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Employee Protection from COVID-19

September 28, 2022 16460
Preparing Your Practice
  • Direct sick employees to stay home.
  • Send employees with acute respiratory illness symptoms home immediately.


  • Require staff to wear masks (provided by the employer and appropriate for work) while at work. Masking may be optional only in non-clinical areas, where there have been no outbreaks in the facility and where COVID-19 Community Level is low. 


SCREEN employees

  •  Evaluate employee health regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status  Employee Screening for COVID-19 - CDA.
  • Instead of screening employees and taking temperatures, employers may ask employees to self-screen prior to their scheduled shift. Employees can be required to report to the employer and not enter the workplace if they:
    • Are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
    • Have a fever equal to or higher than 100.0 F.
    • Are under evaluation for COVID-19 (for example, waiting for the results of a viral test to confirm infection).
    • Have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and not yet cleared to discontinue isolation.
    • Have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • An employer may continue to actively screen employees if it chooses to do so. 
    • Perform screenings at the start of their work shift while the employee is on the clock.
    • The screening is considered a medical examination and should be conducted by the employer or management level employee as collected information is considered confidential employee health information regulated by Cal/OSHA.
    • An employer or designated individual may screen only to assess risk to others and should be restricted to COVID-19 inquiries.

IF an employee is asked to return home due to a positive response to the screening questions or a documented fever, employers should comply with the provisions of reporting time pay.

IF an employee reports symptoms or COVID-19 diagnosis:

  1. Identify and notify patients and employees who were in “close contact” with the affected employee at the practice. Advise them to contact their healthcare provider. Do not communicate the information to anyone who does not need to know.
  2. Review Cal/OSHA return to work requirements and Required Reporting:  Reporting Symptoms/Positive Test for COVID-19 Flowchart

Employers must make COVID-19 testing available to all employees who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or who had "close contact" exposure to a COVID-19 case at the workplace. The testing must be made available at no cost and during employees’ paid time.

Employers may not require a negative COVID-19 test as a condition for an employee returning to work if the employee has satisfied the return-to-work requirements.

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