Business guidance if a staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Follow these procedures to keep the rest of your staff and the public safe and healthy.

What to do

1. Check with your staff member who tested positive

See if they had symptoms of COVID-19 while they were either:

  • At work
  • Within 48 hours after leaving work

The symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

If the staff member did not have symptoms of COVID-19 at work or within 48 hours after leaving work, you are not required to notify staff. Your staff member should follow their healthcare provider's instructions.

See DPH guidance around going back to work after having COVID-19.

2. Inform your staff

Remember, you must maintain their privacy. Do not name anyone who is sick unless they give you permission.

  1. Determine the last day that the person with COVID-19 was at the workplace.
  2. Figure out who had close contact with the ill person. (Close contact is being within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes, having direct face-to-face contact, kissing, sharing food or eating utensils with the case, or being coughed or sneezed on by the case.)
  3. Give all close contacts a Close Contact Advisory. They should stay at home for 14 days since the last day that the ill person was at work.
  4. Give all other staff members a General Exposure Advisory. They should self monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the last day that the case was at work. They should contact a healthcare provider if they develop symptoms.

3. Clean and disinfect thoroughly before reopening or bringing staff back to work

Cleaning includes:

  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area, if possible.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas used by the staff member, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces including door knobs, tabletops, counters, phones, keyboards, and fixtures.

Get help

SFDPH COVID-19 Employer and Workplace Support


Last updated May 29, 2020