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Human Resources Department

Employee Resources

Employee Information for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


New Emergency COVID-19 Regulations

On November 30, 2020, Cal OSHA adopted emergency COVID-19 regulations. The County is providing important information to employees in accordance with the new regulations through the County's HR Liaisons.

COVID-19 Exposure Reporting, Testing and Resources »

HR-Risk Management COVID-19 SharePoint site »
(Intranet Access Required)

Disability Management Forms and Templates »

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Information about the Sonoma County COVID-19 Screening App »

  • Information and Instructions
  • Frequently Asked Questions

Covid-19 Exposure Reporting, Testing and Resources

On November 30, 2020, Cal OSHA adopted emergency COVID-19 regulations. The County is providing the following important information to employees in accordance with the new regulations.

What’s in this Section:

How to Report COVID-19 Symptoms and Positive Test Results, Including Employee Rights and Protections

If you test positive for COVID-19, notify your Department contact immediately, as additional contact tracing will be required to establish whether you have exposed any other employees. Do not report to work.

If you test positive or experiencing symptoms, you will remain out of the workplace per the CDPH guidelines:

To stop spread of the virus in the workplace, it is critical that employees do not come to work, and contact their supervisor or manager immediately, when an employee:

    • Receives positive COVID-19 test results.
    • Has received notice that they have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual (“close contact” means being within 6 feet or less of a COVID-19 positive individual
    • Experiences symptoms:
      • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
      • Chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea

  • Close Contact is defined as: Someone sharing the same indoor airspace, e.g., home, clinic waiting room, airplane etc., for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during an infected person's (laboratory-confirmed or a clinical diagnosis) infectious period.
  • The high risk/infectious period is defined as follows:
    • For symptomatic infected persons, 2 days before the infected person had any symptoms through Day 10 after symptoms first appeared (or through Day 5 if testing negative on Day 5 or later), and 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved, OR
    • For asymptomatic infected persons, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date through Day 10 after the positive specimen collection date (or through Day 5 if testing negative on Day 5 or later) after the specimen collection date for their first positive COVID-19 test.
    • For the purposes of identifying close contacts and exposures, infected persons who test negative on or after Day 5 and end isolation, in accordance with this guidance, are no longer considered to be within their infectious period. Such persons should continue to follow CDPH isolation recommendations, including wearing a well-fitting face mask through Day 10.

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Resources & Protections for Quarantined and COVID-19 Positive Employees

If you are identified as an employee that has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual in the workplace, you will be notified by your Department Human Resources staff or Public Health, and placed on a quarantine. Testing will either be arranged by the Department, or you will be directed to access testing resources, as noted below.

While on quarantine, or in the event you are diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, you may be entitled to the following COVID-19 benefits under applicable federal, state, and/or local laws, including, but not limited to, COVID-19 related leave, employer provided sick leave, state-mandated leave, supplemental sick leave, or negotiated leave provisions:

Quarantine & Illness Protections

If you become sick, additional benefit options are:

  • Short Term Disability (STD): Some Unions have short-term disability benefits available to their members.  Short-term disability benefits pay a percentage of your normal wage.  You may also have the option of supplementing the payments with your accrued leave to bring you to 100% of pay. Information is available on the HR website at: 
  • Long Term Disability (LTD):  Like STD, LTD pays a percentage of your normal wage. You cannot supplement the payments.  If your illness extends beyond 60 days, you may be eligible to receive LTD benefits. Information is available on the HR website at:
  • Catastrophic Leave: If you exhaust all your own leave accruals, your illness leave extends beyond 2 weeks, and you do not qualify for STD benefits, you may apply to receive Catastrophic Leave (donations of vacation and compensatory time from other County employees).

Catastrophic Leave information is located online:

The Catastrophic Leave application form, is available at:

  • If you would like to test for COVID-19, you may do so during your regular work time, or after hours, if you choose.  Current test sites are listed on the Sonoma County Emergency website,, including free/no-cost testing options. (Public Health advises testing 10 days from date of exposure. Testing too soon after exposure increases the risk of a false-negative test.)

