 12:00pm on Tuesday, 1/4/22
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s, E-Commerce and Retail Operations throughout the Central Virginia area, as well as all 6301 Support Center operations.
      • All associates scheduled to work on Tuesday, 1/4/22 should NOT report to their location before noon on Tuesday, 1/4/22 (this includes 6301).
      • Associates currently teleworking should continue to do so.
  • Operations in the coastal region (Yorktown and locations east) will close at 3:30pm on Monday, 1/3/22 and will have a delayed reporting time of 12:00pm on Tuesday, 1/4/22
      • This includes transportation, ADC’s, and Retail Operations throughout the Hampton Roads area, as well as the 1911 Support Center operations.
      • All associates scheduled to work on Tuesday, 1/4/22 should NOT report to their location before noon on Tuesday, 1/4/22 (this includes 1911).
      • Associates currently teleworking should continue to do so.
  • Contract Services Associates and GSI Associates should check with their supervisor for further instructions.

We will send our next update following the 9am weather call on Tuesday, January 4th.  If you have questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor directly.

Reminder of Policies Related to Leave for Closings

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities should experience an all-day closure, early closure, or late opening due to an emergency situation, such as inclement weather, non-exempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to “make whole” hours for scheduled time missed due to the closure.

In the event that one of Goodwill’s facilities is closed for a week or more, exempt associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to be paid for time attributable to the closure.

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Retail Operations Update for January 2022

December 31, 2021

Over the past week we have seen a record number of positive COVID-19 cases amongst our associates, with many more quarantined and awaiting tests due to close contact with a positive case either in or out of the workplace.

As you can imagine, this has put a significant strain on our ability to adequately and safely staff many of our retail locations.

Effective Monday, January 3rd, the following changes apply to our retail store locations only (not the Richmond outlet or auction).

Associate hours: 10:30 am – 6:30 pm

Open to the public (donors and shoppers): 11:00 am – 6:00 pm

These adjusted hours will remain in effect for the entire month of January.

If there are any further changes to these hours, we will clearly communicate those to you in writing.

The health and safety of our associates remains our top priority, and we appreciate your continued commitment and patience throughout this pandemic.

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COVID-19 Update from Mark A. Barth

December 23, 2021

Dear fellow Goodwill Associates,

Our Leadership Team continues to monitor the vaccine mandates as they move through various courts for review.  Yesterday evening, the US Supreme Court announced it will review the matter on January 7th.

At this time, while these mandates remain under court review, you are not required to provide your vaccination status to Human Resources. 

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the mandates, we will require all associates to either provide proof of vaccination or inform HR in writing of your selection of any other legal option available to you.

As mandated by the Virginia Dept of Labor and Industry, we continue to require all associates wear masks and practice social distancing at all times, in all our facilities.

The Centers for Disease Control states that vaccines remain our best defense against serious illness.  You should consult your medical provider to determine if a vaccine is suitable for you.

If your vaccination status has changed, we encourage you to provide an update to HR Paperwork. We respect the decisions our associates make regarding their own health and want to reaffirm that information provided to HR Paperwork regarding vaccination status is for the sole purpose of maintaining compliance with federal or state regulations.

If you have any questions, contact your supervisor, or call the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

Thank you for your continued commitment during this pandemic. I wish you and your families a happy and healthy holiday.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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Cybersecurity Incident Update from Mark A. Barth for December 16, 2021

Dear Associates,

Much progress has been made in our system restoration efforts since I last communicated with you on Monday, November 22nd.  Our IT teams continue to work extensively in their efforts to bring systems back online, while leaders across the organization have been diligently working to document processes and procedures in support of these efforts.

GCCVA takes the protection and proper use of our associates’ personal information very seriously.  At this time, due to the systems impacted, we are unsure if any personally identifiable information has been impacted by this incident. However, out of an abundance of caution, we will be notifying all our current and former employees that their personal information may have been exposed as a result of this cybersecurity incident.

To protect the privacy of our associates, we have secured the services of an outside firm to provide identity monitoring at no cost to all current and former employees for 24 months. In the days ahead you will receive a mailing to your home address with important information on how to enroll in this coverage.  Additionally, there will be a dedicated 1-800 number for you to call and get answers to any questions you may have about this incident and the coverage being offered. Again, we do not know for certain that any employee personal information was exposed, but we are implementing these measures as a precaution to help you protect your personal information.

This incident is incredibly unfortunate, but not uncommon.  Just this week we learned that the Virginia General Assembly was hit by a cyberattack, as well as several other large corporations across multiple industries.  As with our ongoing COVID-19 measures, the health and safety of our associates – including the protection of personal information – remains our top priority, and I urge you to take advantage of the credit monitoring service that is being offered at no charge.

Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation and commitment to our values during these unique times.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate Update for Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dear GSI, Workforce Development and Support Associates,

Effective yesterday (12/7/2021), a U.S. District Court issued an order to temporarily halt enforcement of the Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for covered federal contractors in the United States.  Our Goodwill is such a contractor.

With this court’s decision, Goodwill Services, Inc. will suspend implementation efforts and enforcement of the previous vaccine mandate at all our contract locations and previously identified support staff, until the courts make a final ruling on this matter.

GSI and GCCVA associates in the areas listed below are no longer required to submit vaccination status and proof to HR Paperwork.  All information that has been collected to date remains confidential and will be maintained by HR, pending the outcome of court cases.  Should the federal contractor vaccine mandate be re-instated, associates may be required once again to submit this information.

All GSI and Rivers Bend Associates

Workforce and Support Unit Associates: Workforce Development, Finance, HR, IT, Risk Management, Marketing/Communications, Executive Leadership

  • The federal contractor vaccine mandate is currently on hold due to legal challenges in Federal courts.
  • The required collection of associate vaccine information is on hold effective December 7, 2021, until further decisions from the courts. 
  • Managers must submit all previously completed and submitted forms to HR Paperwork – do not hang on to these in offices, etc.

Please note that as employers, GSI and GCCVA are required by law to follow all OSHA and Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) guidance.  As such, all associates must still use of masks and practice physical distancing.

