Employee Resources COVID-19

Every person may experience their own unique reaction to a stressful situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak. As the situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves, we want to make sure you are aware of  the resources available to you and your family members. We have many resources through the USG Benefits plan, KEPRO Employee Assistance Program and the Virgin Pulse Well-being Portal. We have also included other free resources that you might find helpful. Take time for your own self-care, health, and emotional well-being during this uncertain time. We hope you find the information helpful.  Additional resources will be added as they are identified. The information on this page should be considered informational only and not an endorsement of any one product or service.

Reach out to us if you can't find what you need? We are here to help! Email vsuwellness@valdosta.edu

Resources

  • What to Expect During This Time

    Typical Reactions
    Every person may experience their own unique reaction to a stressful situation such as the COVID-19 outbreak (helpful handout). As such, you may feel some combination of what is listed below.

    People may feel:

    • Anxiety, worry, or fear related to your own health status.
    • Concern about effectively managing your life demands while choosing to isolate for your own safety and safety of others.
    • Concern about friends and family back home, if home is in an area heavily affected by COVID-19.
    • Stigmatized or singled-out, including if you are part of a group of people who may experience stigma related to COVID-19 (see Social Stigma section below).
    • Anger and frustration about having your movements in the world confined to one space.
    • Boredom and frustration because you may not be able to work or engage in regular day-to-day activities.
    • Uncertainty or ambivalence about the situation.

    Not-as Typical Reactions (But Can Still Occur)
    Some people have pre-existing emotional or psychological conditions that can be exacerbated by a high-stress event, such as the COVID-19 outbreak. This may include:

    • A desire to use unhealthful coping behaviors that interfere with normal sleeping, eating, and self-care behaviors such as excessive late nights, over-eating, and excessive use of substances.
    • Symptoms of depression, such as feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, lethargy, isolation, or sleeping too little or too much
    • Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as intrusive distressing memories, flashbacks (reliving the event), nightmares, changes in thoughts and mood, and being easily startled

    Ways to Support Yourself During Social Distancing and/or Self-Isolation

    • Connect with others through means other than in person
    • Maintain a routine and take care of your body 
    • Manage emotions 

    How to Support Someone who is Social Distancing 

    • Remain in some kind of virtual contact.
    • Ask about how someone is doing and normalize feelings of anger, frustration, worry.
    • Don't try to fix these feelings while also reminding them that you care about them and that this will pass.
    • Remind them to engage in healthy routines such as regular sleep, healthy eating, and adding physical activity, and things that help them reduce stress in a healthy way.
    • Utlize websites: Soul Pancake, Happify 
    • Watch this helpful TEDTalk (Why we all need to practice emotional first aid)

    What to Expect after Time Spent in Self-Isolation

    It can be normal to feel singled-out and worried about how others may view you when returning from a social distancing period. Here are tips on how to address this:

    • Talk to others about your experience and how you are feeling
    • Re-engage in your daily routine: go to class, exercise, study, reconnect with others, etc…
    • Seek help if you feel distressed, anxious, depressed, and/or are having difficulty sleeping
  • Health - Coronavirus Resources

    Well-being Provider -Virgin Pulse

    This webinar includes the following:

    • The facts about COVID-19 and steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease.
    • Strategies to keep employees educated, healthy and engaged during unexpected disruptions.
    • How to foster collaboration, relationship-building and productivity while practicing social distancing.
    *We would like to provide clarification on slide 27 which addressed: "If I get the virus will I be immune from getting it again after I recover?"
    Based on information from the CDC, "The immune response to COVID-19 is not yet understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection are unlikely to be re-infected shortly after they recover, but it is not yet known whether similar immune protection will be observed for patients with COVID-19."

    Free COVID- 19 Vitural Screenings (Announcement) (AU Health App)

    All University System of Georgia employees are now eligible for free COVID-19 virtual screenings through Augusta University Health System’s AU Health Express Care app. Screenings are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at no cost and no appointment required. You log into the app from home. Screenings are done by a provider who is a physician, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant and trained to screen for COVID-19. 
    Please note:  A positive screening does not mean you have COVID-19. Patients who screen positive will be told about appropriate next steps, which could include visiting a testing site.  Patients who screen negative are provided their visit summary and will be given guidance on next steps for treatment of their symptoms. AU cannot guarantee perfect screening results, but are confident their medical professionals are using the most up-to-date and latest COVID-19 screening practices.
    The app is available for download on iPhone and Android. Links to the virtual screening app are available at www.augustahealth.org/COVID19. For those without access to technology, please call AU Health’s COVID-19 hotline at 706-721-1852.