Workers’ Compensation 

If you become COVID-19 positive and think it is due to a workplace exposure, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim.  Information on filing a claim is available on the County’s Human Resources website:

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Resources for Exposed Employees (Not ordered to quarantine)

If you receive a notice of potential exposure from your Department and have not been directed to quarantine, the following resources are available to you:

Testing is Available

If you would like to test for COVID-19, you may do so during your regular work time, or after hours, if you choose.  Current test sites are listed on the Sonoma County Emergency website,, including free/no-cost testing options.

(Public Health advises testing 10 days from date of exposure. Testing too soon after exposure increases the risk of a false-negative test.)

Leaves and Protections 

You may also be entitled to COVID-19 leave benefits and protections under applicable federal, state, and/or local laws, including, but not limited to, COVID-19 related leave, employer provided sick leave, state-mandated leave, supplemental sick leave, or negotiated leave provisions. Available resources are:

Retaliation Protection 

If you believe that you have been retaliated against for disclosing a positive COVID-19 test, diagnosis, or order to quarantine or isolate, contact Victoria Willard, Sonoma County EEO Manager, at 707-565-2955, to discuss your concern. You may also contact the State of California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement,

Workers’ Compensation

If you become COVID-19 positive and think it is due to a workplace exposure, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim.  Information on filing a claim is available on the County’s Human Resources website:

Employee Assistance Plan

Free, confidential support for work and life, available 24/7. To access services, call 1-866-248-4096, or go to the EAP website (Company Access Code: Sonoma).

Reasonable Accommodation

If an employee has an underlying medical condition that places them at high-risk of severe symptoms and illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus, accommodation options may be available, as outlined in the County’s Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy.

To initiate the accommodation process, the employee must provide a medical note from their healthcare provider, outlining their work restrictions.

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Vaccination and Testing

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Employee Leave Information

The County of Sonoma is committed to supporting its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

All County-provided benefits are subject to change as the pandemic situation evolves.

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Voluntary Hour Reduction (VHR) Program

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Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The County’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free, confidential counseling and other life services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to all County of Sonoma employees and their family members.

To access EAP counseling or other life services by phone, call: 1-866-248-4096,

Or go to the EAP website (Company Access Code: Sonoma).

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Employee Benefits Information

Sutter Health Plus Member Information

Sutter Health remains committed to the health and safety of our communities. If you're concerned you may have COVID-19, please call your doctor or healthcare provider before visiting a care facility. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For up to date COVID-19 information, please visit our Sutter Health Plus website: »

At the direction of the Department of Managed Health Care All Plan Letter, Sutter Health Plus covers medically necessary COVID-19 screening and testing at zero cost to members. We consider services medically necessary if you experience symptoms and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for screening or testing. We also defer to the clinical judgment of the treating provider to determine medical necessity. We encourage members to schedule video or telephonic visits to help minimize spread of infection and ease pressure on provider offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms.

In addition, Sutter is offering designated respiratory sites for patients who need to be evaluated by a clinician to see if they meet the criteria for the COVID-19 test. Per CDC guidelines, Sutter needs to preserve test supplies for high-risk patients with certain pre-existing conditions or social risks, so this service is available only to patients with symptoms who have a referral from a Sutter-affiliated clinician. If you feel ill, please schedule a video visit or call our our COVID-19 advice line at (866) 961-2889 to receive guidance on whether you need to go to a site to be further evaluated. Patients must present identification at the testing site to confirm their appointment. If patients meet the criteria for testing, a specimen will be collected and sent to a lab for analysis. If the result is positive, your clinician will ensure you receive appropriate care.

For Same Day Access to Care Options, Sutter Health Plus members have access to the following:

  • Nurse Advice Line  (855) 836-3500, at no cost
  • Video visits at the same cost share as a PCP visit
  • Sutter Walk-In Care at the same cost share as a PCP visit (placing a call to the Walk-In Care location is encouraged, as some sites are dedicated to video visits only - at this time, Petaluma is closed to in-person appointments and is video appointments only)
  • Urgent and Emergency Care at the applicable copayment, unless to screen/test for COVID-19
  • Calling or emailing your Sutter Health Plus Primary Care Physician - call your PCP at the number listed on your Sutter Health Plus ID card

Prescription medications continue to be available at all of our contract pharmacies - many have drive-thru options or are open extended hours and some might even offer home delivery. In addition to mail-order that allows up to a 100-day supply for two times the monthly copayment, some network pharmacies participate in Smart90 that allows you to get a 90-day supply for 3 times the monthly copayment.

