Be Ready for COVID-19 at Your Workplace
Protect your employees and the community by following these health and safety guidelines.
Maintain physical distancing:
People can spread the virus before they know they are sick, or do not have symptoms.
Staying six feet apart reduces the risk of spreading or catching COVID-19.
Improve how your mask fits:
Prevent air from flowing freely around the edges of the mask. If your mask fits well, you will:
  • Feel warm air come through the front of the mask
  • See the mask material move in and out with each breath

Add more layers to your mask:
Reduce the number of droplets that come through the mask.

  • Use a cloth mask with multiple layers of fabric
  • Wear a medical procedure mask underneath a cloth mask
Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about how to improve the fit and filtration of your mask.

Increase ventilation and filtration
Ventilation and filtration replaces air that contains the virus with cleaner air. Whenever possible:

  • Use MERV 13 air filters
  • Run portable HEPA air filters

Restrict the use of breakroom and other common areas:
The COVID-19 virus can build up in poorly ventilated rooms with multiple people.
Avoid eating in breakrooms, if possible.

Discourage carpooling:
Driving separately is the best practice to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
If driving separately is not possible:
  • Wear a mask
  • Roll down all four windows to bring in outside air OR The passenger should sit in the backseat and open window opposite the occupants
  • When windows can’t be opened during rain or extreme cold, keep the fan on high in the fresh air mode (do not recirculate the air)

Consider surveillance testing:
Weekly or more frequent test can help identify COVID-19 cases before people begin showing symptoms or are asymptomatic.
Testing options include:

Additional Resources
  • Step 1: Keep Track

    Create a secure list of positive COVID-19 employees, including, at minimum, symptom onset date, positive test date, job site, and last date worked. Public Health has created the spreadsheet below to help you keep track of this important information. You will need to submit this form to Public Health if/when you meet the minimum threshold of positive cases.

  • Step 2: Send Staff Home, Notify Others

    Ensure that the positive individuals stay at home throughout the duration of their isolation period. Advise staff that they will be receiving a call from a County COVID-19 case investigator and encourage them to respond.

    Notify remaining employees of possible exposure to COVID-19, in accordance with the new requirements set forth in AB 685 (Labor Code section 6409.6).

  • Step 3: Investigate Exposure, Identify Close Contacts & Send Them Home

    Conduct an internal investigation to determine which other staff (including vendors and suppliers) that might have been in close contact with the positive individual during the exposure period. Notify these close contacts of their exposure and request them to quarantine at home since they may become sick.

    You will need to collect information about the close contacts as well, and therefore we encourage you to add this information to the same Contact Tracing Form linked in Step 1.

  • Step 4: Report Positive Cases & Close Contacts

    Reporting Cases to Public Health with the SPOT Intake Form

    If you meet the reporting threshold set for your workplace setting, complete the SPOT Intake Form online to report the cases to Santa Cruz Public Health. If you do not meet the reporting threshold but still want to connect with Public Health for guidance, you can still use the SPOT Intake Form (linked above) to submit a report. After the form is complete, you may be contacted by a member of Public Health’s Workplace Investigation Team to determine if further investigation is warranted. In general, reporting thresholds are broken down into the following two categories:

    Technical Note: Mobile devices and operating systems are not supported on SPOT. It is best to use a desktop or laptop. If neither is available, please contact Public Health at (831) 454-4242 or email HSACD@santacruzcounty.us.

    Reporting to Environmental Health

    Businesses overseen by Environmental Health (i.e. food facilities, public bools, body art, or organized camps) should also report the cases directly to Env.Hlth@santacruzcounty.us.

    Reporting to Cal/OSHA

    Any serious injury, illness, or death occurring in any place of employment or in connection with any employment must be reported by the employer to the local Cal/OSHA district office immediately. For COVID-19, this includes hospitalizations and deaths among employees, even if work-relatedness is uncertain. Cal/OSHA prefers calls by phone but will also accept email reports (caloshaaccidentreport@tel-us.com). More information on the Cal/OSHA website.

Concern about loss of income is a major obstacle to isolation and quarantine compliance. The links below explain the benefits and paid leave options that your employees may be entitled to or otherwise have available to them.

Available data indicate that adults with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. As such, once all the following conditions are met, it is neither recommended, nor required for the individual to undergo a second test prior to returning to work:

Therefore, we ask that employers accept the following Self-Attestation Letters as sufficient documentation from employees returning from isolation and quarantine.

The County’s Vaccine Webpage provides a wide range of information about vaccines and includes links to additional helpful resources. Employees interested in vaccination should sign up for MyTurn.ca.gov to be notified about their eligibility. Once eligible, they can use VaccineFinder.org to find clinics, pharmacies and other locations offering the vaccine. If you are interested in offering the COVID-19 Vaccine to your employees, please email HSAC19vaccineclinics@santacruzcounty.us with the name of your organization, preferred contact information, and number of employees interested. If you have additional questions about vaccines, please contact the Call Center at (831) 454-4242.

GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Isolation: Isolation keeps someone who is infected with the virus away from others, even in their home.
Close contact: A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of a case for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period. It also includes anyone who had direct physical contact, shared eating/drinking utensils, or was sneezed or coughed on by a case.
Exposure period: The exposure period includes the period of time that a COVID-19 positive employee was at the work-site during their infectious period, which begins 2 days before their symptoms started, or their positive test date (whichever came first), and ends 10 days later.
Quarantine: Quarantine is the practice of separating individuals who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 to determine whether they develop symptoms or test positive for the disease. Quarantine for COVID-19 should last for 14 days after the exposure has ended. See CDPH shortened quarantine guidance for during critical staffing shortages when there are not enough staff to provide safe patient care, essential critical infrastructure workers. Fully vaccinated employees should follow CDC recommendations for isolation, quarantining and testing.