Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory

Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19 Vaccination Policy for the U.S. Effective 1 December 2021

When does the AGC Biologics Vaccination Policy take effect?
The AGC Biologics Vaccination Policy (U.S. Operations) takes effect on December 1, 2021.

Why did AGC Biologics created the Vaccination Policy?
AGC Biologics has a duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of recognized hazards. This includes safeguarding the health or our employees, families, visitors, customers and the community at large from infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Vaccination against COVID-19 is vital in protecting employees and families. Information about the efficacy, safety and benefits of being vaccinated against COVID-19 can be found in “Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines”, available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/keythingstoknow.html.

Per CDC persons with asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection are significant contributors to SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

What documentation is required in order to demonstrate that I am fully vaccinated?
Documentation must consist of one of the following:

  • A copy of the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card
  • Record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy
  • Copy of medical records documenting the vaccination
  • Copy of immunization records from a public health, state or tribal immunization system
  • Other official documentation containing the type of vaccine administered, dates of administration, name of the health care professional or clinic site administering the vaccine
  • European COVID Digital Certificate (EUDCC) or Green Pass

Do I need to show proof of vaccination if I have already notified EHS of my vaccination dates in the past?
Yes. Your local EHS department must have a copy of your vaccination card on file. Are files are confidential.

What do I do if I lost or misplaced my proof of vaccination?
Please make every attempt to get a replacement card from the provider or establishment that administered our vaccination. Where an employee is not able to produce acceptable proof of vaccination, they must provide a signed and dated statement:

  • Attesting to their vaccination status
  • Attesting that they have lost and are otherwise unable to produce proof of vaccination
  • Must include, “I declare (or certify, verify, or state) that this statement about my vaccination status is true and accurate. I understand that knowingly providing false information regarding my vaccination status on this form may subject me to criminal penalties.”


If I choose not to be vaccinated and plan to get tested weekly, what documentation is required as proof of my negative COVID-19 test?

  • Effective December 1, 2021 employees who are not fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID test before entering an AGC Biologics U.S. facility. Proof of a negative COVID test must be provided on a weekly basis (every 7 days) until fully vaccinated.
  • The employee is responsible for the weekly scheduling and cost (if not covered by insurance) associated with COVID testing. Any time associated with COVID testing will be treated as unpaid.
  • COVID tests must be administered through a testing organization (no home tests are permitted). Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) and antigen tests both meet the testing requirements of this policy.
  • Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed healthcare provider will be exempt from the testing requirement for 90-days following the date of their positive test or diagnosis and may return to work after the appropriate quarantine period set forth in the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.


How do I submit my proof of vaccination or negative test results?
Scan or take a photo of your vaccination card and email it to COVIDRECORDS@agcbio.com. All vaccinations and test results must include your first and last name, the type of test administered and the date of the test.

What is the definition of “fully vaccinated”?
Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 1) two weeks after their second dose in a 2- dose series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines), 2) two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine); or 3) has received a World Health Organization (WHO) approved vaccination in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

I do not plan to get vaccinated. How often do I need to get tested?
If are not fully vaccinated and/or have no plans to get fully vaccinated, you must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly in order to come on-site. Email negative test results to COVIDRECORDS@agcbio.com.

What is the difference between a rapid test and a PCR test? Which is required by AGC Biologics in order to come on-site?
A molecular test detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the COVID-19 virus and can be used within days of infection, even without symptoms. A PCR test is a type of molecular test, and usually takes longer to get results. A molecular test cannot show if someone has had COVID-19 in the past. Molecular tests are highly accurate and usually do not need to be repeated.

An antigen test, commonly called a rapid test, detects protein fragments specific to COVID-19. Turnaround time is usually very quick for an antigen test, and they are considered to be most accurate when used for a person who is having symptoms of COVID-19. However, the results may not always be accurate. Negative results may need to be confirmed with a molecular test. Like the molecular test, an antigen test cannot show if you've had COVID-19 in the past.

