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State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health

June 20, 2023

Local Health Departments

AB 685 COVID-19 Workplace Outbreak Reporting Requirements


AB 685 (Chapter 84, Statutes of 2020) is a California law that:

  • 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 As of January 1, 2023, this statewide requirement is no longer in effect.*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.​  

*Per California Code of Regulations Title 17 section 2500, healthcare providers are still required to report outbreaks to the local health department.​

Once LHDs receive reports from employers, they should take the following steps:

  • 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: 

CalREDIE Field CalCONNECT Field Additional InformationField Location
Outbreak statusResolution Status Outbreak Resolution Status Set to "Confirmed" for all confirmed outbreaks.Exposure Event
Outbreak cases# of Cases

Number of confirmed cases and/or

Number of probable cases

Provide the total number of suspected, probable, or confirmed COVID-19 cases within a 7-day period.​Exposure Event
Outbreak onset dateDate of Onset Start Date of Exposure Event Provide the earliest date an outbreak case was identified.​Exposure Event
Industry of workplaceWhat is the industry of this workplace? What is the industry of this workplace? Free text field. Enter the type of workplace (e.g., grocery store, restaurant, homeless shelter). Be as specific as possible.​Exposure Event
Industry code of workplaceWhat is the NAICS code of this workplace? The NAICS code of the workplace 6-digit numeric code that employers should report when reporting outbreaks.​Exposure Event
Workplace statusDid this outbreak take place in a workplace setting?Were workers present at Exposure Event? Most locations where staff are present are considered workplaces. Outbreaks associated with private gatherings are generally not considered workplaces.​Exposure Event
Total number of workers at the workplaceTotal number of workers at time of outbreak Total staff at time of event Include any permanent, temporary, and contract employees. In CalCONNECT, complete manually if the auto-calculated number does not reflect the actual number of staff at the workplace.​Exposure Event
Cases among workers

Known cases among workers?

If yes, number of cases among workers

Any known cases among workers or staff? If yes, number of cases among workers? Be sure to include cases among permanent, temporary, and contract workers.​Exposure Event
Location of outbreakName(s) of facility / school / setting where outbreak took place Location Name Provide the outbreak location by employer name.Location Account
Address of outbreak locationAddress of facility / school / setting Location Address Provide the address where the outbreak occurred.​Location Account
Type of setting where outbreak took placeSetting type Location Type Select the most appropriate choice(s) from the list of settings.​Location Account
LHD outbreak occurred inJurisdiction LHD Select the LHD the outbreak occurred in. ​Location Account 

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.​

Additional resources for LHDs and employers:

Appendix: Template for Employer Reporting of 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.

Business information:

Date of report: _________________

Name of reporter: _________________

Position/title:  _________________


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.

Worker information:

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.

Name:  _________________

Occupation:  _________________

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