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Human Resources Department

Employee Resources

Covid-19 Exposure Reporting, Testing and Resources

Coronavirus

<p>New Emergency COVID-19 Regulations</p>

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

Close Contact

Close Contact is defined as:

  • Being within 6 feet or less of a COVID-19 case for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more within any 24-hour period, during the COVID-19 positive person’s high risk (infectious) period.

The high risk/infectious period is defined as follows:

  • For persons who develop COVID-19 symptoms: from two days before they first develop symptoms until 10 days after symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved.
  • For persons who test positive but never develop COVID-19 symptoms: from two days before until ten days after the specimen for their first positive test for COVID-19 was collected.

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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 and experience symptoms, you will remain out of the workplace until:

  • at least 24 hours have passed since a fever of 100.4 or higher has resolved without use of fever-reducing medication; and
  • symptoms have improved; and
  • at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared

If you test positive and do not experience symptoms, you will remain out of the workplace until:

  • a minimum of 10 days has passed since your positive test was collected (test date).

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

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:

Paid Leave for Quarantine and Other Covid-19 Related Reasons

  • OSHA Emergency Leave: Paid leave for ordered quarantine due to a workplace exposure and close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual. Leave pursuant to your Union’s Memorandum of Understanding, or the County’s Salary Resolution. Available for review on the County’s Human Resources website: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Employee-Relations/Labor/

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: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Short-Term-Disability/
  • 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: https://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Long-Term-Disability/
  • 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:
http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Catastrophic-Leave/

The Catastrophic Leave application form, is available at:
http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Forms-and-Templates/

  • 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, socoemergency.org, 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: sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Workers-Compensation/

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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, socoemergency.org, 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, https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/DistrictOffices.htm

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: sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/Disability-Management/Workers-Compensation/

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).

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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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