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SF allows city employees impacted by COVID-19 early access to vacation, sick leave

San Francisco health officials Thursday morning announced four new confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus cases.

The Department of Emergency Management reported that two of the individuals are hospitalized and the other two are isolating at home.

One of the new patients said they had close contact with a person who tested positive for the virus and the other three said they did not visit an infected country nor did were they aware of any contact with an infected person.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced a new policy Thursday for city employees impacted by the virus, also known as COVID-19.

The policy allows city employees to gain early access to vacation time and paid sick leave in the event they are unable to work due to virus exposure or contraction.

Breed said in a statement:

“Public health is our top priority, and we want people to be able to follow our public health recommendations without fear of not having enough vacation days or sick leave and missing a paycheck.”

If a city employee has already used their available vacation and sick leave time and meet specific health guidelines — those deemed vulnerable as described by the Department of Public Health, people in self-quarantine, people who have a respiratory illness or are experiencing flu-like symptoms and those who are caring for another family ill member — can request a sick leave or vacation advance of up to 80 hours.

While the new policy is only applicable to city employees, Breed encourages private businesses to follow suit.

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