Managing a workplace during COVID-19—and knowing how to plan for the potential for sick employees—can seem daunting, but there are steps business owners and managers can take to keep their workforce, customers and community safer.

Key Points

  • Wear face coverings.
  • Ask employees to stay home when sick (and do not require a healthcare provider’s note for employees who are sick).
  • Implement cleaning and sanitization measures and encourage good hand hygiene.

Case Reporting and Investigation

It’s always possible that your workplace may experience a COVID-19 case. It is important that you report suspected cases to SRHD. According the governor’s Safe Start-Stay Healthy Proclamation 20-25.7 and guidance issued by the governor’s office, workplaces must notify the local health jurisdiction within 24 hours if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in the workplace or if the workplace is aware of two or more employees who develop confirmed or suspected COVID-19 within a 14-day period.

Similarly, employers, according to the governor’s Safe Start-Stay Healthy Proclamation 20-25.7 and associated guidance, are required to cooperate with public health authorities in the investigation of cases, suspected cases, outbreaks and suspected outbreaks of COVID-19. Employers are also asked to cooperate with the implementation of infection control measures, such as isolation and quarantine and environmental cleaning, and comply with all public health authority orders and directives.

How to Contact Us or Report a Case

If you have questions about COVID-19 or need to report possible or confirmed cases, contact the SRHD Living Environment Program at (preferable) or call 509.324.1560 ext. 4.

Return to Work Guidance

For employers and employees, knowing when it’s safe to return to work after having COVID-19 can be difficult. Spokane Regional Health District has developed guidance for non-healthcare personnel to help employers and employees make informed decisions about testing, quarantine or isolation, and when it’s appropriate to return to work.

This guidance includes three COVID-19 workplace scenarios for the following situations:

  • An employee has tested positive.
  • An employee suspects they may have COVID-19 or were exposed through close contact with someone with confirmed COVID-19. See the Contact Tracing FAQ to learn more about close contacts.
  • An employee has been exposed to an immediate household member with COVID-19.

This document also provides information about return to work practices and work restrictions and provides an overview of a time-based strategy for determining when an employee can return to work. Spokane Regional Health District does not recommend a test-based strategy (requiring two negative tests at least 24 hours apart) for returning to work after COVID-19 infection.

Download the Testing, Quarantine, and Return to Work Guidance Document

For additional information about managing potential workplace-related exposure, see the resources tab or watch the presentation, Safe Business Operation During COVID-19.