Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected workplaces and communities across California, and California employers have an important role to play in addressing the ongoing pandemic. This resource document was created to help employers understand the steps they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to respond quickly and appropriately to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks identified in the workplace.
Under current laws and regulations, employers must notify the local health department (LHD) when they identify three or more cases of COVID-19 among workers at the workplace within a 14-day period. In general, however, employers should be proactive and keep in mind that identification of even a single positive case among workers may quickly develop into a large outbreak. As outbreak circumstances and work practices vary, employers should consider seeking assistance early on from their LHD to plan and coordinate a response that meets the needs of the workplace.
This resource document is intended to provide a comprehensive set of public health best practices and strategies to help employers identify, respond to, and prevent additional cases of COVID-19 in their workplace. In non-healthcare workplaces, employers are responsible for ensuring that their actions to protect employees comply with the legal requirements of AB 685 (Labor Code 6409.6) (see CDPH FAQs) and the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). To avoid potential penalties, employers are advised to consult Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 ETS regulatory language, Frequently Asked Questions, and other materials at Emergency Temporary Standards page. This CDPH resource does not restate the comprehensive requirements of the ETS.
This resource document is not intended for use in managing or preventing outbreaks in healthcare, congregate living settings, or other workplaces where the California Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) standard (Title 8 section 5199) applies.
Originally Published on
June 16, 2020