A negative antigen test in persons with signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should be confirmed by a laboratory-based NAAT, a more sensitive test. Results from NAATs are considered the definitive result when there is a discrepancy between the antigen and NAAT test.

I am choosing to test weekly instead of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Can I do a home test each week or do I need to go to a testing facility / pharmacy / doctor’s office to get tested?
No. A home test will not be accepted. Your COVID-19 test must be administered and read by a qualified healthcare professional.

I have not been vaccinated, but I’d like to be. How do I schedule a vaccination appointment?
Visit the Washington State Department of Health link to find out where to get vaccinated: https://vaccinelocator.doh.wa.gov/


If I schedule vaccination appointments and/or COVID-19 testing during my work schedule, will I be paid for this time or do I need to take formal time off?
For AGC Biologics employees, vaccination appointments may be done during work hours. Weekly testing may not. For contractors and consultants, AGC Biologics does not pay for time spent on vaccination and/or testing appointments. Please contact your employer/agency for more information.

I have an appointment to get vaccinated, but I have not had my two doses yet. Do I need to get tested in the meantime in order to come to work?
Yes, you will continue to be required to do weekly tests until you are fully vaccinated and provide proof to AGC.

If I have been vaccinated, do I need to get tested weekly?
No. If you have been fully vaccinated, you do not need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test weekly. You do, however, need to comply with the COVID-19 Health Decision Matrix

Does AGC Biologics healthcare insurance cover the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations?
Yes, AGC Biologics healthcare insurance covers the cost COVID-19 vaccinations – initial doses and/or boosters – at many pharmacies and doctor offices. Please check with the facility ahead of time to ensure you are covered BEFORE getting tested.

Currently COVID-19 vaccination and boosters are free in Colorado, without proof of insurance. In the state of Washington, you may be asked to present proof of insurance depending on the provider or establishment. 

Does AGC Biologics healthcare insurance cover the cost of COVID-19 testing?
Yes, AGC Biologics healthcare insurance covers the cost of COVID-19 testing at many testing facilities, pharmacies, and doctor offices. Please check with the facility ahead of time to ensure you are covered BEFORE getting tested.

Currently COVID-19 vaccination and boosters are free in Colorado, without proof of insurance. In the state of Washington, you may be asked to present proof of insurance depending on the provider or establishment. 

Who does the AGC Biologics Vaccination Policy, dated 1 December 2021, apply to?
The policy applies to anyone who comes on-site at any AGC Biologics U.S. facility. This includes but is not limited to full-time employees, part-time employees, temporary employees, interns, contractors, consultants, vendors, outside service providers and visitors.

What happens if I do not comply with the Vaccination Policy, but my job requires me to be on-site?
Failure to comply with this policy will result in deactivation of the employee’s badge (for on-site employees) until the required documentation is provided. For all others, they will not be permitted to enter a U.S. AGC Biologics facility without providing the required documentation.

Are there any allowable exemptions for weekly testing if I am not vaccinated?
No.


COVID-19 QUESTION & FEEDBACK SUBMISSION

How can I submit a question, feedback, concerns and ideas pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic and it's effect on our company? 

  • Click the blue button labeled "COVID-19 Questions & Feedback at the top of this page. Provide your name and contact information if you would like a direct reply to your question or feedback. You can also submit messages anonymously. 
  • Email covid-19@agcbio.com and receive a reply within one business day. Questions received here will also be addressed during the live Q&A sessions. 
  • Contact your manager or HR Business Partner

 

ESSENTIAL, NON-ESSENTIAL, HYBRID & BACK-UP EMPLOYEES

Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, all Non-Essential Employees are directed to work remotely.

Non-Essential Workers Having the Option to Work On-Site

At the present time all employees who are capable of working remotely from home (identified as non-essential) are required do so. This is consistent with the State of Washington “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and the current AGC pandemic plan response level which are designed to protect all employees and their families through social distancing. Having more employees onsite than absolutely necessary can create more congested work areas resulting in a higher risk of infection as social distancing becomes more difficult to achieve. We will continue to assess individual situations and provide home ergonomic solutions where possible; however, we need to continue to strictly observe our current requirements.

