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In this week’s Friday Five, Maximus is tracking the latest news on the coronavirus, federal and state government actions to address the outbreak, and new job opportunities for reskilled employees.

1. As more Feds contract coronavirus, agencies scramble to keep employees safe 

Federal agencies are preparing for widespread, mandatory telework as coronavirus continues to spread throughout the population. Government Executive reports agencies are also bracing for office closures, restricting travel, and advising anyone who feels sick to stay home. Still to be determined: who, if anyone, will be eligible for hazard pay and what personal protective equipment the government will be able to provide.

2. Agencies can learn from 18F’s ‘remote-first’ mindset during coronavirus pandemic

The Office of Personnel Management has recommended government agencies review telework policies and put in place written telework agreements for as many employees as possible. According to FedScoop, several remote work tools have already been approved by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management program. The pre-approved tools are unlikely to be a major security risk and have lower barriers to use.

3. States race to combat coronavirus as cases mount 

As the number of infected individuals rises, states continue to declare states of emergency and set up task forces to oversee government response to the coronavirus, according to The Hill. Many are also waiving costs for testing, and some states have received approval from the CDC to conduct their own in-house tests. State governments are also shutting down large events, encouraging telework policies, and requesting emergency funding.

4. CMS pressed to quickly craft Medicaid action plan for COVID-19 

States are looking to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide guidance on addressing coronavirus in their communities. Modern Healthcare reports this guidance could include assurances that Medicaid would cover testing costs, removing barriers to telehealth services, waiving prior authorizations, or even a potential Medicaid expansion.

5. Federal CIO Kent announces jobs tailored to cyber reskilling graduates  

Graduates of the Federal Cybersecurity Reskilling Academy are now eligible to apply for ten new short-term job opportunities. FedScoop reports past graduates of the Academy have struggled to find cybersecurity roles they qualify for, despite completing the training. As part of an ongoing commitment to the reskilling program, the government is now offering additional job placement assistance.