On Monday, Dec. 13, the Verona Press received an anonymous online news submission asking for a reporter to check in with Epic on its response to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Epic is a healthcare software development company headquartered on an over 1,000-acre campus at 1979 Milky Way in Verona. With nearly 11,000 employees worldwide – compared to Verona’s total population of 15,000 – the company often is the recipient of local scrutiny, being not only the largest employer in Verona, but also one of the largest employers in Dane County.
“Epic systems is still sending employees to foreign countries even in spite of stricter reentrance back into the United States,” the Dec. 13 news submission stated. “Epic is capable and has been functioning virtually, they are putting their employees’ health at risk and their holiday season at risk as well, completely ignoring employees’ needs. Please investigate and get the word out before families are trapped in foreign countries and miss their holidays because of unnecessary travel.”
The Press reached out to Epic’s public relations director Barb Hernandez with some questions, and she provided us with answers from three different Epic spokespersons she talked to on Monday, Dec. 27.
Q: How is Epic’s response plan for Omicron different from Delta variant or the original COVID-19 virus, if at all? Are you dealing with Omicron differently?
A: Epic’s response to Omicron is consistent with our response to all COVID-19 variants. We are following public health guidelines, including masking in public areas, social distancing and requiring vaccinations.
Q: Will Epic require booster shots for employees to travel for work or to work on campus? Is there a timeline or deadline in place for this?
A: The majority of our staff already have received booster shots. It is not a requirement at this time.
Q: Does Epic have any concerns or contingency plans in place if either a foreign country or the United States implements a stricter travel or re-entry policy, possibly risking employees becoming stuck overseas following work-related travel?
A: We are continually monitoring public health recommendations throughout the world and working on a case-by-case basis for Epic staff who live in other countries.
Q: What are Epic’s current policies/requirements regarding work-from-home/telecommuting, versus working from the campus?
A: All Epic employees returned to campus full-time in October. We have some work-from-home contingencies in place for employees or their families who may become exposed to COVID-19.