Testing Guidance for Businesses

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Current state and federal employment law supports employers requiring documentation of vaccination status, requiring vaccination as a condition of employment, and requiring additional safety precautions including masking and frequent testing for employees who are unvaccinated.  Resources are available via the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing: https://www.dfeh.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2020/03/DFEH-Employment-Information-on-COVID-19-FAQ_ENG.pdf

Local businesses can play a pivotal role in helping to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by testing, and modeling best practices. Sonoma County Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Economic Development Board (EDB) are asking local businesses to help slow the spread and open the economy. 

Businesses can encourage staff to visit the many testing opportunities available every day throughout Sonoma County. These events can be found by visiting SoCoEmergency's Testing and Tracing page or the pop-up testing calendar.  Employees can get help scheduling an appointment by calling 707-565-4667 or can schedule an appointment for themselves by going to the County's trusted testing providers at curative.comlhi.care/covidtesting, or molecularmatrix.com/covidtesting.

Benefits of Testing

To move to the next tier of less restricted activities under guidelines from California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, the County needs to lower its COVID-19 test positivity rate. By supporting the County’s efforts in increased testing, local businesses can help expand business capacity and economic growth by:

  • Encouraging and providing resources for employees to get tested—testing more broadly across the community enables the County to lower its overall test positivity rate, which allows for more open business activity.
  • Proactively preventing workplace outbreaks—identifying cases early can stop the spread to other employees and avoid business closure due to COVID-19.
  • Protecting customers—modeling best practices protects your clients and the community.

Modeling best practices

Local businesses can support mitigation by modeling best practices with proactive workplace measures, such as:

  • Closely following Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards
  • Screening staff for symptoms and providing staff with masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies 
  • Organizing operations to allow for adequate social distancing
  • Posting and distributing accurate information on COVID-19 and on the rights and responsibilities of employees
  • Cooperating with contract tracers and County investigators when there are cases at their workplace
  • Encouraging and supporting employees to stay home if they are COVID-19 positive, exposed to COVID-19, or have symptoms
  • Making it clear that there will be no retaliation for employees who have COVID-19, and that they will be allowed to return to their jobs after taking time off to properly isolate

Additional Information for Employers

Employees who are unvaccinated must follow isolation and quarantine instructions if they test positive or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Following a known exposure at work, fully vaccinated workers do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. 

To schedule a collaboration between worksite employers, and community health advocates to provide education and awareness about Covid-19, known as a Charla, contact the CURA Project by emailing eduardo@lapaza.org.