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Requires employers to notify employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
Previously, AB 685 also required non-healthcare employers to notify local health departments (LHDs) of COVID-19 workplace outbreaks. As of January 1, 2023, this statewide requirement is no longer in effect.*
LHDs may continue to require outbreak reporting through a local order, if desired, and are encouraged to communicate required or recommended reporting thresholds to employers in their communities. When an LHD becomes aware of a workplace outbreak, employers must provide information requested by an LHD to investigate the outbreak.
LHDs can decide the best mechanism for collecting outbreak information from employers.
Many LHDs use the Shared Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT) for employer outbreak reporting, while others have developed their own web tools or portal.
If developing their own tools, LHDs are encouraged to ensure that they contain fields with relevant workplace information. Please see the Appendix below for a basic template with recommended fields and additional suggestions for how to collect this information.
If appropriate, investigate to determine whether the reported cases constitute an outbreak, according to the CDPH outbreak definitions, and work with the employer to respond to the outbreak.
If there is an outbreak, the LHD should report it to CDPH via the CalREDIE outbreak module, the CalCONNECT exposure event form, or an alternate established mechanism.
Key fields to complete for workplace outbreaks:
Number of confirmed cases and/or
Number of probable cases
Known cases among workers?
If yes, number of cases among workers
What information about workplace outbreaks will be publicly shared by CDPH and LHDs?
Currently, CDPH posts aggregate outbreak data by industry on the CDPH website and Department of Health and Human Services Open Data Portal.
LHDs can provide a link to this information on the CDPH website on their own websites.
LHDs are not required to publicly post information about outbreaks by industry within their own jurisdictions but may choose to do so voluntarily.
AB 685 as adopted and amended in Labor Code section 6409.6 : California Legislative Information webpage.
CDPH data about workplace outbreaks: posted to the CDPH website and CHHS Open Data Portal.
CDPH COVID-19 Outbreak Definition and Reporting Guidance: resource for LHDs that defines COVID-19 outbreaks and reporting thresholds for non-healthcare outbreaks.
Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace for Employers: CDPH guidance for employers on how to respond to cases of COVID-19 in the workplace.
Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace for Local Health Departments: CDPH guidance for local health departments on how to respond to cases of COVID-19 in workplaces.
Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Standards: Information about Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 regulation, which includes special requirements for outbreaks and large outbreaks (Sections 3205.1 and 3205.2).
LHDs can contact the CDPH Occupational Health Branch at email@example.com at any time with questions or requests for assistance regarding workplace COVID-19 outbreaks.
Please note: This template is intended to allow for collection of data that employers are encouraged to provide to local health departments when reporting workplace COVID-19 outbreaks. Local health departments may also choose to collect additional information from employers regarding workplace outbreaks.
Date of report: _________________
Name of reporter: _________________
Business or facility name: _________________
Business address: _________________
Type of business: _________________
This is the industry of the business, such as elementary school, clothing manufacturing, restaurant, or grocery store.
[Suggest collecting this information as a free text field]
NAICS code: _________________
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is a standard 6-digit code used to classify a workplace by industry. To find your business's NAICS code, first click your sector number, then search for the specific code for your industry.
Total number of workers at the worksite: _________________
Please include all workers, including temporary or contract workers.
Number of workers with COVID-19: _________________
This includes any workers known to have tested positive by either rapid antigen test or PCR test.
Collect for each worker with COVID-19. Local health departments may also wish to collect additional information about workers with COVID-19 to assist with case investigation and contact tracing efforts, such as worker date of birth, contact information, date of positive test, date of symptom onset, and date last present at the worksite.
Occupation is the kind of work someone does (e.g. registered nurse, janitor, cashier, auto mechanic, etc). [Suggest collecting this information as a free text field]
Originally Published on December 10, 2020