Kaiser Permanente Member Information

The spread of the coronavirus is touching lives across the country. As we fight this pandemic, we're prepared to test patients for COVID-19 if they meet the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local public health agency. Testing isn't recommended for people with mild or moderate symptoms.

One important exception to this policy is for first responders and health care workers if they have the following symptoms - cough, fever, or respiratory illness. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians who are vital for providing public safety and direct medical care in our communities. Both groups should contact their physician first for guidance and identify themselves as a health care worker or first responder before presenting at a medical facility. Their physician will give them an order to take to a testing site.

Rest assured that if it's medically necessary for any employees to be tested, they will be tested. And Kaiser Permanente members will never have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing. Click here for information on Kaiser Permanente and COVID-19.

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Employee Safety and Health

For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how best to protect yourself, visit the SoCo Emergency Coronavirus website and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services website.

For support related to employee safety and health issues, please contact the Safety Unit at:

County of Sonoma Cleaning Procedures for COVID-19 Workplace Exposures (PDF: 101 kB)

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Kaiser Occupational Health

Injured Workers: Employees with non-urgent injuries are to call Kaiser Occupational Health at 707-566-5555 to schedule an appointment. The medical appointment will be conducted by phone with the treating doctor, and any testing or follow up care will be issued by the doctor. As always, employees should be taken to Kaiser Emergency Room for serious/urgent injuries, and for urgent injuries after business hours.

Pre-Employment Testing: Kaiser Occupational Health is not providing pre-employment medical testing services at this time; however, the County can petition for an exception for safety critical positions. Agility testing is still available. HR Liaisons are to call or email their HR-Disability Management Analyst for guidance on pre-employment testing, including filing an exception request for medical testing, and waiving test requirements.

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Employee Trainings

All in-person classes are cancelled until further notice. Sonoma Higher Ed, the County’s Learning Management System (LMS), will continue to offer online training opportunities to employees.

sonoma higher edSonoma higher ed is a cloud-based system that can be accessed from any computer. County staff members can easily launch each course themselves or a course or courses can be assigned to a specific group by an LMS Administrator.

For more information about sonoma higher ed: »

Select one of the following links to access sonoma higher ed from any internet-connected device. You will need your network login credentials to access the system.

Instructions for sonoma higher ed » (PDF: 295 kB)


New general information topics relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic are available online through sonoma higher ed. These LMS courses are direct links to informational videos provided by the indicated authoring agency. They are not comprehensive training modules and are intended to provide information only.

Topics currently available include:

  • What Should You Do If You Get the Flu (CDC)
  • What You Need to Know About Hand Washing (CDC)
  • Live Hand Washing Presentation (CDC)
  • Happy Hand Washing Song (CDC)
  • Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes (CDC)
  • COVID-19: Stop the Spread of Germs - Silent (CDC)
  • Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu (CDC)
  • Disposable Glove Removal Safety (UCLA-EHS)
  • The Right Way to Cover Your Cough (Hamilton Healthcare)
  • COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know (CDC)
  • COVID-19: CDC Briefing Room 3/9/2020 (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Does the Coronavirus Spread? (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Can I Protect Myself? (CDC)
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Common Sense Hygiene
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Coronavirus Preparedness
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Stay Calm, Stay Informed
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Travel Safely

Instructions for sonoma higher ed » (PDF: 295 kB)

(IMPORTANT NOTE: When you register for the class and time that you want for this training, click on the COURSE TITLE instead of the LAUNCH button. To REGISTER for the training, click ENROLL. The class title screen will pop up. EXIT the title screen by clicking the X in the TOP RIGHT CORNER. On the scheduled date and time of the training, click LAUNCH and view the activity. You will find the WebEx LINK on page 2.)