    USG Healthcare Plan Resources

    For COVID-19 related in-network provider visits and testing, out of pocket costs such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, will be waived ($0.00) if you are enrolled in one of the USG healthcare plans through Anthem BCBSGA or Kaiser Permanente (including employees enrolled in the Consumer Choice HSA). All telehealth visits through LiveHealth On-Line, including those unrelated to COVID-19, will be covered at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans through June 30, 2020. 

    If you have concerns or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, we encourage you to take the following steps:

    • Call your provider’s office for guidance and next steps.
    • If you do not have a provider, please call the 24/7 nurseline and/or member services number for help locating a provider.

     

    Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem)

    Kaiser Permanente

    24/7 Nurseline

    1-888-724-2583

    404-365-0966  

    1-800-611-1811

    Member Services

    1-800-424-8950

    404-261-2590

    Website

    https://www.anthem.com/usg/

    https://my.kp.org/usg/

    • Emergency room and urgent care options are available for emergency situations.

    Telehealth Options
    Both Anthem and Kaiser Permanente offer telehealth options. If you have nonemergency healthcare concerns, telehealth can be a good option. While COVID-19 cannot be confirmed through virtual or remote care, provider teams can help with screening symptoms, assign risk, answer questions and recommend the next steps. All telehealth visits will be covered at 100% with no out of pocket costs for all USG healthcare plans including those unrelated to COVID-19.

    Anthem members- LiveHealth On-line

    Kaiser HMO members Call 404-365-0966 or access kp.org

    Pharmacy/Prescription Medications
    To ensure access to prescription medications, early refill limits will be waived for 30-day maintenance prescriptions at in-network pharmacies. Additionally, CVS pharmacies are waiving charges for home delivery of all prescription medications. If you do not use a CVS pharmacy, please check with your local pharmacy for information about waived home delivery charges. If you take a maintenance medication, we encourage you to use the 90-day supply option. This will reduce the number of trips to the pharmacy and will lower your out of pocket cost. As part of the prescription drug program, you also have the option of home delivery from CVS Caremark Mail Service pharmacy with no delivery cost.

    Anthem members – Pharmacy Plan information through CVS/Caremark 1-877-362-3922

    At this time, Kaiser Permanente has not removed any refill limits for maintenance medications. However, employees can utilize Kaiser Permanente’s prescription mail order service to have prescriptions shipped home with no shipping charges.


    NonUSG Healthcare Plan Covered Employees

    For employees not enrolled in the USG Healthcare plan, a telehealth option is available through LiveHealth On-line at $59 per visit. For acute, non serious medical concerns, you may consider a retail health clinics or a quick care center.

    COVID-19 Hotline - Information from Department of Community Health https://dph.georgia.gov/

    The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility.

    Hotline: (844) 442-2681


    Pandemic Resources 

    During times like this it is important to stay informed, but limit viewing social media and news reports to help decease stress and anxiety. The following are sound advice resources that can be used.

  • Stress/Anxiety Reduction and overall Mental Health

    Stress, doubt, and anxiety can be just as contagious as COVID-19 itself. It is important to take care of your emotional wellbeing during this time of crisis. Below are resources and tips to help you. 

    KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan 

    Tips for coping with any feelings or emotions you may be experiencing related to the COVID-19 outbreak is available through the KEPRO Employee Assistance Plan via phone at 844-243-4440 or on-line at EAPHelplink.com (company code is USGCares).

    USG partners with the KEPRO Employee Assistance Program to provide support and resources on personal matters to improve your overall life and well-being. In addition to phone counseling and in-person counseling referrals (first 4 visits are at no cost), the EAP includes additional products and services at no cost such as:

    • Legal and Financial Services
    • Childcare and eldercare referrals and advice
    • Grief and loss support
    • Taxpayer information

    The KEPRO EAP is available 24/7/365 to offer telephonic support to you and your family members at 844-243-4440.


    Virgin Pulse - Your Employee Well-being Provider

    This is a great time to access all of the resources available to you in the Employee Well-being Portal. If you are on the USG Healthcare Plan, you can access the portal through OneUSG Benefits, select manage my benefits, once you have logged-in, click on USG Well-being tile. If you are a spouse on the USG Healthcare plan or a benefits eligible employee, go to ourwellbeing.usg.edu. Haven't activated your account? Download the How-to-Guide . For on the go access, download the Virgin Pulse App (company code USG). 

