Per Governor Jay Inslee’s "Washington Ready" proclamation, employers (in non-healthcare settings) are required to notify Cowlitz County Health & Human Services *within 24 hours* if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among their employees within a 14-day period.
The Secretary of Health’s mask orders remain in place. Everyone over age 5 years old is required to wear face coverings (masks) in public indoor settings and at large outdoor events with 500 or more people regardless of vaccination status.
Masks are strongly recommended for all in crowded outdoor settings like sporting events, fairs, and concerts where physical distancing is not possible. Access the state’s reopening guidance for businesses and workers here: https://bit.ly/3AUNCr3. Find resources and recommendations for healthcare providers here: https://bit.ly/3hlZpHv.
Long-term care facilities are required to report all suspected and confirmed disease outbreaks to Cowlitz County Health & Human Services, per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-101-305. To submit a report, completethis document and upload it via Cowlitz County Health & Human Services’ secure webform: https://bit.ly/3iT1Wdd.
What To Do If An Employee Has COVID
While capacity restrictions for businesses have been lifted, there continue to be several public health recommendations for businesses, organizations, and other non-healthcare workplaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you work in a non-healthcare setting and you suspect COVID-19 is spreading in your workplace, please follow these steps:
1. Review and follow guidance from the Washington State Department of Health to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace: https://bit.ly/2W45zV7. Recommend to any employee who develops COVID-19 symptoms, or who comes in close contact with someone who tests positive, to get tested right away.
2. To determine who all may have been exposed to COVID-19 within your workplace, perform “contact tracing” (defined by the CDC here). To learn how to do contact tracing, review and follow this employers' guide: https://bit.ly/3CSL5zk.
3. Fill out this documentto identify employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their possible close contacts. Upload the document via Cowlitz County Health & Human Services’ secure webform: https://bit.ly/3iT1Wdd. Continue updating and uploading the document as new individuals are identified.
4. Review and share the following resources with your employees:
Employees who have recovered from COVID-19 can return to work after their contagious period ends. The Washington State Department of Health provides this guidance for when a person can end isolation:
1. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:
• You’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND • Your symptoms have gotten better AND • At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared.
2. If you tested positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:
• At least 10 days have gone by since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test AND • You have not gotten sick with COVID-19
Employers should not require a sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider's note to return to work. Cowlitz County Health & Human Services does not provide work clearance letters for employees.