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What to Do When Employee(s) Tests Positive for COVID-19

You likely will not need to shut down the workplace. Review the list below or download this printable list of instructions so you are prepared when this occurs.

  • Send any sick employee who has reported to work home immediately.
  • Inform fellow employees of possible exposure while maintaining the sick employee’s confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Clean and disinfect.
    • If it has been fewer than 7 days since the sick employee was in the workplace, close off areas the sick person used.
      • Wait 24 hours since the sick person used the area before cleaning and disinfecting. Doing so minimizes the potential for cleaning crews to be exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
      • During the waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation.
    • If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is unnecessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
    • Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
  • Sick employees should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met (generally 10 days after symptom onset with improved respiratory symptoms and at least 3 days fever-free without fever-reducing medications)
What to do when employee(s) have been exposed to a person with confirmed or probable COVID-19 (at work or elsewhere)
  • Employees with recent exposure to a person with COVID-19 should be quarantined at home for 14 days after exposure and self-monitor for symptoms and follow any other instructions provided by public health.
  • If they develop symptoms of COVID-19, they should get tested and begin isolation. 
  • If they want to get tested but don’t have symptoms, they should wait at least 7 days since they were last with a person with COVID-19.
  • Remote work during quarantine is acceptable.
  • Employers should confer with public health authorities and consider creative solutions to maintain the essential functions of the workplace while allowing all who were exposed to quarantine. However, while advisable, it is recognized that quarantining for 14 days may not be feasible for certain critical workers. Read the state’s Critical Worker FAQ | Español for more information about those with work functions that cannot be performed by any other workers.
  • Ensure workspaces are cleaned and disinfected routinely.