What do I do if my employee tests positive for COVID-19?

Here are 7 steps you should follow if you have an employee that has tested positive for COVID-19.

1. Work with the employee to assure they stay home and get the care they need

Usually, a doctor gives the employee who tested positive specific instructions hence verify this with the employee as this will determine what steps you would swiftly need to take.

2. Instruct and permit the employee to self-quarantine for 14 days

Again verify per their doctor’s order as they may be required to undergo further testing. You can require physician clearance before they return to the job.

3. Communicate with the appropriate employees

If the employee who tested positive has been in close contact with other employees you will need to inform those employees that an employee tested positive. Be sure not to disclose the employee’s name or any information that can disclose the employee’s identity. HIPAA and other privacy laws prohibit the dissemination of personal health information.

4. Sanitize any or all areas the COVID-19 positive employee was in

Some companies will close entirely until a cleaning team can sanitize the workplace. Others may shut down operations completely for 14 days to further mitigate risk. You’ll need to determine what course of action is best for the safety of your workers, balanced against the risk involved. We also recommend you seek legal advice.

5. You have the right to request the employees who were in close contact with the COVID-19 positive employee to go home and not return to work until at least 14 days have passed

Advise that they also get tested. Tests results are usually ready within 72 hours.

6. OSHA mandates covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log, which includes COVID-19

If it is work-related and meets recordkeeping criteria.

7. Inform the employees that they can use and be paid under FFCRA Emergency Paid Sick Leave or paid family and medical leave.

If the employee is out due to COVID-19. Employers can qualify for reimbursement through tax credits for qualifying wages.


FLORES is committed to providing employers with updated information as well as assist with all business Consultation and Administration regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the workplace. FLORES also ensures you are one step ahead in being compliant and thus avoiding unnecessary legal fees.


This checklist is designed to assist with your strategy, but it should not be relied on or substituted for company-specific advice from your employment counsel.
As you are aware, things are changing quickly and there is no clear-cut authority or bright line rules. This is not an unequivocal statement of the law, but instead represents our best interpretation of where things currently stand.