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Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace
This checklist is intended for use by employers identifying cases of COVID-19 in their workplace. In non-healthcare or non-residential congregate setting workplaces, CDPH requires employers to report cases of COVID-19 to the local health department (LHD) in the jurisdiction in which they are located and the LHD where the infected workers reside. Employers must use the reporting threshold of three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 among workers who live in different households within a two-week period to notify the LHDs. 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 may need assistance from their LHD to plan and coordinate a response that meets the needs of the workplace.
This guidance 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.
Employers should also consult:
2. Employers must prepare to share information with the LHD and other stakeholders.
Minimum Criteria for Return to Work
(As of September 18, 2020)
CDC Reference Page
(The most recent CDC guidance should be consulted prior to allowing the worker to return to work)
Workers with symptoms who are laboratory confirmed to have COVID-19
At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and at least 24 hours have passed since last fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) have improved.
For worker cases who did not require hospitalization: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html
For worker cases who require hospitalization: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-hospitalized-patients.html
Workers who never had symptoms and are laboratory confirmed to have COVID-19
Workers who had symptoms of COVID-19 but test result returned negative
Workers who never had symptoms but were tested due to close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case patient and were negative
Workers who had symptoms of COVID-19 but were not tested
Workers who had close contact to a laboratory-confirmed case patient at work, home, or in the community and do not have symptoms.
Workers who refuse or are unable to be tested after close contact with a laboratory-confirmed case, despite recommendation for testing from LHD or healthcare provider, and do not have symptoms.
Workers should be quarantined at home for 14 days after the last known close contact with the case patient. Testing is highly recommended; if testing has not occurred, the LHD may consider allowing a worker who had close contact to a confirmed case to continue to work only in a critical infrastructure industry in which the essential operations of the workplace would be compromised by quarantine of the worker and no alternate staff can perform the same role.*
Workers who develop symptoms of COVID-19 while in quarantine should contact their healthcare provider. Even if they are not tested, the same criteria for return to work should be used as laboratory-confirmed cases.
* Critical infrastructure workplace outbreak
Where 14-day quarantine would compromise essential operations, the LHD may determine that some workers in these two groups may return to work sooner than 14 days by considering certain criteria specific to the workplace and worker:
Be aware that testing reflects a worker's status at a single point in time only. If a worker tests negative, they may still develop COVID-19 infection from a recent or subsequent exposure and should be instructed to quarantine at home if that occurs. Testing may be needed at repeated intervals to capture all positive cases, especially if an outbreak is ongoing.
Governor's Office Resilience Roadmap guidance and employer checklists: