California: New Guidance on Reporting Requirements for COVID-19 Outbreaks


All Employers with CA Employees


October 16, 2020


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The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released additional guidance documents containing instructions on how employers should report outbreaks to local public health agencies.  The guidance documents supplement AB 685, a recent bill that implements COVID-19 reporting requirements effective January 1, 2021.  The new guidance documents provide information on how outbreaks should be reported right now, which closely follows the requirements of AB 685.

The first document, AB 685 Definitions, clarifies some ambiguities in the bill. It defines “outbreak” in a non-healthcare workplace as at least three COVID-19 cases among workers, not customers, at the same worksite within a 14-day period. It also sets forth definitions of the infectious period and laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

The second document, Employer Questions About AB 685, contains an FAQ. It provides further details on what information employers must give to employees who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19, when to report COVID-19 cases to a local health department, and which employers must follow AB 685, among other things.  While AB 685 does not go into effect until January 1, 2021, it is important to note that the current CDPH guidance already requires employers to report outbreaks to local health departments.

Action Items

  1. Review the CDPH guidance documents and implement procedures for reporting COVID-19 cases.
  2. Have applicable personnel trained on reporting and notice requirements.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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