Preventing and Managing a COVID Outbreak: Week 4 - Bringing Employees Back


During this time of Coronavirus I have helped over 30 business owners manage COVID policies in their workplaces including a few who have needed to quarantine staff due to COVID exposure. One of the most stressful times for all of us has been when the business owner has an employee who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or if one of their employees has tested positive. This gave me the idea to put together this series for business owners who are caught in that stressful time and are not sure what exactly to do.


So far we have covered:

- Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan

- What to do when an employee tests positive for COVID or is in close contact with someone who is positive

- Administering Leave


This week, our final week, we look at how to bring employees back to work. Looking forward to working with you! If you have any questions along the way, feel free to email me!





Ending Isolation

Current CDC guidance allows for an individual who has been isolated due to positively testing for COVID to end isolation when the meet the following criteria:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the onset of symptoms

  • The individual no longer has a temperature above 100.4F and is not taking medication to reduce a fever

  • Other symptoms have improved


Ending Quarantine

Current CDC guidance allows for an individual who has come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID to end quarantine after 14 days.

If the quarantined individual comes into close contact with a COVID positive person during quarantine the quarantine must be extended by 14 days.

If the quarantined individual develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID, they must then enter isolation.


Communication Guidelines

  • Communicate regularly

  • Set a date for return to work

  • Adjust the date as needed based on the individual's symptoms

  • Provide any additional resources possible

  • Provide updates on workplace events such as wins for the team or exciting upcoming projects


Additional Resources

Week 1: Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan


The best sources of information that I have found are the Centers for Disease Control, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the California State COVID website, which lists guidelines for specific business segments.


Santa Cruz County COVID 19 Site Specific Plan


Blue Check - an endorsement from Santa Cruz County Public Health that the business follows practices lowering the risk of COVID-19 for staff and customers

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