We will continue to monitor the outcome of legal challenges to the vaccine mandates, and we will keep you informed as to any further updates.    We respect the decisions our associates make regarding their own health and want to reaffirm that any information that has been provided to HR Paperwork regarding vaccination status was collected in order  to maintain compliance with federal or state guidance.

If you have any questions, contact your supervisor, or call the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

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Organizational Update for Monday, December 6, 2021

Dear Fellow Goodwill Associate,

Once again, this year has brought about challenges we could not anticipate.  Your effort allowed us to not only meet but exceed our goals for 2021,  despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  We expect to end 2021 as one of our strongest, most successful years in the history of our Goodwill.  The success of our organization is the result of your hard work, drive and commitment to our values, day in and day out.

Historically, our all-associate bonuses are paid in February, based on the performance of the previous calendar year. Because of your extraordinary effort in meeting our challenges with great success throughout 2021, I’m very pleased to announce that all active associates who were hired on or before July 1, 2021, will receive a bonus* in their December 17, 2021 paycheck.  Full time associates will receive $500 and part time associates will receive $250.  The timing of this bonus is not our norm, and likely will not be going forward, but our success year-to-date allows us to do this earlier than we have in years past.

On behalf of our entire Executive Team, thank you for your personal dedication to our mission in 2021; helping our fellow associates help themselves through the power of work!

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President and CEO

* Please note that the bonus compensation is taxable income.


Organizational Update for Monday, November 22, 2021

November 21, 2021

Associates,

On Saturday, November 20, Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (GCCVA) determined that it was the target of an organized cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its IT systems. GCCVA took immediate action, investigating the integrity of all affected systems, notifying authorities, and working with security experts to resolve the situation. We are investigating whether the company’s backup servers were affected, and we are actively working with a cybersecurity firm to restore all systems as quickly as possible.

Our retail stores, outlets and e-recycle operations are now back online, with POS and credit card functionality restored.  We will be open for business as usual on Monday, November 22nd.

There will be no Auction on Monday, November 22nd, as work continues to restore their systems.

Support and Workforce Development staff should plan to work remotely (offsite) on Monday, November 22nd as internet and other services may remain unavailable at the 1911 and 6301 support centers.  Please check with your supervisor if you have specific questions.

Government and Commercial Contracts will operate as scheduled on Monday, November 22nd.

Thank you for your continued patience as we remediate this threat. We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. Should you have additional questions, please reach out to your director or Executive Team member.

Thank you,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO


COVID-19 Federal Vaccine Mandates Update

November 18, 2021

Associates,

We have updated information regarding vaccine mandates.

Please contact the Associate Support Line if you have any questions or concerns at 804.521.4981

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COVID-19 Update Regarding OSHA-DOL Vaccine Mandate for GCCVA Associates

November 5, 2021

**Note:  The following communication applies to GCCVA associates only.  GSI associates previously received guidance regarding vaccine mandates, and should check with supervisor for more information relevant to GSI and contract operations.**

Dear Associates,

Yesterday afternoon, Federal OSHA-DOL (Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Department of Labor) released direction and timing for putting into practice the vaccine mandate for employers of 100 or more. With more than 1,200 associates, this mandate applies to Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia (GCCVA) and goes into effect January 4th, 2022.

GCCVA leadership has discussed with our board of directors and legal counsel to fully understand the requirements of this latest mandate.  We are actively working to update policies and procedures to meet the requirements of OSHA-DOL and Virginia DOLI (Department of Labor and Industry) standards.

Our ongoing commitment is to the health and safety of our associates, and we will clearly communicate changes in our policies (including masks) and vaccine requirements in writing to you as soon as possible.

We continue to monitor active cases within our organization, while several more associates are awaiting test results.  Cases across the Commonwealth are trending down in many areas, but COVID-19 continues to be a significant health concern as we head into the busy holiday season.

Vaccines remain our best defense against the spread and serious illness associated with COVID-19.  If you haven’t already done so, you are encouraged to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider about the COVID-19 vaccine and consider vaccination.

Thank you for your continued diligence and commitment to our Goodwill.

If you have questions, please reach out to your manager, director or contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.


COVID-19 Communication from Mark A. Barth

October 2021

Dear Associates,

Late yesterday, President Biden introduced his COVID-19 Action Plan.  As part of this plan, OSHA-DOL will be mandating vaccinations or weekly testing for those who are not vaccinated for businesses employing more than 100 employees.  With more than 1,300 associates, this mandate will apply to Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, once enacted.

While the OSHA-DOL guidance has not yet been provided, we are monitoring for further updates and will clearly communicate in writing and through your manager, any changes in policies or protocols to you as soon as they are available.   At this time, our policies and protocols have not changed. 

Since September 1st, we have had 16 positive cases, with several more awaiting test results, the most we’ve experienced since the pandemic began.  Sadly, we also experienced our first associate death related to COVID-19, and two additional associates are currently hospitalized.

Vaccines remain our best defense against the spread and serious illness associated with COVID-19.  If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to speak with your doctor or healthcare provider about the COVID-19 vaccine and consider vaccination.

Thank you for your continued diligence and commitment to our Goodwill.

If you have questions, please reach out to your manager, director or contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_____________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 Communication from Mark A. Barth

August 24, 2021

Dear Fellow Goodwill Associate,

The COVID-19 landscape is ever-changing, and unfortunately, we’re once again seeing an increase in positive cases in our communities as well as our facilities.  Because of this, we recently reinstated our mask policy requiring all associates wear face coverings in our buildings.  We will continue to follow all CDC and Virginia Department of Labor and Industry guidelines. This includes conducting mandatory wellness checks for all associates arriving at work and following reporting procedures to ensure internal COVID-19 cases are identified quickly.

From day one of this pandemic, our highest priority has been the health and safety of our associates.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to further protect yourself. While we as an organization are not mandating vaccines for our associates, if you haven’t done so, I strongly encourage you to consult your doctor or healthcare provider and if you are able to do so, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.

Vaccines are widely available through your neighborhood pharmacy or your doctor’s office.  Over 66% of eligible residents in the Commonwealth are now fully vaccinated, and the daily rate of vaccinations continues to increase. The vaccine does not guarantee you will not contract the virus, but it does significantly reduce the likelihood of severe illness, hospitalization or death.  With area hospitals facing capacity issues, particularly in ICU’s, this additional level of protection is critical.

