This is our shot.
Take the shot. Move the needle.
Medical experts and real-world results are clear: vaccination is key to a life with far fewer limits. We encourage all coworkers to make an appointment today. As of April 15, all Californians aged 16+ are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC now recommends the Pfizer vaccine for use in children aged 12-15. If you have any concerns, talk to your healthcare provider. For questions about PG&E policies, expert advice and how to make an appointment, see below.
- PG&E Coworkers on COVID-19
From the initial news to shortages to adapting to new ways to work, it’s been a tough year. Here’s what PG&E members are saying and doing as we look ahead.
- PG&E’s Stance on Vaccines
We are not requiring vaccinations but they are strongly recommended. Here’s what you need to know.
- Frontline Leader Discussion Guide (PDF, 234 KB)
Read this document for guidance on how to discuss the vaccines with your team and coworkers, as well as key resources to learn more.
- Timing and Ways for Getting a Vaccine
Check here for frequently updated eligibility and appointment information.
- Best Practices After Receiving a Vaccine/if Traveling
Learn more about good advice on taking care of your vaccination card.
- When and How to Get Tested
View current PG&E COVID-19 testing policies and recommendations.
- Awaiting Test Results and Going in to Work
Working from home and physical distancing are still important to prevent the spread.
- Ask Dr. Mary
PG&E Medical Director, Dr. Mary McDaniel, answers your questions about COVID-19.
PG&E’s Stance on Vaccines
PG&E is not currently mandating vaccinations. We recognize our coworkers have different perspectives about getting vaccinated, and the choice is personal. The company strongly encourages all our employees to get the vaccine as soon as they have the opportunity to do so. Whether an employee has received the vaccine or not, PG&E will continue to require the use of COVID-19 protection procedures, including the use of face coverings, physical distancing and daily wellness checks to provide a safe working environment for all of us.
Feeling anxious about the COVID-19 Vaccine? While the availability of the vaccine is welcome news for many, for some it may stir anxiety about their vaccination decision. Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) suggests some helpful ways to manage your worries and make a decision that’s right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the vaccine is not mandatory, but PG&E requires folks to come back to work in an office situation, what do employees do who don't feel comfortable going back to the environment not knowing if their coworkers are vaccinated?
PG&E will be managing the return to the office environment in a sensitive way, prioritizing our coworkers' health and safety. Employees concerned about their ability to return to the work environment will be able to request accommodation through Human Resources. More information will be shared about this as the return to the office gets closer.
How is the company handling employees and contractors who decide not to get vaccinated?
We recognize our coworkers have different perspectives about getting vaccinated. To be clear: we are not currently mandating vaccinations and are not inquiring about our employees' or contractors' vaccination status. Being vaccinated may not reduce someone's ability to infect others with COVID-19 (the science is still inconclusive). All coworkers, regardless of their vaccination status, will continue to be treated in the same way. We will continue to require the use of COVID-19 protection procedures, including the use of face coverings, physical distancing, and daily wellness checks to provide a safe working environment for all of us.
Where can I find more resources regarding COVID-19 and the vaccines?
The following are just a few websites where you can learn more about the virus and approved vaccines:
Timing and Ways for Getting a Vaccine
On April 15, Gov. Newsom announced all Californians age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine. As of May 10, the Pfizer vaccine is approved for use in children aged 12 to 15.
To determine your eligibility or the eligibility of a loved one, please register at myturn.ca.gov and fill out the survey. You can also sign up for alerts of when vaccines are available near you or for your demographic. Do not enter your personal information on other sites unless you are sure a vaccination hub is taking online sign-ups.
For vaccination information, including coverage and availability, for those covered under PG&E’s Health Account Plan (HAP), visit the respective links below:
Best Practices After Receiving a Vaccine/if Traveling
After you have been vaccinated, you should receive an official card that tells you which Covid-19 vaccine you were given, the vaccine lot number, and the date you got vaccinated. The card has space for both the first and second vaccinations. Be careful not to lose it and take it with you when you go for your second shot. It is also a good idea to take a picture of the card with your phone or scan it when you get home, so you have a permanent record of it. Note that the Better Business Bureau and others are strongly advising that you DO NOT share your vaccination card on social media to protect your privacy and make it harder for someone to create a fake card. If you want to brag about getting immunized, a picture of you and the “I got my COVID-19 vaccine” sticker will work even better.
Updated Information for Travelers
The CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated.
Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks. Even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants.
If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine:
- You should continue to follow the CDC’s recommendations for traveling safely and getting tested 3-5 days after travel.
- You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
- You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
For more information on travel guidance, see the Reporting Exposure, Quarantine and Travel Policy page.
Frequently asked questions
Will I need to wear a mask after I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Yes. While the vaccine is expected to prevent you from getting sick, it is still unclear if you can transmit the virus to others. Until more is understood about how well the vaccine works, precautions such as mask-wearing and physical distancing are necessary. Health orders that require face coverings when you are away from home are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
How long will the vaccine last? Will I need another one next year?
It is still too soon to tell how long the COVID-19 vaccination will be effective. Covid-19 vaccinations may become an annual event, just like the flu shot. Or the vaccine may provide protection for longer. Researchers monitor how long immunity lasts as part of the clinical trials that started in the summer of 2020 and hope to understand this better in the next year.