AB 1825 Preventing Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation in the Workplace

New legislation expands harassment prevention training and requires and requires all County employees to complete this training on a regular basis. Prior to the new legislation, harassment prevention training was required only for managerial, supervisory, and lead-worker employees.

All County employees (including extra-help and interns) are required to take the same two-hour training by the end of 2020 and every two years thereafter. The training is based on AB 1825 requirements and meets the needs of the new legislation. Employees who have already taken AB 1825 training will remain on their two-year cycle.

If you have not taken AB 1825 training within the last two years, you will receive an email to your County email account from sonoma higher ed advising you that you have been assigned to complete the course Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace.

You can also access the training before it is assigned to you by logging into sonoma higher ed using the instructions above and searching for the training using any key words such as "AB 1825", "harassment", "discrimination", or "retaliation".

We are recommending employees take this opportunity to complete the required AB 1825: Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace while working remotely.

In addition to the Preventing Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation in the Workplace training, the following are additional online trainings available in sonoma higher ed you may find of interest:

Diversity Micro-Series

Working Well with Everyone
  • 01-What is Diversity
  • 02-The Diversity Continuum
  • 03-The Mistake of Stereotyping
  • 04-The Power of Inclusion
  • 05-Diversity = Greatness
Cross-Cultural Considerations
  • 03-Cultural Intelligence
Defeating Unconscious Bias
  • Defeating Unconscious Bias


New online trainings are now available in sonoma higher ed:

  • Working Remotely
  • Healthy Communication 05: Communicating with Your Remote Team

Office Ergonomics

A new office ergonomics training titled SAFETY - Office Ergonomics for California is now available in sonoma higher ed. We have all felt aches and pains from bad posture, repetitive work, and sitting or standing in one position for extended periods. Working in an office can take a toll on your muscles, but proper ergonomics can make you more comfortable and efficient. The goal of this course is to assist you in evaluating and modifying your office work environment to reduce ergonomic risk. Ideal learners are office workers or anyone who works at a desk.

Additional topics are being reviewed and will be added soon.

For support with using sonoma higher ed, please contact the 'ed support team at:

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Disaster Service Worker


County and Agency employees are designated under California Government Code Section 3100 (below) as “Disaster Service Workers.” This means any County or Agency employee may be required to return to work for a disaster assignment. Please be aware that the performance of essential government functions, including disaster service work, are exempt from the current Shelter in Place Order.

We would like to remind you of what you might expect over the next few days/weeks/months during this federally declared emergency and ask that you prepare yourself and your family in the event you are called upon to work at a different work location or beyond your regularly scheduled shift.

What is a disaster service worker?

Government Code 3100 provides that all public employees are disaster service workers and may be assigned disaster service activities if necessary.

3100. It is hereby declared that the protection of the health and safety and preservation of the lives and property of the people of the state from the effects of natural, man-made, or war caused emergencies which result in conditions of disaster or in extreme peril to life, property, and resources is of paramount state importance requiring the responsible efforts of public and private agencies and individual citizens. In furtherance of the exercise of the police power of the state in protection of its citizens and resources, all public employees are hereby declared to be disaster service workers subject to such disaster service activities as may be assigned to them by their superiors or by law.

Specific to the current COVID-19 event: The performance of essential government functions, including disaster service work, are exempt from the current Shelter in Place Order. The County is committed to ensure your continued safety and health while you provide these services to the public.  The Human Resources Occupational Safety and Health Team is working with the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) and departments to address safety concerns and ensure necessary personal protective equipment is being supplied. 

I was never told I was a disaster service worker, shouldn’t I have been given something?

All new hires are notified of their disaster service worker status and asked to sign an acknowledgment during the new hire sign-up process.  A copy is stored in the personnel file.  The absence of this document, however, does not relieve the employee of their disaster service worker responsibilities under the law.  Additionally, the responsibility of each County or Agency employee to serve as a disaster service worker is covered during the New Employee Orientation that all employees are to attend at the initiation of their employment. Information regarding your status as disaster service worker is located on your employee ID badge. 

What is my responsibility as a disaster service worker?