The Associate Support Line is available seven days a week (804.521.4981) to answer your questions related to the vaccine, vaccination sites, our COVID protocols or any other well-being questions you may have.

Thank you for all that you do to support our mission each day.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_____________________________________________________________________

July 29th Update to COVID-19 Protocols

EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, JULY 29th

Tuesday afternoon the CDC updated their guidance as it relates to masks for individuals who are fully vaccinated but may live, work or travel in areas where transmission of the Delta variant is considered substantial or high. As of today, the majority of our territory falls into these two categories.

Light Blue = Substantial Transmission Rates, Dark Blue = High Transmission Rates

Based on this recent update in CDC guidance, the following COVID-19 protocols will become effective Thursday, July 29th:

REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS:

  • You are required to wear a face-covering while working in GCCVA/GSI facilities.
  • You must continue physical distancing of at least six feet at all times.
  • If working outside, in isolation, when temperatures are at 85 degrees or higher, an associate can remove their mask provided that they maintain 6’ separation from others.
  • Six foot separation is required in breakrooms, at the time clock, etc.
  • There should not be face-to-face meetings in office spaces.

Additionally, all associates will continue to be required to:

  • Conduct daily wellness checks
  • Report COVID-19 testing or positivity

Associates who work at GSI/GCCVA contract site (non-GCCVA facilities) will wear a mask at all times while working indoors.  When visiting a GCCVA site, the above guidelines will apply.

As best practice, all associates should also continue regular handwashing for 20 seconds.

COVID-19 continues to be a public health concern.  We continue to follow CDC guidance, and encourage all associates to remain aware of public health guidelines and case counts/positivity rates in our territory.  We will continue to monitor the situation and update our guidance as appropriate.

Please see your District Manager or Director if you have questions or concerns.  Additionally, you may contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

_________________________________________________________________

July 1st Update to COVID-19 Protocols

EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, JULY 1ST

In accordance with the latest CDC guidance, the following COVID-19 protocols will become effective Thursday, July 1st:

IF YOU ARE FULLY VACCINATED:

  • You are no longer required to wear a face-covering while in GCCVA/GSI facilities. If you prefer to continue wearing one, you may do so.
  • If you have a depressed immune system you should consult your medical professional regarding the wearing of a face-covering

IF YOU ARE NOT FULLY VACCINATED:

  • You are still required to wear a face-covering while in GCCVA/GSI facilities.
  • You must continue physical distancing of at least six feet at all times

All associates, regardless of vaccination status, will continue to be required to:

  • Conduct daily wellness checks
  • Report COVID-19 testing or positivity

Associates who work at GSI/GCCVA contract site (non-GCCVA facilities) will continue to follow the guidelines of their work site.  When visiting a GCCVA site, the above guidelines will apply.

As best practice, all associates should continue regular handwashing for 20 seconds.

GCCVA/GSI will not be collecting individual vaccination information but trust that associates will make decisions based on our core value of integrity as well as concern for fellow associates, customers and donors.

COVID-19 continues to be a public health concern.  We are following CDC guidance, but we encourage associates to be aware of public health guidelines.  We will continue to monitor the situation and update our guidance as appropriate.

All associates will be asked to sign an acknowledgement form indicating they have read and agree to follow these updated protocols.

Please see your District Manager or Director if you have questions or concerns.  Additionally, you may contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

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Our Ongoing Commitment to Investing in Our Associates

June 18, 2021

Goodwill associates,

I’m grateful for your extraordinary effort during these past 18 months.  As you know, we initiated our Begin @ Home philosophy as an organization.  What this means is that our mission begins with you, our Associate … your training, on-the-job experience and career goals.  Matching actions to words, over the past year we have increased health and safety measures, career and skills training through the Begin@Home program, improved health insurance benefits, paid an all-Associate bonus and increased wages.  We are beginning at home.

Today I am pleased to share with you the following changes in compensation for GCCVA associates that will go into effect June 27th.    You will receive a pay increase in your July 16th paycheck, as outlined below:

Associates in Pay Grades 1-4

  • Our starting wage for retail will remain at $11.00/hour.
    • After 30 days of employment (beginning on day 31) all associates in pay grades 1-4 will receive a $.50/hour increase.
    • Following 90 days of employment (beginning on day 91) associates will receive an additional $.50/hour increase.
    • This means that within 90 days of employment our front-line associates will earn $12.00/hour.
  • In addition, all current associates in pay grades 1-4 who have been with the organization for more than 30 days will automatically receive a $.50/hour increase to their existing pay.
  • All associates in pay grades 1-4 who have been with the organization more than 90 days will automatically receive a $1.00/hour increase to their existing pay.

Associates outside of Pay Grades 1-4

  • All associates outside of paygrades 1-4 will receive a $1.00/hour pay increase to their existing pay.  Directors and Executives will not receive this increase.

Should you have any questions, please speak with your manager.

This is the third increase in wages in less than one year and represents an investment of an additional $2 million in payroll cost to the company, per year.  We are pleased to be able to make this investment in you.  We’re continually evaluating compensation and our decisions are guided by state and federal mandates, competitive wages and what our organization can afford.

We appreciate your helping fulfill the mission of our Goodwill.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_____________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 Protocols

June 10, 2021

Goodwill associates,

We continue to monitor the COVID cases and vaccination rates in our area. Additionally, we continue to review our policies in alignment with state and federal guidelines.  

Out of ongoing concern for our associate’s health and safety, we will continue to follow our existing guidelines including mask wearing, daily wellness checks and reporting requirements.  This will keep our organization in compliance with the Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) standard which requires all of these safety measures in the workplace.

Leadership will continue to discuss weekly and we will clearly communicate any changes to our guidance or protocols as decisions are made.

Thank you for your continued diligence in these efforts.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_____________________________________________________________________

 

CDC Mask Guidance Changes and Updates to Associates

May 14, 2021

Goodwill Associates,

Yesterday the CDC updated their guidance for mask usage for fully vaccinated individuals, and this afternoon Governor Northam announced updated mask guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated here in the Commonwealth.

