PITTSBURGH (Nov. 24, 2020) — After taking into consideration the accelerated spread of COVID-19 and being mindful of critical decisions employees need to make in the new year, Highmark Health announced to employees today that out of an abundance of caution, the organization is deferring its return-to-the-workplace plan until July 5, 2021, at the earliest, and continuing our work-from-home protocols for the vast majority of non-clinical employees. The health and safety of employees and their families remain the foremost priority as we continue to evaluate our return-to-the-workplace plans and timetables. The pandemic has imposed significant uncertainties upon individual employees and their families. By delaying, we intend to help alleviate some of those uncertainties related to working from home, personal health, the education of children, caring for loved ones, and transportation to workplaces.
Highmark Health's businesses will continue to provide outstanding and uninterrupted service to our customers through our thousands of employees who have seamlessly continued to work from home throughout the pandemic. In addition, a small number of essential employees who have worked in our facilities throughout the pandemic will continue to safely do so, supported by comprehensive health and safety protocols that protect all individuals in our facilities.
The front-line clinicians and support staff at Allegheny Health Network will continue to work on site at our hospitals, outpatient facilities, physician offices and mobile COVID testing sites to deliver safe, high quality patient care and to serve the community.
Highmark Health's back-to-the-workplace approach remains flexible, based on the evolving course of the pandemic, and determined by the clinical guidelines provided by the CDC, and state and local governments, as well as the judgment of our clinical experts.