  • When the County officially declares an emergency, you should first ensure you and your family are safe.
  • Follow your department’s reporting instructions.
  • Be prepared to be assigned to a disaster service assignment.
  • Understand assignments may require your disaster service work to be at locations, times and conditions other than your normal work assignment.

Why me?

All County and Agency employees may be utilized for disaster service worker assignments.  Departments and County Human Resources prioritize contacting employees who meet the criteria for given assignments first.

What kind of duties might I be asked to perform as a disaster service worker?

In most cases, your department, EOC, or County Human Resources will provide you with a general assignment based on the needs during the declared emergency. Examples of general job category duties you may be asked to perform include: answering telephones, ordering/delivering food or supplies, managing volunteers, staffing a hotline, developing information or communications, food handling, maintenance tasks, running messages, tracking information in the EOC, helping in a warehouse, shelter or food bank, language interpretation, or other tasks as needed.

How will I know what to do?

When you are assigned a shift you will be given a point of contact for your assignment.  When you start your shift (either in person or remotely), you need check in with your point of contact.  They will orient you and provide any necessary training, supplies, or equipment, including personal protective equipment if applicable. 

Are there any acceptable reasons an employee can decline the disaster service worker assignment? 

There may be reasons that prevent an employee from performing disaster service worker, or reporting for specific types of disaster service worker shifts.  If you currently, or at any time in the future, feel you are unable to perform disaster service work, you need to notify your supervisor/department management immediately.  Your supervisor/department management will let you know if your specific situation is acceptable to release you from either some or all types of disaster service work and inform County Human Resources as to your availability/lack of availability. 

If you are contacted for a disaster service worker assignment by either your department, EOC, or County Human Resources, the expectation is that you will accept and report for the shift.  If you refuse or state you are unavailable for a disaster service worker shift without having already spoken with your supervisor/department management as to the reason why you are unavailable for work, disciplinary action may be taken. 

Employees currently on an approved leave of absence (excluding DPNW) are not expected to perform disaster service work.

Will I get paid for the hours I work as a disaster service worker? 

Disaster service work is considered regular work.  You will be paid in accordance with the applicable MOU or Salary Resolution, and at your regular rate for hours worked.  Any overtime or other special pay would apply per your applicable MOU or Salary Resolution.

Will I get paid for the travel time to and from the assignment?

Reimbursement for mileage and travel time would apply per the applicable MOU or Salary Resolution and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Typically, this will be for travel time and mileage that exceed your travel time to your regularly assigned reporting location.  You can check with your payroll clerk for specific details. 

Should you have further questions about your roles and responsibilities as a disaster service worker please contact your supervisor/department management and they will ensure your questions are addressed by the most appropriate individuals.

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ISD Knowledge Base Telework Procedures Dashboard

ISD Knowledge Base Telework Procedures Dashboard

For information and tools for teleworking, review the ISD Knowledge Base Telework Procedures Dashboard. A link to the ISD Knowledge Base can be found on the intranet, or contact your Department Information Systems Specialist for a direct link.

Online Classes Added to sonoma higher ed

New classes are available online through sonoma higher ed related to teleworking.

  • Working Remotely
  • Healthy Communication 05: Communicating with your Remote Team

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Staying Connected

As a significant portion of the County of Sonoma's workforce transitions to telework assignments, it is important to build virtual communication skills. This article by Mandel Communications provides tips for effective communication when working remotely.

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County Employee Emergency Communication Group on Facebook

The County of Sonoma Human Resources Department created a Facebook page for County employees as an additional way to communicate important information during emergency events. We wanted to create a safe space for employees to communicate with their County family. The group is private and only County employees may join. Follow the instructions below to request to join the group.

  1. Facebook logo-75Use the following link to go to the Facebook Group Page: County of Sonoma Employee Emergency Communication Group »
  2. Make sure you are logged in to your Facebook account.
  3. Click + Join Group below the cover photo.
  4. Answer the following membership questions. Note: Answering the membership questions will help us to confirm you are a County employee. Not answering the questions could delay approval into the group.
    • What department do you work for?
    • What is your employee ID number?
  5. Once it is confirmed you are a County employee, your request will be approved to join the group.

If you have any questions about how to join the group, please email Victoria Willard at

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