For the health and safety of all of our associates, customers and donors, we will continue to require mask wearing for all associates and continue to follow all existing COVID-19 protocols in our facilities.

We will continue to encourage mask wearing by all customers but will not approach customers who are unmasked and entering our stores.

We will continue to monitor this situation, including updates to state and local mandates.

We will clearly communicate any changes to our guidance or protocols as decisions are made and thank you for your continued diligence in these efforts.

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

________________________________________________

Eviction Protection Resources and Information

If you or someone you know has fallen behind on rent and facing eviction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain resources and protections exist.

Click below for a full listing of resources, information and contacts to prevent evictions.

Eviction Protection Information

If you are in need of additional assistance, please reach out to the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

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YOUR INPUT MATTERS: Q4 ASSOCIATE CHECK-IN SURVEY

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

While Thanksgiving looked quite different for everyone this year, I hope you were able to enjoy a healthy and happy holiday and some time reflecting on the things you are most thankful for.  As this unprecedented year draws to a close, we want to take time once again to reach out to and check in with those our organization is most thankful for – our associates. 

In August we asked each of you to take a quick survey and let us know how you were doing and feeling given the challenges at the time.  As a result of that survey, we made some changes to our operating days, hours and starting wages in retail, as well as reevaluated many of our COVID safety procedures to ensure they were being followed across the organization.  Today, we are asking you to complete this brief survey once again.

Our leadership team continues to meet daily. In fact, as of this morning the Risk Management team, comprised of leaders from all areas of our organization, has met 175 times since March. These meetings often include discussions of government mandates and implications to our business, the health and safety of our associates, and our ability to provide mission services in an effective and safe manner for our job seekers, associates and workforce staff.  

As with our last survey, your input is vital to our planning and discussions, and I invite you to take this brief, five-minute survey in an effort to help us better understand the needs of our associates during these unique times.  This questionnaire is completely anonymous, and is meant to inform future planning for the organization in ways that best support our associates.  As you’ll see, no identifying information is required and the questions are focused on our associates, how they are feeling, and the challenges they may be facing at work or home. We ask that you complete this survey by Monday, December 7th so that we may begin reviewing your input in a timely manner.  The survey can be accessed via the button below.  

Associate Check-In Survey

I want to thank you in advance for your input – either in our calls, with your leadership team or via this survey.  It is important that your concerns and ideas be heard during these times of much “noise” and stress.  As always, the Associate Support Line is available, and can be reached seven days a week at 804.521.4981 or hrpaperwork@goodwillvirginia.org.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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ORGANIZATIONAL UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

November 5, 2020 

Dear fellow Goodwill Teammate, 

We’re entering a season of thanksgiving, and I want you to know how grateful we are for your extraordinary effort.  This year has provided it’s set of challenges to restart our operations and adjust to a new environment.  We’ve exercised all of our core values:  commitment, innovation, integrity, learning, respect and teamwork and put into action almost every aspect of the disaster recovery plans prepared over the past many years.

I want to take this opportunity to update you on some recent changes in our organization as well as a look ahead to the end of the year and into early 2021.

Due to the continuing financial impact of COVID-19 on our organization, earlier this week we made the difficult decision to eliminate 15 additional positions in our workforce and extend the furlough for approximately 60 associates through January 1, 2021.

Donated Goods Retail

We continue to make progress in restoring operations but are far from a pre-pandemic level of operations and anticipate it will take several months before we are able to do so.  Both E-commerce and Salvage have shown steady growth and our retail operations continue to make the most of reduced hours and days of operations.  As you know, we are now closed on Sundays, so that we may adequately staff, clean and replenish our stores.  We intend to maintain our current hours for the foreseeable future, however, we may adjust based upon customer demand and health and safety.

Earlier this week we updated you on the unfortunate incident at our Petersburg location.  While tragic, we are thankful that no one was injured.  In a true testament to our values, our team quickly came together to ensure all affected associates had positions at nearby locations so that there was little to no interruption in their ability to work.  Based on early estimates, this store may remain closed for several weeks for repairs and renovation.  

Workforce Development 

Although our stores and retail operations continue to make progress, we’re not yet able to financially sustain certain areas and roles within the organization.  As you know, COVID-19 case counts are once again increasing nationwide and we are very carefully monitoring developments and are being cautious as we enter winter and what that might mean for our operations.  Staffing and maintaining our own operations is a high priority.  We’re working diligently to develop virtual employment training and services that are being offered to our own workforce. 

In October, we restarted two group supported employment sites (enclaves) and our hope is to bring additional sites back in to operation in coming weeks.  Restarting these programs require particular planning and care to ensure the health and safety of all our associates and will be contingent upon the course the pandemic takes in our area.  

Other areas of our Workforce Development operations have been re-deployed to support these virtual services as well as the further development of our co-located employment services, started in 2019.   We intend to “meet people where they are” to receive our employment services at partner agencies.  We’ll have more information about this exciting development in coming weeks.  

Begin@Home

Begin @ Home means that our associates are our mission.  Meant to provide training, development and advancement opportunities, we’ve begun this initiative with our Start Fresh program.  This first training component of Begin@Home has entered its fourth week of delivery to retail associates.  Along the way we are discovering additional opportunities and needs that will shape the future of our associate development programs. Eventually, we will make these programs available to all associates. 

While the pandemic has forced us in to new and complex ways of delivering mission, our training teams and associates, with the support of IT, have done a phenomenal job of embracing this change.  I am excited for the opportunities that lie ahead in 2021 and beyond for our associates and their career growth as a result of this work.

The Road Ahead

This historic year has not been easy, and we know new challenges lie ahead.

We have become a stronger and more focused organization.

I’m confident that together, we will continue our growth as a team and an organization dedicated to helping people get jobs in Virginia.

This season can be a struggle.  I want to remind you all that our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available 24-7, as well as our Associate Support Line which can be reached at 804-521-4981, seven days a week.

Wishing you a healthy and meaningful Thanksgiving,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_________________________________________________________________

Petersburg Retail Store Update

November 2, 2020

Associates,

Late last night our Petersburg location experienced a break-in and fire, resulting in substantial water damage to the store and merchandise inside.  While the structure of the building does not appear to be impacted, cleanup will take quite some time and result in a prolonged closure of that location.