  • Essential Employees – employees and contingent workers (temps, contractors and consultants) who are required to be onsite at our facility to perform their job duties.
  • Non-Essential Employees – employees and contingent workers who can perform their job duties remotely.
  • Hybrid Employees – employees and contingent workers who may perform certain job duties on site and other duties remotely.
  • Back-Up Employees – Essential Employees who serves as a “back-up” for another Essential Employee and may be recalled to work onsite at the facility upon 24 hours’ notice. Please talk to your manager before traveling more than 24 hours away from the facility.

LT members or your manager will let you know in which category you fall.


NON-GMP FACEMASKS 

Am I required to wear a facemask when working on site? 

The following additional facemask requirements have been implemented to provide further employee protection while onsite:

Non-GMP Facemask Guide JULY2020

 

Facemask Locations 

B1F1 / B1F2 / B4F1 / B6F1 / B6F2 / B10F1 / B11F1 / B11F2 / B12F1 / B12F2


WORKPLACE ACCESS BY THIRD PARTIES

Will we restrict the number of visitors to our facility? 

Yes.  Site visits, audits and any other third party visitors (vendors, construction companies, suppliers, etc.) may only access the facility with the approval of our Site Head or an authorized LT member.  Until further notice, visitors will not be allowed access to cGMP areas and PIPs will be suspended until further notice.  Thereafter, only PIPs from the same state/city as the location of the facility AND essential for operation will be allowed access to the facility with the approval of our Site Head.

 

Visitor Guide 

The Visitor Guide contains the necessary pre-approval process and sample email language to send to your visitor PRIOR to the scheduled visit. 

 

Visitor Entry Checklist

Effective Wednesday 18MAR20,  all visitors to the Seattle site must complete the Visitor Entry Checklist prior to being granted access.

  • In your planning conversations with vendors prior to their visit please talk them through this process.
  • When they arrive on site security / reception will complete it with them.
  • Copies are available at reception in building 11 and with security in building 12.

Thermometer Use for Building Access

Effective Thursday 26MAR20, all employees and visitors must check their temperature prior to entering any building at the AGC Biologics Bothell site. Steps are outline below. Full instructions may be found here.

1. If you are unable to check your temperature at home, enter your designated building and proceed to the Thermometer Station (see Thermometer and Logbook Locations).

2. Before handling the thermometer, sanitize your hands and use the wipes provided to sanitize the thermometer.

3. Follow all instructions on how to use the thermometer (see Infrared Thermometer Operations on page 3). You must take your own temperature.

4. Specifically for entering a GMP access points (see Thermometer and Logbook Locations on page 4) use the logbook provided and fill in time, date, your initials, and yes/no if entry is allowed. Temperature must taken daily – the first time you enter the GMP space each day.

5. Use the sanitizing wipes provided to wipe down all surfaces touched and the thermometer, leaving surfaces wet until evaporated or as long as practical.

6. The thermometer MUST be returned and kept in the same location.

7. Sanitize your hands before and after use.

8. All visitors must check their temperature upon entry and complete a COVID-19 screening form.


COVID-19 EXPOSURE GUIDANCE

I’ve become ill – what should I do?

If your health status changes, advise your manager and EHS (dsteinbacher@agcbio.com) right away. If you're feeling sick while at work, go home and consult a medical professional. 

Consult the COVID-19 Health Decision Matrix for more information on specific scenarios. 

COVID - Health Decision Matrix - 7September2021

 
HEALTHCARE BENEFITS 

Is Telemedicine included in the AGC Biologics healthcare benefits package? 

Yes! We added telemedicine to our plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective 18MAR20 — 31DEC20. For coronavirus-related visits there is no co-pay or co-insurance and deductibles do not apply. All other visits are subject to the standard co-pay, co-insurance and deductible based on your selected plan (standard/enhanced) and visit type. 

