Testing Guidance for Businesses

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En Español

Local businesses can play a pivotal role in helping to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by testing, working with community partners, 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.

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

Testing

The County is requesting that businesses take an active role in advancing testing in the community. To enhance efforts to identify COVID-19 cases, businesses can: 

  • Sponsor a testing site for employees at their facility by reviewing information available here. You can also see labs currently on California’s Testing Task Force Lab List.

  • Let employees know that there are neighborhood pop-up testing sites offering free testing — they can visit socoemergency.org to see if there are sites in the neighborhood where they live or work, and they can call 707-565-4667 to set up an appointment.

  • Encourage employees to take a test at one of the State operated OptumServe testing sites at either the Sonoma County Fairgrounds or at the Windsor Bluebird Center in Windsor. Operators are available at 1-888-634-1123, and they can provide information in either Spanish or English about the sites and appointments. Testing is free.

Be sure to inform your employees that if they live within targeted census tracts they can receive gift cards for getting tested, and may be eligible for financial assistance if they are diagnosed with COVID-19. View COVID-19 Enhanced Response Map for information on census tracts and eligibility for financial resources.

Employers can go to Covid-19 Workplace Exposure Guidelines for Employers for assistance and resources if an employee tests positive.

Partnering Opportunities

The COVID-19 Urgent Response and Aid (CURA) Project is a community-based collaboration to help connect Latinx and Indigenous community members in Sonoma County with needed resources to help recover and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. CURA Projects connects individuals with COVID-19 testing, healthcare, isolation care, emergency financial assistance, and other needed resources including free food distribution. Businesses may want to invite CURA to provide resources to their employees at their worksite. Employees can contact CURA directly by calling 707-309-8972 or visiting the CURA project website

Modeling best practices

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

  • Closely following all safety protocols for their industry and workplace as outlined under the Blueprint for a safer economy
  • Making sure the Social Distancing Protocol & COVID-19 Site-Specific Protection Plan template is up-to-date
  • Screening staff for symptoms
  • 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

Employees must follow isolation and quarantine instructions if they test positive or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Employers, though, cannot force employees to get tested or ask for employees to show negative test results to go back to work.