Our primary concern was, and continues to be, the wellbeing and safety of our associates.  All associates working at the Petersburg location were notified first thing this morning, and have been offered opportunities at nearby retail locations while repairs and renovations take place.  Additionally, we encourage all associates experiencing anxiety or concern related to this incident to utilize Goodwill’s EAP (Employee Assistance Program) or contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

We want to thank the swift actions of our Petersburg manager, Courtney Short, and District Manager, Robin Kijek, as they were the first to arrive on scene late last night and maintain contact with our associates throughout the morning.

We will update you as renovations take place in the weeks ahead, and hope to have our Petersburg team back in place as quickly as possible.  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your Director or call the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

Thank you.

_________________________________________________________________

Your Input Matters:  Associate Survey Follow-Up and Decisions

September 15, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

In early August we asked you to complete a brief survey to tell us how you were doing in these uncertain times – personally and professionally.  I appreciate that many of you completed the survey and provided very candid and insightful responses that our leadership team have reviewed over the past several weeks.  I’m writing today to let you know that we heard you and we value you.  As a result of your responses and changes due to the pandemic, we’re taking the following actions: 

Health and Safety

We continue to face unique challenges resulting from COVID-19, and the number one concern across all survey responses was health and safety.  Our RISK team continues to meet daily to assess the impact of COVID on our communities and operations.  Our Safety, Purchasing and Compliance teams are working diligently to ensure proper protocols are being followed, supplies are in place and associates have the protective items they need to remain safe and healthy in the workplace.  To be effective, our continuing diligence in following these protocols is required.   If you have concerns related to safety at your location, please speak with your supervisor or contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981. 

Days of Operation

Many of our retail associates responded that having one day a week to clean, organize, communicate and prepare the store for the week ahead was helpful, and increased their feeling of health and safety.  At the same time, many associates indicated they missed having Sunday off.  In addition, a Goodwill survey indicates that since March 70% of customer traffic now occurs during the week as compared to 40% pre-COVID.  This is a dramatic shift in customer preference.

Based on your feedback and changing customer shopping patterns, effective October 4th our retail stores will be closed on Sunday and open Monday through Saturday from 11am – 7pm.  We will continue to accept donations seven days a week at all locations. 

Shifts and Scheduling

As students across our territory return to school virtually, in-person, or even in hybrid models, working parents and students in our retail locations expressed concern over single shifts and lack of flexibility in scheduling.  We understand the unique situation this creates, and our retail leaders are now creating expanded shifts for production and cleaning with more flexible retail schedules within our stores.  Hours will be available both before our stores open and after they close.  We will continue to explore all options and work together on schedules that meet the needs of both our associates and our business.  More information on this will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.

Wages

Effective with the October 4th  pay period, our starting wage for all entry level positions will be $11.00/hour and the starting wage for all lead positions will be $13.00/hour.  If you are currently at a wage lower than this, you will receive an increase to this amount.

Our hope is that the starting wage increase for these roles in our organization will help in the immediate need for more associates in this very unique environment.  Given the financial impact of being closed for over 60 days this spring, we did not come to this decision lightly and we will continue to monitor and review compensation regularly.

There are many great reasons to work at our Goodwill: flexible scheduling, excellent benefits (including affordable health insurance, paid time off, and many others), opportunities for advancement, recognition, our new learning and development program (Begin @ Home) and most importantly, our values.

As we head in to fall and planning for 2021, we will continue to look to you for ideas on ways to improve and evolve in these unique times.

In closing, I want to thank you for your thoughts that helped us make these decisions, continued commitment to our organization and effort every day to support our worthy mission.  

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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Your Input Matters: Associate Check-In Survey 

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

It’s incredible to think that 2020 is halfway over, and that we have been living and operating in these unprecedented times for over four months now.  When I take a step back and look at all that our associates have overcome and continue to face – both personally and professionally – I truly appreciate the strength and dedication each of you bring to our organization daily.

Our leadership team continues to assess the environment and our operations daily.  These meetings often include discussions of government mandates and implications to our business, the health and safety of our associates, and our ability to provide mission services in an effective and safe manner for our job seekers, associates and workforce staff.  Just last week our leadership team made the difficult decision to extend the furlough of some associates through August 31st as we continue to monitor conditions and determine appropriate timing for their return.  While these decisions are not made lightly, they are made through extensive planning and input from leaders across the organization. 

Your input is vital to our planning, too, and I invite you to take a brief, five-minute survey in an effort to better understand the needs of our associates during these unique times.  This questionnaire is completely anonymous, and is meant to inform future planning for the organization in ways that best support our associates.  As you’ll see, no identifying information is required and the questions are focused on our associates, how they are feeling, and the challenges they may be facing at work or home. We ask that you complete this survey by Friday, August 7th so that we may begin reviewing your input in a timely manner.  The survey can be accessed via the button below.  

Associate Check-In Survey

I want to thank you in advance for your input – either in our calls, with your leadership team or via this survey.  It is important that your concerns and ideas be heard during these times of much “noise” and stress.  As always, the Associate Support Line is available, and can be reached seven days a week at 804.521.4981 or hrpaperwork@goodwillvirginia.org.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO


OPERATIONS UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

July 27, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

For our Goodwill, as with many organizations in Virginia and the nation, July has once again shown us the uncertainty of the times in which we live, and how quickly situations can evolve. Earlier in the month we saw down trending COVID-19 results and what appeared to be movement in a positive direction for our communities.  However, the last two weeks have shown more positive cases in our area and forced us to once again revisit our operational plans for some areas of the organization.

Given the current pandemic environment, we’ve made the decision to continue the furlough status of some of our associates through August 31st. We will continue to pay all benefits – health and voluntary – for these affected associates through the end of August. It is possible that some associates may be called back sooner than August 31st as we anticipate the ability to continue to restart our operations across the organization. As stated previously, we hope to bring associates back to work. Our decisions will be guided by concern for the health of our associates and the long­ term financial sustainability of our operation.

Please reach out to the Human Resources team or your manager with any questions you may have. The Associate Support Line is 804.521.4981. Additionally, should you be experiencing financial hardship, do not hesitate to apply to the HOPE Fund by visiting goodwillvirginia.org/associate-resources.