    Related Well-being Portal Resources:

    • Connect with an online coach (i.e. reduce stress, anxiety & depression)- Click Health Icon, from drop down select Coaching  
    • Start a 10-day journey (5 different reducing stress options) - Click Health Icon, from drop down select Journeys 
    • WHIL - Mindfulness 101 - Click Programs Icon, select all, scroll to the bottom

    In addition to all of the resources you can find within the well-being portal itself. Virgin Pulse also has tips and resources to help employees navigate mental wellbeing and  build resilience during the coronavirus (COVID-19) disruptions on their community page.


    Online Resource through Active Minds

    COVID-19 related closures have sent many of us to our home offices, kitchen counters, and dining tables for remote study or work — or none at all. For many, having to unexpectedly leave or disengage with our community – even if just for a short time – can be stressful. For others, this pandemic may be exacerbating symptoms of anxiety or other mental illnesses. Join us for Live Webinars.


    Mental Health America of Georgia - Staying mentally well during COVID-19

    During this time of uncertainty, Mental Health America of Georgia is committed to maintaining social connectedness and educating our communities on managing stress levels, anxiety and reducing isolation. Therefore, we will be offering select mental health awareness webinars at no cost to participants. 


    NAMI Moultrie Connections Support Group for Adults (18+)

    Online groups are being held through May for those living in recovery with a mental health condition. Interested individuals should contact Todd Lynch todd.lynch.0810@gmail.com.  Group meets Mondays at 6:00 PM.


    Calm 

    Calm is an app you can download. They have created this free resource even for non app users to share some of the tools they are using to take care of our minds and stay grounded. Enjoy this duration of content hand-picked to support your mental and emotional wellness through this time.


    Guided Meditation

  • Staying Healthy - Nutrition and Activity

    Healthy habits tend to take the sideline when your daily routine is disrupted. But, making time for exercise and nutritious meals is never more critical than in times of stress. 

    Healthy Smoothies 

    Missed the Super Smoothies Demonstration? Click on the recording below.

    Super Smoothies 


    Do you know which nutrients boost your immune system? Check out this flyer provided by Aramark's Dietitian. 

    Nutri-munnity


    Virgin Pulse - Your Employee Well-being Provider 

    This is a great time to access all of the resources available to you in the Employee Well-being Portal. If you are on the USG Healthcare Plan, you can access the portal through OneUSG Benefits, select manage my benefits, once you have logged-in, click on USG Well-being tile. If you are a spouse on the USG Healthcare plan or a benefits eligible employee, go to ourwellbeing.usg.edu. Haven't activated your account? Download the How-to-Guide . For on the go access, download the Virgin Pulse App (company code USG). 

    Related Well-being Portal Resources:

    • Connect with an online coach (i.e. Get Active, Eat Healthy, Manage Weight)- Click Health Icon, from drop down select Coaching  
    • Start a 10-day journey (5 different eating healthy and getting active options) - Click Health Icon, from drop down select Journeys 
    • Nutrition Guide - Click Tracking Icon, from drop down select Nutrition Guide
    • Participate in the USG Challenge - Spring Crush
    • Create your Own Step Challenge - How To Guide - Desktop, App
    • Create your Own - Pick from another Healthy Habit Challenge - How to Guide  - Desktop, App

    Additional resources from Virgin Pulse Community site:


    Zipongo Toolkit 

    Many Zipongo teammates are dietitians, epidemiologists and physicians who’ve been thinking through how to help our own families grapple with the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. We know that you and your loved ones have also been facing risks, fears and challenges brought on by COVID-19.  To help you, and each other, we’ve created a toolkit for the coronavirus pandemic.


    Campus Wellness - Live Stream Fitness Classes 

    Some times you just need a class to help you exercise. We have partners with fitness instructors to provide yoga and body conditioning classes on live stream free of charge for the VSU community. Go to Campus Wellness website to learn more.


    Community Gym Option

    • YMCA (on-demand videos) - Free, No membership needed

    Exercise Apps 

    • Down Dog  (Yoga)
    • Planet Fitness Apps and FB Page (Streamed live @ 4 PM daily)
    • Peloton App (extended 90-day free trial)
    • Do you already have a FitBit?  If so, they are offering their PREMIUM for a free 90-day trial. This includes free video workouts. Check out their website/app fitbit.com.
    • MyFitnessPal (the app is easier to navigate), Check out their website/app myfitnesspal.com

    YouTube Videos 

  • Self Care Activities and Things for the Kids

    Everyone responds differently to times of social distancing, uncertainty and possible quarantine. Below you will find resources for needed mental breaks, and creative activities. 

