ST. PAUL, Minn. - Civilian personnel hasn’t missed a beat as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although all of the staff are teleworking, they managed to onboard 25 new employees since March 17, when the district activated its Continuity of Operations Plan for a pandemic.“We haven’t seen a decrease in staffing needs,” said Abby Hansen, civilian personnel chief. “It’s been just as busy.”She said the office is doing everything it needs to do for managers and new personnel virtually. “This really isn’t new for us, though, because we are a district with many field sites,” she said. “We’ve always done it this way for the field. It is new for a lot of district office hiring managers, however, so it’s been a change for them.”What can’t be done now, such as physicals and drug testing required for some positions, she said, is being deferred until a later date. The positions are contingent upon completion of those items when available. The biggest hurdle has been finding places for individuals to get their fingerprints taken, when a lot of the usual places aren’t providing services. Hansen said the security staff has had to call around and find some workarounds.Many of the new hires have come into the office just long enough to get a CAC and a computer and then went home to begin work with training taking place virtually. “In my own office, I’ve had two new employees start, and we’ve done a number of things to get them up and running,” she said. “I think we’ve used every virtual tool available to provide them the training and instruction they need.”-30-