Our leadership team continues to assess the environment and our business daily. We appreciate your continued patience as we work to emerge from this unusually challenging time.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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OPERATIONS UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

June 26, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

As June draws to a close we are fortunate that we have been able to reopen all of our retail locations over the past few weeks.  However, we continue to operate on reduced days and limited hours, and continue to evaluate our operations daily.  The teamwork and planning exhibited by all of our teams during this time has been exceptional, and our focus remains on how to operate in a way that is safe and healthy for our associates and customers.

While we are fortunate to have restarted our economic engine, we still have quite a way to go before we are back to full operational capacity.  And there are many variables that remain beyond our control, even as Virginia enters Phase 3 on July 1st.  With that, we’ve made the decision to continue the furlough status of some of our associates through July 31st.  We will continue to pay all benefits – health and voluntary – for those affected associates through the end of July.  It is possible that some associates may be called back sooner than July 31st as we continue to restart our operations across the organization.  Our hope is to bring as many associates back as soon as possible, keeping in mind the health of our associates and the stability and long-term success of our operation.

Please reach out to the Human Resources team or your manager with any questions you may have.  The Associate Support Line is 804.521.4981.  Additionally, should you be experiencing financial hardship, do not hesitate to apply to the HOPE Fund by visiting goodwillvirginia.org/associate-resources.

Our leadership team continues to assess the environment and our business daily.  We appreciate your continued patience as we work to emerge from this unusually challenging time.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

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REDUCTION IN FORCE UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

June 2, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

The current pandemic crisis has impacted our business in ways we never could have imagined.  Our stores – the economic engine of our organization – have seen a significant loss in revenue as they remained closed for over two months.  This has never happened in the history of our Goodwill.  Additionally, we anticipate program funding to be reduced in the coming months as agencies and partners across our territory experience similar financial hardship.  

Unfortunately, as with many other organizations throughout the nation, these circumstances have resulted in very difficult decisions to reduce staff in several areas of our organization.

All associates impacted by this reduction were informed yesterday, and our Human Resources team is working with each and every one to ensure they have the support they need during this transition period.

The current environment has forced us to become extremely focused on our core services and restarting our own operations with fewer resources than we had in March.  At this time there are no plans for additional staff reductions.  However, we continue to monitor these uncharted waters to the best of our ability, and our commitment to you as your leadership team is to keep you informed in weeks and months ahead.  Workforce development is still the core of our mission and will continue to exist with an emphasis on the training and development of our own Associates.

We realize all of our Associates have experienced stress and hardship these past several months.  If at any time you need to, please reach out to the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

On behalf of the entire leadership team, thank you for your continued commitment to our mission and Goodwill.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_________________________________________________________________

OPERATIONS UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

May 28, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

Last week we took a big step toward re-opening our organization.  Since Tuesday, May 19th we have successfully opened 22 of our 36 retail stores and welcomed shoppers into our buildings for the first time in over eight weeks.  The teamwork and planning that went in to these re-openings was remarkable, and I’m grateful for the resiliency and dedication of our associates.

While we are fortunate to have restarted our economic engine, we still have quite a way to go before we are back to full operational capacity.  And there are many variables beyond our control.  With that, we’ve made the decision to continue the furlough status of some of our associates through June 27th.  We will continue to pay all benefits – health and voluntary – for these affected associates through the end of June.  Our leadership team did not take this decision lightly, knowing that this extension places a burden on those affected.  Our hope is to bring as many associates back as soon as possible, keeping in mind the health of our associates and the stability and long-term success of our operation.

Some associates may be called back before June 27th based on operational needs as we continue to restart our operations. 

Please reach out to the Human Resources team or your manager with any questions you may have.  The Associate Support Line is 804.521.4981.  Additionally, should you be experiencing financial hardship, do not hesitate to apply to the HOPE Fund by visiting goodwillvirginia.org/associate-resources.

Our leadership team continues to assess the environment and our business daily.  We appreciate your continued patience as we work to emerge from this unusually challenging time.  

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_____________________________________________________________________

OPERATIONS UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

May 8, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

It’s staggering to think we are entering the seventh week of our stores and employment centers being closed. Never before have we experienced the circumstances of these past two months, and though we have endured great stress during this time, we have not lost sight of our mission, our path forward, or you, our highly valued associate.

I’m writing to let you know that we are planning to re-open a limited number of stores beginning Tuesday, May 19th, subject to the Governor’s orders that affect non-essential retail operations. As with the unpredictability of the virus, these plans may change at any time, but I want you to know we have a team regularly assessing the situation and are preparing for your much anticipated and welcomed return.

Please note that at this time, we’ll be calling back only certain Donated Goods Retail associates and that not all associates will start back at this time. We will be re-opening our retail locations in limited capacity and in phases over the next several weeks. You will receive a phone call from Human Resources in the coming days to notify you if you’re being asked to return to work. Shortly thereafter you will hear from your manager with additional details. We realize all of this has been very difficult and thank you for your patience, as we follow our plan to provide for the long-term financial sustainability of our Goodwill.

The health and safety of our associates, customers and donors is paramount. Therefore, there will be an emphasis on additional and continuing training in these areas as we re-open. Our stores will be equipped with plexishields, social distancing decals, signage and overhead messaging for customers and associates. Associates will be required to wear face coverings, among other measures and we will request our customers wear face coverings as well. When reporting for work, you will be required to complete training for new processes and procedures that have been put in place to help keep us safe, healthy and compliant with all state guidelines. It will be critically important for all of us to follow these guidelines.

We will continue to monitor the operational and financial progress of the stores – the economic engine of our organization. Our experience during this time will dictate when we bring more associates back to work. For now, those associates who are not in donated goods will remain on furlough as we evaluate how to re-open the rest of the organization. Not all donated goods retail associates will be returning, just those required to re-open a limited number of stores, with the hope of continuing to open stores over the coming weeks. Non-furloughed support associates will continue to telework until further notice.