    Connecting Virtually with the Outdoors and Wildlife 

    Coloring Pages to Print

    Just Dance Videos

    Other Ways to Take a Break

    • Watch movies/series/TV shows you’ve been meaning to watch on Netflix/Hulu/Prime
    • Listen to a cool new Podcast on Spotify
    • Take a walk
    • Cuddle with your cat/dog/other pet
    • Read that book you have had on your to read list
    • Write in a journal
    • Kids miss their classmates? You can watch Netflix at the same time as your friends with a group chat! Check this out: Netflix Party!
  • Remote Working/Teaching -Survival tips

    Working from home can make it challenging to focus and collaborate with co-workers especially during stressful times.

    Virgin Pulse - Your Employee Well-being Provider 

    Here are some resource tips available.  


    The Scholarly Teacher

    • "Authentic Teaching and Connected Learning in the Age of COVID-19." Author Harriet Schwartz, Carlow University, captures the struggle we face as faculty to help students navigate the changes we are all encountering. Harriet reminds us that we can offer continuity amid chaos, solid ground in the midst of disruption, care in a time of fear, and connection despite social distancing.
    • "How to Teach from Home Successfully" Author Todd Zakrajsek offers a few "Strategies for Structuring Teaching From Home." Included is a "To Do" template that encompasses teaching obligations and cues for self-care. 
    • "Adopt a growth-minded pivot to online teaching". In this Scholarly Teacher, Kathryn Smith and Todd Zakrajsek encourage educators to take a growth mindset when it comes to teaching online without notice.  This won't be easy, but then again, teaching never is.

    USG Learning Everywhere (Website)

    This is a site designed to provide educational experiences for all learners, anytime, anywhere. Built on the foundations of the College 2025 initiative, this site brings together openly available educational resources, courseware and free courses from across the system into one easily navigated place. Currently the site links to Coursera MOOCs, ALG textbooks, Galileo materials for parents who are suddenly homeschooling and much more. We are sure that there is much more to be included, and look forward to this new resource growing.


    VSU Information Technology

    To see a full list of resources and guides, visit our Work/Teach/Learn at Home webpage, our FAQ page, and our full site at www.valdosta.edu/it.  Visit often as we will update content as needed and as quickly as possible.


    eLearning 

    Here is a link to their teaching remotely webpage.

  • Staying Healthy - Sleep

    Resting and recharging are essential to your health in times of crisis or change.

    Virgin Pulse - Your Employee Well-being Provider 

    This is a great time to access all of the resources available to you in the Employee Well-being Portal. If you are on the USG Healthcare Plan, you can access the portal through OneUSG Benefits, select manage my benefits, once you have logged-in, click on USG Well-being tile. If you are a spouse on the USG Healthcare plan or a benefits eligible employee, go to ourwellbeing.usg.edu. Haven't activated your account? Download the How-to-Guide . For on the go access, download the Virgin Pulse App (company code USG). 

    Related Well-being Portal Resources:

    • Connect with an online coach (i.e. Sleep Well, Insomnia & Sleep)- Click Health Icon, from drop down select Coaching  
    • Start a 10-day journey (5 different sleep well options) - Click Health Icon, from drop down select Journeys 
    • Sleep Guide - Click Tracking Icon, from drop down select Sleep Guide

    Additional resources from Virgin Pulse Community site:

  • Financial Resources

    Financial/Market Volatility Concerns

    USG has partnered with CAPTRUST to provide Retirement and Financial Advisory Services to USG employees. CAPTRUST offers a no cost advice line for all benefited employees and representatives are available to answer employees questions and concerns about the market.

    To schedule an appointment, call 800-967-9948 or on-line at www.captrustadvice.com. Representatives are available Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 5:30pm.

  • Stopping Social Stigma

    Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma.

    For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
    It is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 are not at greater risk of spreading COVID-19 than other Americans.
    Some groups of people who may be experiencing stigma because of COVID-19 include:

    • Persons of Asian descent
    • People who have traveled
    • Emergency responders or healthcare professionals

    Stigmatized groups may be subjected to:

    • Social avoidance or rejection
    • Denials of healthcare, education, housing or employment
    • Physical violence.

    Stigma affects the emotional or mental health of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient. Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.