Telecommuting and Insurance Updates

Dear Scripps Faculty and Staff,

Over the last week we have found ourselves in unprecedented circumstances due to the spread and serious consequences of COVID-19.   As you may have seen or heard, on Sunday, March 15, the Governor issued new recommendations for California. Specifically, the Governor recommends that those over 65 years old and those of any age who have a chronic medical condition should self-isolate. The College encourages all employees in these high-risk categories to follow the Governor’s recommendations and will work with employees to facilitate adherence to the recommendations.  Please contact the HR office if you are in a high-risk category.

We are also seeking to produce as much social distance as possible for employees in general. Although the College will remain open and it is important that we continue carrying out our core function, we  want to follow the latest guidance from federal and state officials and public health experts who advise that staying home is the most effective means of preventing community spread of the virus. While many questions about how we will implement telecommuting college-wide remain unanswered, our priority right now is to have as few people on campus as possible.  Moving some employees to remote work will also create more social distance for those employees whose jobs can only be completed on campus.

Divisional heads are working with the supervisors in their departments to map out a plan to perform essential functions remotely where possible, as well as identifying which functions need to be fulfilled on campus. For work that continues on the campus, we are seeking to use rotational schedules and physical layouts that will maximize social distance. Further, we will be implementing a revised cleaning schedule as a function of the areas in which people will be working.

By March 18, you will be receiving clear instructions about your work schedule and location from your supervisor. We will roll out changes incrementally, as decisions are made, rather than all at once because we believe that speedy implementation has to overrule consistency in this situation.

In the meantime, please attend to the following to protect your health and the health of those around you:

  • If you are not feeling well, please stay home. It is not only for your welfare but also for the welfare of your coworkers.
  • If you have a medical condition that you believe may place you at greater risk of illness due to  COVID-19, please speak confidentially with Human Resources.
    • Those over the age of 60 and individuals with heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and those who are otherwise immunocompromised need to be particularly vigilant about not contracting coronavirus.
    • The Human Resources office is closed to the public but will remain open every day throughout the remainder of the semester.  The office will be offering limited in person appointments, but will be available for meetings via telephone or zoom Monday-Friday 9-5.
  • Both at work and at home, exercise good hygiene
    • Wash hands frequently with soap, for at least 20 seconds
    • Do not share food and beverages
    • Keep a distance of 6 ft between yourself and others
    • Do not touch your face
    • Reduce how much you touch surfaces that may have been touched by many others
    • Use (and then throw away) tissue for coughing, sneezing, and wiping your nose.


Self-care is especially important in times like this. We would like to remind you of the medical and mental health services available since, in many cases, going to a care provider’s office could be difficult or discouraged.


Kaiser members can take advantage of online visits, in which members can receive personalized guidance, with prescriptions if necessary, seven days per week, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. To access an e-visit, log in to your online Kaiser member account accessible at  For all Kaiser Permanente plans, cost sharing (deductibles, copayments and coinsurance) will be reduced to zero dollars for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 including the visit, associated lab testing, and radiology services in a plan hospital, emergency or urgent care setting, or medical office. If a member is diagnosed with COVID-19, all treatment including but not limited to hospital, transportation and pharmacy services will be covered in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the coverage document for the member’s health plan.


Anthem has also announced that copays, coinsurance and deductibles will be waived for coronavirus testing. With LiveHealth Online, you don’t have to schedule an appointment, drive to the doctor’s office, and then wait for your appointment. Doctors can answer questions, make a diagnosis, and even prescribe basic medications when needed. Just enroll for free at or on the app. 


Confidential advice and counseling are available 24/7 at no cost to you through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Employees and their immediate family members receive up to five counseling sessions with a licensed/certified therapist per issue, each calendar year. Call 800-234-5465 or log on to (use access code: claremontcolleges) to get started.

If you have any questions or challenges with your medical benefits, please feel free to reach out directly to your TCCS benefits representative:

Angelica Zaragoza | Benefits Representative| Benefits Administration
The Claremont Colleges Services | 101 South Mills Avenue | Claremont, CA 91711-5053
Phone (909) 621-8322   (909) 607-7353|[email protected]
Visit our webpage here:


Many school districts have temporarily closed, leaving working parents with potential, temporary gaps in childcare. Scripps offers support through Bright Horizons.  Scripps College offers high-quality back-up care for children and adult/elder relatives up to 40 hours per calendar year.

I encourage you to contact Human Resources if you need any additional assistance or have questions.

If you have follow-up questions, please send them to [email protected].   We are also urging everyone to use the College’s to visit the Scripps COVID-19 Information webpage for the latest information and guidance.


Jennifer Berklas SPHR-CA, GPHR, SHRM-SCP
Assistant Vice President, Human Capital & Risk Management

Return to the COVID-19 Information Webpage