We understand you may have questions about the re-opening and encourage you to reach out to the Human Resources Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

This phased approach should allow us to re-open safely and adjust as needed as we emerge from this unprecedented time. Now, more than ever before, Goodwill is needed in our communities and we look forward to welcoming you back over the next several weeks to help meet that need.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth President & CEO

A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM YOUR HR TEAM

May 7, 2020

The Human Resources team compiled this special message for our associates.  Enjoy!

FURLOUGH AND TELEWORK UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

April 16, 2020

Dear Goodwill Team Member:

I hope this note finds you healthy and well as we continue to navigate this historic pandemic and the many changes we’ve experienced over the past few weeks.

Since we last communicated with you regarding the unfortunate need to furlough more than 60% of our workforce, our leadership team and support units have worked tirelessly to keep abreast of the ever-changing landscape and what that means for our operations.  We continue to assess our furlough situation daily, and commit to communicating any changes with you as quickly as possible.

With that, we have made the decision to extend our teleworking and furlough status through Saturday, May 16th.  While we understand the added burden this places on our associates who have been furloughed, we want to ensure that we continue to comply with guidance and mandates from federal, state, and local authorities and that when you return to work in one of our facilities you are able to do so in a safe and healthy environment.  

Lastly, I would like to encourage any associate experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to apply to the HOPE Fund, as special emergency funds – contributed by fellow associates, board members and funders – may be available to alleviate some of the burden you may be experiencing.  More information on the HOPE Fund and the application can be found by visiting https://goodwillvirginia.org/associate-resources/.  Information on additional support resources, including EAP, are also available on this site.

We understand the hardship this situation has created for both our furloughed and non-furloughed team members, and it is our sincere hope that we can begin to resume normal operations soon. Over the next several weeks we will continue to assess the situation as well as the needs of our locations as we begin to plan our restart.  This includes cross-functional teams dedicated to making sure you have the support and resources you need as we resume normal operations.  

If you have any questions, the Associate Support Line is available 7 days a week at 804.521.4981 or hrpaperwork@goodwillvirginia.org.

Thank you all for your ongoing commitment to and support of our mission – we are all in this together.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 OPERATIONAL UPDATE FROM MARK A. BARTH

April 2, 2020

Dear Goodwill Associates:

Our Goodwill has been in continuous operation for over 118 years.  Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, we and most major retailers across the country are closed.

Our Leadership Team has been assessing the situation continuously for several weeks.  Our first step was to do our part in trying to slow the rate of infection by closing all our stores to the public.  We made the commitment to pay 100% of our Associates in full (with benefits) for 2 weeks from March 20 through April 4.

In addition, the Governor has extended his Executive Order to June 10, 2020, and the President has extended coronavirus guidelines until June.

Because of the financial impact of all of this, I am very sorry to say we must furlough 841 of our 1,360 Goodwill Associates, effective Sunday, April 5.  It is my sincere hope that we will be able to resume normal operations soon, but are uncertain as to when that will happen.

By the end of this week, you will be receiving a letter in the mail letting you know whether or not you will be furloughed.  If you are furloughed, you will not be allowed to work and will not be paid. However, if you have insurance, Goodwill will pay your premium for the month of April.  If you are not furloughed, we ask you to continue to work and you will be paid.

If you have not received your letter by Saturday, April 4th, please contact the Associate Support line at (804) 521-4981 for details on your status.  We kindly ask that you wait until this date to contact the Associate Support Line to allow time for your letter to arrive, which will provide full details and next steps.

Our entire team realizes this creates hardship and we hope to return to normal in the near future.

Sincerely,

Mark A. Barth, President & CEO

_________________________________________________________________

COVID-19 POLICY:  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

March 22, 2020

Goodwill recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other that our organization and associates have experienced. Guiding principles during this public emergency are to help associates stay healthy, keep our workplaces safe, and to only operate when and where we can do so safely and responsibly. Also, this crisis is fluid, and changes will take place based on operational necessities, government mandates and unforeseen factors.

Below are FAQs related to GCCVA’s COVID-19 Policy.

What do I do if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?
Any associate who thinks they have been exposed to COVID-19, have a pending COVID-19 test, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor.  Associates may notify their manager directly, or call the Associate Support Line at 804-521-4981.

How do I know if I’m eligible for COVID-19 Related Leave?
Any Goodwill of Central and Coastal Virginia, Inc. associates who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to use liberal leave.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Associates who are unable to work remotely or telework based on the nature of their duties
  • Associates who self-quarantine due to exposure, self-isolate for protection, waiting for a test result or have a positive diagnosis
  • Associates who must care for an immediate family member whose place of care or whose care provider is unavailable
  • Associates who must care for a child residing in their home whose school or place of care has been closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable

What do you mean by immediate family member?
Immediate family member includes:

  • Associate’s legal spouse
  • Children of the associate or of the associate’s spouse (biological, adopted, step or foster child, or legal ward)
  • Parents of the associate or of the associate’s spouse (biological, adoptive, stepparent, foster parent or legal guardian)
  • Grandparents of the associate or of the associate’s spouse
  • Sons-in-law or daughters-in-law of the associate or of the associate’s spouse
  • Other relatives of the associate or the associate’s spouse who reside in the same household as the associate
What happens to my work if I’m not there to do it?
Associates who are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the type of work they perform (e.g., the work cannot be performed remotely) may be assigned other duties that CAN be performed remotely. If the associates are not comfortable with the reassignment of duties, they may decline the reassignment and take liberal leave.
Who do I send my leave request to, and who approves it?
All associates who request to use liberal leave during the COVID-19 must notify their direct supervisor and with advanced notice.  Liberal leave requests during the COVID-19 State of Emergency are subject to the approval of your supervisor or manager.  Note that the use of Liberal Leave for COVID-19 related reasons expires when the COVID-19 pandemic emergency is over, as determined by Goodwill.
What does Liberal Leave mean?
Goodwill’s policy is that in the event that a Goodwill site experiences a closure, early closure, or late opening due to an emergency situation—associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to make hours whole for scheduled time missed due to the closure.

During this pandemic, associates may use liberal leave for any concerns related to COVID-19. Associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time.  For more information on Liberal Leave, contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981.

I still have questions – who do I call?
Contact the Associate Support Line at 804.521.4981 with any questions you have related to leave, benefits, EAP or other human resources related matters.  The health and wellbeing of our associates is critical during this time, and we’re here to answer your questions.

