The COVID-19 pandemic has made all levels of government radically change how they operate. From shifting their workforce to telework to delivering government services digitally, Federal, state, and local governments have had to pivot the way they work, while still delivering on their mission. […]

capitol washington dc senate house congress-min

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., 20 Democratic senators plus Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, urged leadership to include maximum telework provisions for Federal employees and contractors in the next coronavirus relief package.






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Across the board, Federal agencies have made a massive shift to telework in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, agencies are beginning to look at how to safely bring employees back to worksites. While the Department of Defense (DoD) is taking a slow, phased approach, leadership is grappling with whether the culture of increased telework is here to stay.






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As the COVID-19 pandemic made it increasingly difficult for veterans to access in-person healthcare services, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) quickly scaled its existing telehealth capabilities to accommodate more patients. Now, per several VA officials, the agency is planning to continue investments in and accessibility to its virtual health services even after the pandemic winds down.






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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it is working to re-open agency offices in accordance with Phase 1 of the White House’s Opening Up America Again plan, although office re-opening schedules are expected to vary based on a number of factors.






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EPA Environmental Protection Agency

As some Federal offices begin looking ahead toward reopening when the COVID-19 pandemic slows, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still largely pushing for maximum telework despite its rolling plan to reopen, an agency spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.






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State Department

The Department of State has been monitoring local conditions in the D.C.-metro area during the Coronavirus pandemic, with the expectation of entering Phase I of Diplomacy Strong today.






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Pentagon DoD Defense Military

Nearly three months since Federal agencies were directed to maximize telework, Federal CIOs at a June 11 ATARC virtual conference talked about what the telework experience may mean for the IT workforce of the future – and how agencies may balance newfound efficiencies with the need for human interaction in the workplace.






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CDM Central - Government Keynote - Grant Schneider

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) program has been a key tool for managing cybersecurity risks since Federal employees began maximum telework in March by helping to maintain situational awareness on networks, said Federal CISO Grant Schneider at MeriTalk’s CDM Central: Tales from the Frontlines digital event today.






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The COVID-19 pandemic has driven Federal agencies to leap to maximum telework capacity on short notice. While many were able to kick telework into high gear in only a matter of days because of previous or ongoing IT modernization investments, the requirement to change fast and on the fly underscores the vital need for modernization – in the case of a pandemic or not.






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