What happens when an employee tests positive for coronavirus? The lists below outline the responsibilities of both employers and Marin County Public Health.
Steps Taken by Marin Public Health When an Employee is COVID-19 Positive
- A case is identified
- A MCHHS Contact Investigator contacts the case to gather information and among other things, identifies the employer of the case (if applicable)
- If the case works at a residential facility for the elderly, an outbreak team responds to address the workplace exposure in this vulnerable population
- If the case is employed outside the home and the CI is concerned about possible work exposure, the case information is sent to a Business Investigator
- The Business Investigator contacts the business to inform them of their positive employee and guide them on next steps
When does this guidance apply?
- When any staff has either a lab test confirmed case or healthcare provider diagnosed case of COVID-19 and
- When any staff was at work 48 hours before symptoms started or if they have no symptoms, was at work 48 hours before receiving their positive test result.
What should a business do when an employee tests positive?
- Report: Immediately notify any COVID-19 case to Marin Public Health at 415-473-2957 or to Covid19results@marincounty.org
- Maintain confidentiality: Do not release the names of sick person or close contacts to anyone at the workplace, unless they give you permission.
- Identify and Quarantine close contacts: Determine close contacts of the sick person and have them quarantine at home. Close contacts:
- Are people who been within 6 feet of the sick person for more than 15 minutes
- Should stay at home for 14 days from the day the sick person was last at work
- We recommend close contacts be tested 5 days or later after last day of contact with case
- Persons who have tested positive can return to work if they meet these three requirements:
- It has been 10 days since positive test result or onset of symptoms
- AND improvement in respiratory symptoms
- AND no fever without the use of fever reducing medication in the past 72 hours
- Educate staff: Provide staff with a printed copy of Home Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines (available in Spanish)
- Monitor for symptoms: All other employees who were at the physical workplace 48 hours before the sick person was sent home should monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from the last day the sick person was a work (see symptoms list below).
- shortness of breath
- muscle or body aches
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- congestion or runny nose
- nausea or vomiting
- Institute cleaning and disinfection measures: Ensure proper cleaning as recommended by the CDC HERE.
- Ensure employees use prevention best practices to stop the spread of COVID-19:
- Wear a face covering properly (covering mouth AND nose) at all times
- Frequent wash hands with soap and water for a full 20 seconds (preferred or use an alcohol-based sanitizer
- Avoid touching your face
- Using a tissue or your elbow for coughs and sneezes – DO NOT use hand to cover
- Keep social distancing (keep 6 feet away from others)
Preventing COVID in the Workplace
- Separate work stations by more than 6 feet
- Ensure good ventilation
- Require proper mask usage
- Consider staggering shifts
- Maintain 6 foot spacing during meals and breaks
- Consider outside of work contact like carpooling, employees living together
Encouraging Employees to Stay Home for Quarantine and Isolation
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act-requires small employers (<500 employees) to provide limited paid-leave benefits to employees affected by the coronavirus emergency
- California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Order- provides up to 80 hours of “COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave” to defined food sector workers in businesses with > 500 employees
- Marin County Supervisors have allocated funds to a wage support program for low-income coronavirus carriers
- For the most up-to-date Coronavirus and COVID-19 info, visit the CDC.
- For up-to-date Marin information visit the Marin County COVID-19 Information Portal at coronavirus.marinhhs.org
NOTE: County Sets Up Free Weekly Testing for Restaurant Workers
As County officials have said in recent weeks, while 16% of Marin’s population is Latino, Marin’s Latino community has accounted for 74% of the county’s coronavirus infections and 13% of the deaths caused by the virus. To directly confront that grave problem, the county has set up a free weekly COVID-19 testing site for restaurant workers. Every Thursday, 1-3pm, restaurant workers can get tested for free at First Missionary Baptist Church at 501 Drake Ave. in Marin City. MORE INFO.