Documenting COVID

“What do I need to track for COVID and what do I do with the information?”

Your HR Survival Tip

Running a business has become increasingly difficult as COVID rules and responsibilities keep changing. The one thing we all know is to send an employee home (or tell them not to come to work) when they have symptoms and/or test positive for COVID. But what then?

1) You follow your protocol, which should include finding and notifying those potentially exposed, cleaning the work area of the person who tested positive, etc. When warning about the exposure, you only say “someone you work with has tested positive.” While the employees may figure out who it is, the name can’t come from you due to privacy laws.

2) The next step is to notify your local health department to inform them of a positive case.

3) The last step is determining if this positive test must be reported on your Cal/OSHA Log 300 (that is posted February 1 to April 30 each year). You must list this incident if the employee misses work, is diagnosed by a doctor, has medical treatment beyond first aid, etc. These are the primary things that happen when someone tests positive so it will be surprising if you do NOT have to list the incident.

4) Only if the positive employee is hospitalized (or worse) must you report this directly to Cal/OSHA within 8 hours of learning about it.

The CA Department of Public Health (CDPH) has provided detailed information for employers that can help you with a positive result and even with your protocol. In addition, Cal/OSHA has provided useful FAQs (frequently asked questions) that can also help you know what recordkeeping is expected of you by California.

Anyone with employees in California is familiar with the ever-changing employment laws but COVID has pushed employers to the limit in many ways. In addition to running a business, you are now constantly watching for changes that reflect new information and require expanded safety protocols. Let us know if you need any help or resources.

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