Since there isn’t a vaccine for children yet, when can we expect all schools to open?
The decision to reopen schools is complicated. Many factors, including the ability to maintain safety protocols, manage student movement to avoid crowds, the confidence and comfort of instructors and their unions in returning to the classroom environment, the level of infection in the community, and many others. Individual school districts and private schools have largely been left to chart their own paths, whether it's a return to the classroom, remote learning, or a mix of the two. School administrators have to balance the need for COVID safety with the students' educational needs, and it is a difficult balance with no correct answer. The availability of vaccines for schoolteachers and in the community should contribute to greater confidence in returning to the school environment, but it remains unclear when that will happen.
When will it be safe to do things like going to the movies or a stadium to watch a football game again?
The State of California has reintroduced its Blueprint for Reopening following the peak in COVID-19 we experienced mid-winter. Vaccination in the community wasn't included in the original Blueprint but will undoubtedly play a role in reopening decisions in the future. Some activities will likely be possible sooner rather than later in California's recovery due to the availability of vaccines and some might be possible with some limitations by the summer of 2021. However, attending large group events, such as going to a football game or live concert, aren't likely to resume until the Blueprint itself is completed, which could still be a long time off. The more people in our community that get vaccinated, the sooner we can expect to return to the activities and socialization we all miss.
When and How to Get Tested
As we enter this next phase of the pandemic response, we have decided not to require employees who are resuming work duties or are currently performing job duties in the field to get a COVID-19 test as a part of the re-entry process.
PG&E will only require testing for employees who are being sequestered. Any other testing should be done at the recommendation of your medical provider. If a provider orders testing for an employee for a medical reason, and the employee is covered by PG&E’s health plan, the cost of COVID-19 testing will be fully covered.
We realize you may want to get tested, despite it not being required for you to return to work, and that is your prerogative. Before getting tested, we recommend that you consult with your doctor to discuss your medical need. There are many vendors, online laboratories and even some counties now offering COVID-19 testing services.
We made the decision not to require testing for those employees who are resuming work duties or are currently performing job duties in the field because of several limiting factors in testing for active COVID-19 virus or antibodies.
Testing for Active COVID-19 Virus
The RNA test will only return a positive result of active COVID-19 if tested between about day 5 and day 10 after original exposure to the virus. An employee could have the virus in the early stages (before day 5) or in the late stages (after day 10) and still test negative for the virus. Additionally, it takes 2-3 days to get results back from the lab. For employees re-entering work, RNA tests may provide too many false negatives and a false sense of security.
Lastly, this type of testing provides only a “snapshot in time” meaning it provides a result only for the day the test was taken.
Testing for COVID-19 Antibodies
The antibody tests confirm the presence of antibodies to COVID-19 beginning 5-10 days after symptoms first appear. However, many false positives are being seen because the term “coronavirus” refers to a family of viruses, including the common cold, in addition to COVID-19 and others. Furthermore, we do not know if those with antibodies (those who test positive) are immune, and if so, for how long. Immunity from viruses varies based on the specific type of virus. and it is still too soon to tell for COVID-19.
The FDA has also confirmed that many of the tests on the market don’t work and is re-evaluating the accuracy of antibody tests at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some important FAQs regarding when and how to get tested for COVID-19. For additional information, please refer to the COVID-19 Testing FAQs, the Changes in COVID-19 Rules FAQs or the Latest Updates and Executive Notes page.
How frequently should I be tested?
If you have been notified of an outbreak in your facility, you should take a test as soon as possible after you are notified and then take a second test 7 days after your initial test. Additional testing in subsequent weeks may be recommended, and provided during working hours, if additional positive cases develop in the facility and if you continue to work in the facility. Your leaders and/or HR will inform you if additional testing is recommended.
Am I required to show proof that I completed the COVID-19 test?
No, testing is not required but is encouraged.
There is no testing site close to me. What do I do?
Contact your health care provider to determine where you may be tested.
Have ‘At-home’ COVID-19 tests been approved and are they effective?
At-home collection tests have recently come on the market that allow the patient to collect the sample at home and send it directly to the lab for analysis. Some at-home collection tests have a health care provider oversee the sample collection by video with the patient. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a saliva at-home collection kit that can be ordered online for emergency use from third-party retailers. However, please contact your medical provider on best course to take. At- home testing kits that are approved by the FDA may be reimbursable through your health care flexible saving account or your health plan.
I tested positive for COVID-19. Am I still considered contagious after 10-days and should I retest for the virus or antibodies after the isolation period for assurance?
The CDC advises that anyone testing positive for COVID (with or without symptoms) should isolate for at least 10 days. Once the isolation period is completed, it is unlikely you would still be contagious, and you can resume normal work. There is no reason to re-test, as it is possible you would continue to test positive for some time after you are no longer contagious.
Awaiting Test Results and Going in to Work
In the time between getting tested and receiving your results, you should not go into work. You should maintain a distance of six feet from others and if you can work remotely, record your time as normal time worked.
If you are unable to work and need to request time off, send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your LAN ID, reason for time off (i.e. awaiting test results) and dates you expect to be off. Our Human Resources team will respond to your request within 48 hours. Once approved, record your time as time off with permission with pay.
If your situation changes, i.e., you become ill or are diagnosed with COVID-19, alert your leader who will then notify the HR Help Line. If you are ill, record your time as sick leave.