Sonoma County: What should I do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19?

As states begin to ease restrictions, vaccine distribution increases, and speculation about getting “back to the office” ramps up, it is crucial to make sure your business is prepared. Since many employees will soon find themselves back in the workplace, it is important to make sure as an employer you are being proactive in preparing policies and protocols in the event of a positive COVID test amongst your staff. Ask yourself – do I know what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19? Even if you think you know what to do, it is critical that you do your research and keep yourself up to date with the most recent federal, state & county rules and guidelines. 

To start with the basics –  what is considered a “COVID-19” Case? Under AB 685 (Chap 84, Statues of 2020), a COVID-19 case is someone who meets one of the following criteria:

  • Tests positive for COVID-19
  • Is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider
  • Is ordered to isolate for COVID-19 by a public health official
  • Dies due to COVID-19, as determined by a public health department

Having an employee test positive for COVID-19 is a complex and sensitive situation. It is critical that Management works quickly to mitigate the impact on the employee and the rest of the organization. By reviewing the following links, your company will be able to work through this scenario with ease & grace.

CA Dept of Public Health – ER Guidance on AB 685

County of Sonoma – Workplace Exposure

County of Sonoma – Exposure & Outbreak Employer Packet

County of Sonoma – Outbreak Reporting Form

CDC – COVID-19 Information

If you are an administrator needing assistance please contact Innovative at 707-586-4300 or

Disclaimer: These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended as legal or tax advice. Readers of the IBS Blog should contact their legal or tax professionals to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances.

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