On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, UPE and members of the 005 and 008 governing boards met with the Department of Human Assistance to discuss changes in the current lobby capacity due to the lifting of the Public Health Emergency.
Prior to October 2022, DHA had cut lobby capacity to 50% due to the prevalence of COVID-19. After October 2023, lobbies were opened at 100% capacity unless that DHA location was in an outbreak.
Beginning July 3, 2023, All DHA lobbies will be at 100% capacity unless a location is in a major outbreak. If a DHA location has 20 or more COVID-19 cases, it will be placed in major outbreak status, and the lobbies will be returned to 50% capacity.
Another change that will occur is there will no longer be the ability to have split interview rooms, and all face-to-face interviews will happen in the same room. UPE has proposed that split interview rooms still be an option when the location is in a major outbreak as well as when a customer is visibly ill.
The department wanted to have an opportunity to think about our proposal and will get back to us. We will be sure to send an update when the department responds to our proposal.
UPE also expressed the importance of monitoring the use of masks by customers when the location is in an outbreak. Customers should be held to the same guidelines as our members to ensure the safety of those working with them.
Thank you to Stephanie McCall, Patrick Hunter, Nicole Gorman, Jennifer Avalo, James Starr, Erin Crocker, Chris Jenkins, and Monica Stephens for being our subject matter experts on this issue.