Click here for more information.  


TIME OFF WORK:  PAID OR UNPAID?

General Principal: If employees are working, whether remotely or onsite, they will be paid. 

 

What happens if I am ill and can’t work?

General Principal:  If employees are working, whether remotely or onsite, they will be paid. 

 

What options do I have if I am unable to work?

If you are unable to work, you may have the following options available to you. However, as all employee situations are unique, please speak with your HR Business Partner to receive specific guidance. 

(1.) “Families First” Emergency Paid Sick Leave (for quarantine, self-care or care of family member affected by COVID19)

  • Eligibility: must be employed by AGC Biologics
  • Provides up to 80 hours of paid leave (pro-rated for part-time employees)
  • Paid at full or reduced pay rate depending on leave type (subject to maximum pay per week and aggregate amount)

(2.) “Families First” Emergency Paid FMLA (you are caring for children due to school closure and am unable to perform your work from home)

  • Eligibility: 30 days of employment with AGC Biologics
  • First 10 days unpaid, after which employee receives pay at reduced rate (subject to maximum pay per week and aggregate amount) up to 10 weeks 

(3.) AGC provided Paid Sick Leave

(4.) AGC provided Vacation, Floating Holidays

(5.) Short Term Disability

  • If you are determined to be disabled and unable to work, you will be eligible for STD on the 8th day of your disability
  • AGC Biologics pays 100% of your base pay rate for up to 12 weeks while disabled

(6.) FMLA (if you are unable to work due to your own illness or a family member’s illness)

  • Eligibility: 1- year employment with AGC and 1020 hours worked in past 12 months) and are unable to work due to your own or an immediate family member’s serious health condition (not limited to COVID19)
  • Unpaid job and benefit protected leave

(7.) Washington Paid Family Leave

  • Eligibility: you must have worked at least 820 hours over the past 3 quarters for any employer; must be unable to work due to your own or an immediately family member’s serious health condition (not limited to COVID19)
  • Provides up to 12 weeks of job-protected paid leave (up to $1,000.00 per week based on weekly compensation)
  • Paid and managed by WA Department of Employment Security (not AGC Biologics)

(8.) Washington High Risk Employee-Workers Act (currently expires 12 June 2020)

  • Provides benefit and job protection for High Risk employees who are directed by their physician to quarantine, but are unable to work from home;
  • Employee may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance under the Act

(9.) Unemployment Benefits

  • Benefits that may be available to you in limited circumstances under the expanded unemployment rules

(10.) AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program (currently available through 31 December 2020)

  • IRS-regulated shared-leave program; COVID-19 is declared a National Emergency
  • Employees may donate Vacation, Sick or Floating Holiday leave, subject to guidelines
    • Donor may NOT designate recipient
  • Employees may request donated leave on a 1st come, 1st served basis
    • Recipient MUST exhaust all available leaves, including sick, vacation, FH and other paid leave such as FFCRA, Short/Long-Term Disability, etc., before requesting Shared Leave
    • AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave may be used for COVID19-related absences only
    • All remaining leave as of 12/31/2020 will be returned to donor(s)

 

What happens if I’m unable to work due to school closures?

If you are unable to perform your work from home, you have the following options:

  • “Families First” Emergency Paid FMLA
  • Sick Leave - Leadership has made the decision to allow you to use Sick Leave if you are unable to work due to school closures/child care.
  • Vacation, Floating Holidays
  • AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program 

 

What if I am unable to work because I have been advised self-quarantined at home?

 If you are not able to perform your work from home, you have the following options:

  • “Families First” Emergency Paid FMLA
  • Sick Leave 
  • Vacation, Floating Holidays
  • AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program 

 

What if I have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and am unable to work due my illness? 

