Guidance: Businesses & Worksites

CA Safe Reopening

Orange County is currently in Tier 2 of the Governor’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.  Multiple types of worksites are allowed to open in this tier, frequently in a modified fashion. In order to prevent illness among staff and customers, and to allow continued progress toward reopening of community sectors, all worksites should have COVID-19 response plans in place. These plans should outline a response to suspect or confirmed COVID-19 cases to prevent and minimize spread of in the facility.

The State of California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which describes the 4 reopening tiers, and the processes and metrics by which counties are able to progress through the tiers, can be found at

The State’s complete guidance to reduce risk at worksites can be found at

Worksites should report any clusters of 3 or more COVID-19 cases that occur at a worksite within a two week period to OCHCA.  Call (714) 564-8448 to report any clusters or with any questions.

Keep Your Worksite Safe

  • Staff should telecommute whenever possible.
  • Staff should practice social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) whenever possible.
  • Staff must wear non-medical cloth face masks throughout the work day unless medically contraindicated.
  • Many outbreaks have been related to exposure at break times or lunch times, when staff take-off masks to eat. Break times and lunch times should be staggered and social distancing should be particularly empha- sized during these times.
  • Handwashing options should be made easily available for all staff, either alcohol hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) or sinks with soap and water.
  • Optimize your facility’s ventilation system. For example, if fans are used in the facility, ensure that fans blow clean air at the workers' breathing zone.
  • If a cluster of cases in a particular group of staff is identified, broader COVID-19 test screening of staff may be indicated. Contact HCA for guidance.

CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers can be found at

Identify Staff Illness

  • Staff should be monitored daily for illness.
  • Any person with COVID-like illness should be excluded until they are tested.
  • Any staff who test positive for COVID-19 by nasal or oral PCR or antigen testing should be excluded from work for at least 10 days since symptoms began and until fever has resolved for at least 24 hours. Excluded staff can return to work when these criteria are met. Persons who require hospitalization may need to be excluded until 20 days after symptoms began, depending on medical provider recommendations.
  • The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and HCA do not recommend requiring a negative COVID-19 PCR follow-up test to allow a person with COVID-19 infection to return to work. Such tests typically remain positive for several weeks after illness improves and long after a person is no longer infectious. CDC’s guidance can be found at

Investigate Any COVID-19 Cases with Worksite Exposure

  • Whenever any staff member is identified who is confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, an investigation should be conducted to identify other staff who have had close contact to that case at work. Please call HCA at (800) 564-8448 for guidance on this process.
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and has symptoms, is infectious from 48 hours before symptoms start.
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 who has NO symptoms is infectious from 48 hours before the date the test was performed.
  • Close contacts at the work site should be identified and excluded from work until 14 days after last known exposure to the case.
  • Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more (cumulatively not consecutively), whether or not masks are worn.

If a cluster of cases in a particular group of staff is identified, broader COVID-19 test screening of staff may be indicated. Contact HCA for guidance.