A NOTE ON PAX CHRISTI USA’S TEMPORARY OFFICE AND WORK PROTOCOLS DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC

togetherThe following office and work protocols were put into place at Pax Christi USA in response to the coronavirus global pandemic and the resulting orders that cities and states have executed. Protocols were first developed on Thursday, March 12th and have been enhanced and added to as the situation has changed. Our priority is to the health and well-being of our staff and to being responsible citizens in undertaking practices that will lessen the impact of this crisis for all our brothers and sisters, here in the US and around the world.

OFFICE PROTOCOLS: All Pax Christi USA staff members have been directed to work from home with the exception of meeting minimum business operations as necessary. Minimum business operations shall be determined in conversation with the executive director and undertaken only when necessary and only voluntarily. No staff member is required to visit the national office except at their own discretion when deemed necessary. At moments when a staff member visits or otherwise utilizes the office, only one person at a time is allowed within the work space and notification of visits to the office shall be given to all staff members to observe rules of social distancing and minimize interaction. Staff members, when in the office, should only be present within their individual work spaces and keep their doors closed.

Upon leaving the office, staff members are required to thoroughly sanitize any workstations with which they come in contact during visits. Sanitizing tools are on hand at the office.

All staff members have an official note on organization letterhead signed by the executive director to carry with them when undertaking minimum business functions in observance of stay-at-home orders.

Pax Christi USA has moved as many of its regular business functions online as possible. We are utilizing online banking, virtual desktops, cloud technology and video conferencing systems to conduct much of our usual business.

TRAVEL: All business travel is currently suspended at this time and we are working to honor our commitments to meetings, visits and other events around the country by rescheduling them as it becomes appropriate.

FINANCES: Currently, we are managing to maintain payroll and honor our commitments toward healthcare for our staff and hope to throughout this crisis. We are able to accept and process donations and membership contributions and are grateful for those who can give or continue to give at this challenging time. There may be a delay in processing any donations which are not made electronically. We may also be delayed in responding to donations in a timely manner but we will do our very best to acknowledge them as quickly as possible. We are grateful for the patience and understanding of those who support us.

HEALTH OF OUR STAFF: Because of the nature of working from home, all staff members are encouraged to pay attention to practices that keep them healthy physically, emotionally and spiritually. This includes incorporating practices like prayer, yoga and meditation into one’s work schedule as needed, stepping away from the computer for breaks throughout the work day, setting schedules that make the most sense in terms of other obligations they may have to family and community, and treating oneself and others with gentleness and compassion during this time. Trauma is experienced in different ways by each individual and each staff member is encouraged and supported in their efforts to attend to whatever ways this pandemic is affecting them.

Pax Christi USA recognizes that COVID-19 presents a range of challenges to personal and family health. During this time, team members do not have to use regularly accrued sick time or other paid time off if caring for a family member with related illness due to COVID-19 or supporting a family member with other needs related to challenges posed by COVID-19. If a staff member contracts COVID-19, they are to advise Pax Christi USA’s Executive Director, follow CDC recommendations, and use normally accrued sick time. Special allowances can be made in conversation with Pax Christi USA’s Executive Director. 

OUR CONTINUING WORK: Our work for peace and justice continues even during this challenging time (see our coronavirus response page here). Indeed, the pandemic has in many ways shone a light on the inequalities, injustice, racism and violence that we work to address everyday as our core mission. We encourage our members, partners and supporters to visit our website and see what we are doing together in terms of prayer, study and action to rise to the moment and play our part in assuring that the most vulnerable are cared for during this time and that we emerge from this pain and uncertainty on our way to a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. Let us use this time, in whatever way is possible, to deepen our sense of solidarity with one another, to strengthen the resilience of our Pax Christi communities, and to witness to the peace of Christ, right here, right now. 

If you have any questions, please contact Johnny Zokovitch, Executive Director, at 352-219-8419 or jzokovitch@paxchristiusa.org.