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Human Resources Department

Update on Coronavirus COVID-19

Published: March 06, 2020

Dear County Staff,

As COVID-19 continues to be a rapidly evolving situation, we want to be sure County staff are updated with the current response efforts and latest information. We also know that staff may also be getting questions from the public, friends and family.

County communication update:

  1. is the official county website for centralized information about the current coronavirus emergency.
  2. The 2-1-1 Sonoma Information & Resource Hotline is a number for the public to call for information and resources on the County’s response to the Coronavirus. In addition to calling, people can text their questions to 898-211.

State of California Declared an Emergency to Respond to Coronavirus:

Earlier this week, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency to help the state prepare for broader spread of coronavirus. This proclamation includes increased protections against price gouging, offers more assistance to local governments, and allows health care workers to come from out of state. Read the proclamation.

Sonoma County currently has three coronavirus cases: 

There are three cases of coronavirus in Sonoma County. All patients are in isolation rooms and being treated in local hospitals. 

  • On February 25, 2020, a confirmed positive patient with coronavirus was transferred to a Sonoma County hospital from Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. That person had been quarantined at the base for a short time after returning from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
  • This week the Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) confirmed 2 presumptive positive case of novel coronavirus in Sonoma County residents with recent international travel on the Grand Princess (Princess Cruises) to Mexico.

Sonoma County Response:

Sonoma County has declared a Local Emergency and a Local Public Health Emergency and have mobilized staff throughout the County to assist in keeping our community safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus. County Health officials are coordinating with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to monitor local Coronavirus cases, and are working closely with local schools, health care providers, and other partners to share guidance and tools to keep people safe. 

How to Protect Yourself and Others:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds, especially after using sneezing or coughing into a tissue, after using the bathroom before eating, and after being in a public setting
  • If you can’t wash, then use hand sanitizer as directed
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.  Wash hands after discarding the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Limit close contact with those who are sick
  • Stay away from others if you are sick, including staying home from work
  • Clean surfaces that are touched often, including your mobile phone
  • If you have not received your flu shot yet, it’s not too late; annual flu shots are the best protection from flu, which still sickens and kills thousands of people in the US every year.

Employees who are exhibiting fever or respiratory symptoms are asked to stay home
and notify their supervisor that they are ill, or go home immediately if they are already in the workplace. Employees are expected to stay out of the workplace until they are free of fever for at least 24 hours without taking fever-reducing medication. Employees should consult their healthcare provider immediately if they have symptoms and believe they have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or notified that you are under quarantine, you should comply with your doctor’s and/or public health recommendations for care and quarantine. In the event of a diagnosis of COVID-19 or a quarantine, you can return to work pursuant to the instructions of your doctor (if diagnosed), or at the end of the quarantine period if you have no symptoms.

Employees who are sick and do not report to work, or are taking care of an ill family member, are to follow the normal process for calling in sick.  Employees will use accrued sick leave, vacation and compensatory hours in accordance with the applicable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Salary Resolution.  

Accessing healthcare provider resources for County employees

Health care providers are encouraging initial contact through email, video visit, or phone rather than in person. 

  • Kaiser Permanente:
  • Western Health Advantage:
  • Sutter Health Plus:

Employee Assistance Program

We understand that you and your families may be feeling anxious, fearful or stressed by the Coronavirus outbreak. The County’s Employee Assistance Plan has resources available 24/7 by phone at 866-484-4961. Online resources and articles are also available at:

Other resources:

If you have questions or concerns, please discuss with your supervisor, manager, or department human resources contact. As a County organization we will continue working together to assure we are taking all necessary steps to be prepared.

For more information, in English and Spanish, go to the Sonoma County website:   The Sonoma County Facebook site is also updated regularly.


Sheryl Bratton
Sonoma County Administrator