For a full copy of the COVID-19 Policy, click here.

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COVID-19 OPERATIONAL UPDATE MESSAGE FROM MARK A. BARTH, PRESIDENT & CEO

March 20, 2020

Dear Associates,

The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges that most of us have not experienced in our lifetimes.  I am so proud of and grateful for the teamwork, commitment, innovation and teamwork everyone has demonstrated these past few weeks, with all of us being impacted both professionally and personally. Our first priority is the health and safety of our associates and the community we serve.

We believe that we’ve crossed a threshold with the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the interest of health of all our associates and shoppers, will be closing our donated goods retail stores, outlet stores and auction for two weeks beginning Saturday, March 21 through Saturday April 4, 2020. All associates in these locations will continue to receive full pay and benefits during this two-week time. Our Risk Management Team is continuously assessing the situation and we will communicate with you about future decisions as soon as we are able.

We’ve directed our managers to operate with a small number of associates during these two weeks in order to collect and process donations at stores and attended donation centers. This may change, so please check www.goodwillvirginia.org/health for associate communications. Also, if you are not receiving IRIS alerts via text or email and would like to, please let your manager know. 

Our auction in Richmond will be closed, but our ecommerce team will continue to sell goods at Shopgoodwill.com. Our Community Employment Centers will remain closed, and support staff will continue to telework. 

The pandemic has altered the lives and livelihoods of all of us, and I thank you for your patience and understanding while we all work our way through this crisis.

Should you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to call the Associate Support Line below or talk with your manager. Again, thank you for your continuing commitment to our mission.

Wishing you good health. 

Mark A. Barth

President & CEO

Associate Support Line: 804-521-4981

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COVID-19 Update – March 16, 2020

Reported Diagnoses Among Associates:  None

  • All Store and ADC hours will be 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., 7 days per week, from March 17 through March 31.
  • All Community Employment Centers will be closed from March 17 – 31.  
  • All staff who normally work in the Richmond and Hampton Support Center C2 and CEC environments will work from home, except for essential personnel. Managers and directors are responsible for determining who is essential, and for making and monitoring assignments. The IT Dept. will send an email today with guidance on teleworking.  
  • All training is cancelled except New-Hire Orientation and Retail Training, at least for this week.
  • We will only hold morning auctions for the next two weeks – no evening auctions:
  • Group Supported Employment (enclave) hours will be 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Liberal Leave Policy Reminder: During this pandemic, associates may use liberal leave for any concerns related to COVID-19. Associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time.

Goodwill’s policy is that in the event that a Goodwill site experiences a closure, early closure, or late opening due to an emergency situation—associates may access accrued sick time, in addition to available vacation or personal time, to make hours whole for scheduled time missed due to the closure.

Changes in GSI Contract Site Hours: None. Supervisors will inform associates of any changes. 

Thought for the Day: You have the ability to make a difference in someone’s day today.

ASSOCIATE SUPPORT LINE: 804-521-4981​

If managers have any questions related to policies and benefits, please contact Christy Robersonvice president of people operations, at 804-240-1268.

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COVID-19 Update – March 13, 2020

Cancellations: Job fairs scheduled at Community Employment Centers through March 28. 

Operational Updates: 

  • Changes in Store or ADC Hours: None. Managers will work with their DMs to determine whether hours need to be adjusted based on levels of donations and shoppers.
  • Changes in GSI Contract Site Hours: None. Supervisors will inform associates of any changes. 
  • Associates whose work can be done from home have the flexibility to do so, with their manager’s recommendation and director’s approval. 

NEW: Daily Updates: We will now send COVID-19 Daily Management Updates to all people managers in the afternoon, Monday through Friday and as needed on weekends. The expectation is that managers will have daily morning briefings with their teams to convey the new information.  Please check in with your manager daily for updates.

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COVID-19 Update – March 10, 2020 

Sickness 

  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, you must not come to work. 
  • If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms at work, your manager has the authority to ask you to go home. You will be paid for a full day’s work. 
  • You are required to report to your manager or Human Resources if: 
    • You have been exposed to someone who is undergoing testing for COVID-19 
    • You have been tested for COVID-19 
    • You have been diagnosed with COVID-19 
  • You are not to return to work until your doctor and Human Resources have cleared you. 
  • You will need a doctor’s note for absences of more than three days. 

NEW: Goodwill is suspending disciplinary action on schedule/attendance adherence for any associate diagnosed with any flu strain. You will only need a doctor’s note following three days of absence. 

Personal Hygiene 

  • Try to wash your hands once an hour. Since hand sanitizer is back-ordered, hand-washing must be done more frequently. Try not to touch your mouth, nose or eyes without washing your hands first. Do not eat, drink, or smoke without washing your hands first. Always wash again afterwards. 
  • Catch sneezes and coughs in a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Don’t reuse tissues. 

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Organizational Update on Preparation for COVID-19  3/6/2020

The health and safety of our associates is our number one concern.

As announced last week, an internal work group is helping our organization prepare for various scenarios in the event of a Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

The work group is exploring how to respond to the possibilities of the virus spreading throughout the organization.

We are reviewing our policies with compassion and safety in mind, especially in the event that some associates may not be able to work due to COVID-19 illness or if their workplaces are temporarily closed. 

HAND WASHING IS CRITICAL

Frequent and thorough handwashing – for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water – is the best way to stop the spread of germs. We have ordered more hand washing signs and will deliver to all locations next week.

Information Sources

The work group’s official sources for information include the World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Virginia Department of Health, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, and local government Departments of Health. There are no confirmed cases in Virginia and South Carolina at this time.  

Got Your Flu Shot?

Health experts advise that people who get the flu and COVID-19 are at a high health risk. Flu vaccinations are recommended to minimize chances of contracting the flu and are available free of charge at many pharmacies. 

IRIS Alerts

In the same manner that we use the IRIS Alert System to notify associates of time-sensitive information such as store closures due to bad weather, IRIS will be a tool for key alerts in the event of the spread of COVID-19 in Goodwill’s areas of operation. We will also post information through GoodPoint.

Additional Documents from Anthem