The 2014 Ebola epidemic is affecting several countries in West Africa, principally the nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. The risk of an Ebola epidemic in the United States is extremely remote.
However, many of you may have concerns and questions, especially those of you with friends or family in West Africa. In light of the recent news and questions concerning the virus, Sid Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, and Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Department of Public Health and State Health Officer have provided the following Joint Guidance:
Unlike colds or the flu, the Ebola virus does not spread easily. Ebola is not spread through air, water, or food. The virus takes anywhere from two to 21 days to “incubate” and develop into Ebola disease. Even if a person is infected with Ebola, they cannot spread it to others until they show symptoms of disease. Anyone experiencing the following symptoms along with travel to affected areas of West Africa within the last three weeks, should be isolated and medically evaluated:
- Fever including low grade
- Severe headache
- Muscle pain
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained, unusual bleeding or bruising
The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids (urine, feces, saliva, vomit, sweat, semen, breast milk) of someone who is sick with Ebola. This can also happen by contact with objects that have been contaminated with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person (e.g., needles or bed linens).
There is no vaccine for Ebola and experimental treatments are still in development. However, there are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and limit your risk of getting sick from Ebola or any other virus, such as the flu:
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly. Hand washing may seem simplistic, but it has been proven to be one of the best protections against disease.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth. Bodily fluids from an infected person can enter through mucous membranes, or through broken skin (e.g., a cut or abrasion).
- Do not touch or handle things that may have come in contact with a sick person’s blood or bodily fluids, like clothes, bedding, needles or other medical equipment.
- Do not touch the body of someone who has died of Ebola.
Please refer to the webpages below for current information related to the Ebola outbreak and for infection prevention tips and flyers related to hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, and other tips to limit the spread of infection.
If you have questions about the Ebola virus, you may also call a 24-hour hotline at 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).
The 2015 You Decide! booklet is now available!
The booklet gives you an opportunity to review and understand your flexible benefits package. It summarizes Flexible Benefits Program options – such as, dental and vision care, legal insurance, spending accounts, long and short-term disability insurance, life insurance, specified illness and long-term care – that are available to employees and their dependents, along with certain procedures to be followed to obtain these benefits.
There are some plan enhancements for the 2015 Plan Year, so review all information carefully in advance of the Annual Enrollment period, beginning October 27 to November 14, 2014. It is up to you to understand all the options available and make the choices that best suit your needs.
Making the right decisions about your options can make a real difference toward building a rewarding future for you and your family.
Flexible Benefits — Don’t Forget
In addition to the 2015 You Decide! Booklet, Flexible Benefits Program information and enrollment is also available at www.gabreeze.ga.gov.
In preparation for Open Enrollment 2014 (October 27 - November 14, 2014), here are a few tips to make your GaBreeze experience simply a BREEZE!
Tip #1: Access Granted!
Please ensure that you can log in to the GaBreeze website at www.gabreeze.ga.gov.
Tip #2: Forgot Your User ID or Password? No problem!
If you experience difficulty accessing your account or problems with your User ID, please click on the appropriate links on the Login page — either “I Forgot My User ID” or “I Forgot My Password.” You will then be asked personal identifying information (i.e., your Social Security Number (SSN) and birth date). Once you enter this information, you will be asked security questions that you answered when you first registered on the GaBreeze website.
If you previously entered an e-mail address on the GaBreeze website, you will receive a new temporary password sent via e-mail usually within 15 minutes. If there is no e-mail address on file, the password reset will be sent through regular mail to your home address within 5-7 business days.
Tip #3: Update Your Contact Information
Please update your mailing address and other important contact information online through the Team Georgia Employee Self-Service system.
Tip #4: Update Your Beneficiary Information
To ensure that all your beneficiary information is up to date, please log in to the following sites to review what is currently on file.
- GaBreeze: UPDATE (Peach State Reserves and Supplemental Life)
- Employees Retirement System (ERS): UPDATE
Tip #5: Need Help?
GaBreeze benefits representatives can provide assistance to you in accessing your account by calling toll-free at 1-877-3GBREEZ (1-877-342-7339). Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please be ready to provide your name, date of birth, the last four digits of your Social Security Number and your ZIP code to access your Flexible Benefits information.
Join Georgia Commute Options for a free telework webinar where you will get the know-how to be a productive, trusted, and happy teleworker. You’ll get answers to your top telework technology questions and learn how to get your teleworking arrangement started.
Georgia Commute Options offers expert assistance to state agencies to get the most out of teleworking. Register today for the free webinar.
Date: Thursday, October 16
Meeting Number: 749 951 080
Upcoming Webinar Dates:
Thursday, November 20th at 11am
Thursday, December 18th at 11am