If you are unable to work you have the following options:

  • “Families First” Emergency Paid Sick Leave (up to 80 hours)
  • Apply for Short/Long-Term Disability (subject to approvals)
  • Apply for FMLA (subject to approvals)
  • WA Paid Family Leave (subject to approvals)
  • Sick, Vacation, or Floating Holidays
  • AGC COVID-19 Shared Leave Program 

 

I am unable to work because I am caring for an immediate family member that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and am unable to perform my work from home.  

If you are caring for an immediate family member that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and am unable to work, you have the following options:

  • “Families First” Emergency Paid Sick Leave (up to 80 hours)
  • Apply for unpaid FMLA leave (subject to approvals)
  • NOTE: you are not eligible for paid Short-Term Disability Leave
  • For extended leave, apply for the WA Paid Family Leave (subject to approvals)
  • Sick, Vacation or Floating Holidays
  • AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program 

 

I am in an “essential” role but I would like to work remotely because I am in a higher risk category?  I have NOT been advised that I should quarantine. 

Being in an “essential” role means that you are not able to perform your job duties remotely.  You have the following options:

  • Washington High Risk Employee-Workers Act – you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance Compensation
  • Sick Leave - Leadership has made the decision to expand the allowable use of Sick Leave.
  • Vacation, Floating Holidays

 

I am in an “essential” role and I am immune-compromised or in a higher risk category. I have been advised by my physician to quarantine or work from home but I am unable to perform my duties from home.  

Being in an “essential” role means that you are not able to perform your job duties remotely.  You have the following options:

  • “Families First” Emergency Paid Sick Leave
  • Washington High Risk Employee-Workers Act – you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance Compensation (NOTE: you are not required to use AGC paid leave before filing for Unemployment Insurance)
  • Sick Leave - Leadership has made the decision to expand the allowable use of Sick Leave.
  • Vacation, Floating Holidays
  • AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program 

 

I have been asked to quarantine/stay home based on the current AGC Biologics COVID-19 protocol and I am in an “essential” role, but am unable to work from home.  How do I report my time off?

Answer: The answer is complicated and each situation is different.  It is essential that you and your manager report all absences to EHS, so they can monitor and categorize your absence.  If you are unclear as to how to record your time off, please reach out to your HR Business Partner who will work with your manager and EHS to determine any leave eligibility.  Each type of paid leave has very specific eligibility and reporting/documentation requirements, availability and compensation rates.

 

If you are on leave (FMLA, STD, etc.), you should not perform work duties.  For more information on time off, please reach out to your HR Business Partner , Gail Hedden (ghedden@agcbio.com) or Kris Reeter (kreeter@agcbio.com). 

SEA_HRBPs_033120


COVID-19 EMERGENCY SHARED LEAVE PROGRAM

How do I donate to the AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program?

If you would like to donate to the shared leave program, please reach out to your HR Business Partner for details.

You can access the COVID-19 Major Disaster Shared Leave Donation Form here

 

How do I request a donation from the AGC Biologics COVID-19 Emergency Shared Leave Program?

If you have questions about requesting donated leave from our Emergency Shared Leave Program, please reach out to your HR Business Partner to discuss program guidelines and determine if you meet the eligibility requirements.

You can access the COVID-19 Major Disaster Shared Leave Request Form here

You can find more information and read the policy in its entirety, on Sharepoint: US → Human Resources → Covid19 Shared leave Program 


CONTRACTOR EXPOSURE

I am a contractor. What happens if I contract COVID-19?

Let your manager know and consult a medical professional right away. For contractors, assistance may be provided by your employer and/or any programs provided under state and federal mandates. Reach out to your employer for clarification on benefits available to you.


WORKING REMOTELY

Employees: Please reference the Guidelines for Employees Working Remotely

Managers: Please reference the Guidelines for Managing Remote Teams


TRAVEL GUIDELINES

I have personal travel planned in the near future. Do I need to notify anyone?

Yes. Please reference the AGC Biologics Coronavirus Travel Policy and Advisory