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Human Resources Department

Employee Resources

Employee Information for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Covid-19 Exposure Reporting, Testing and Resources

On December 15, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to adopt non-emergency COVID-19 prevention regulations. These regulations took effect on February 3, 2023, and will remain in effect for two years after the effective date, except for the recordkeeping subsections that will remain in effect for three years.

Note: These regulations apply to most workers in California who are not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases standard.

COVID-19 Exposure Reporting, Testing and Resources »

HR-Risk Management COVID-19 SharePoint site »
(Intranet Access Required)

Disability Management Forms and Templates »

What’s in this Section:

How to Report COVID-19 Symptoms and Positive Test Results, Including Employee Rights and Protections

If you test positive for COVID-19, notify your Department contact immediately, as additional contact tracing will be required to establish whether you have exposed any other employees. Do not report to work.

If you test positive or experiencing symptoms, you will remain out of the workplace per the CDPH guidelines:

To stop spread of the virus in the workplace, it is critical that employees do not come to work and contact their supervisor or manager immediately when they test positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms. Common symptoms include:

      • Fever
      • Chills
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Fatigue
      • Muscle or body aches
      • Headache
      • New loss of taste or smell
      • Sore throat
      • Congestion or runny nose
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Diarrhea

Definition of Close Contact and Infectious Period

  • Close Contact: 
    1. In indoor spaces of 400,000 or fewer cubic feet per floor (such as homes, clinic waiting rooms, airplanes, etc.), close contact is defined as sharing the same indoor airspace  for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes) during a confirmed case's infectious period.

    2. In large indoor spaces greater than 400,000 cubic feet per floor (such as open-floor-plan offices, warehouses, large retail stores, manufacturing, or food processing facilities), close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of the infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period during the confirmed case's infectious period.

      Spaces that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls (e.g., offices, suites, rooms, waiting areas, bathrooms, or break or eating areas that are separated by floor-to-ceiling walls) must be considered distinct indoor airspaces.
  • Infectious period

“Infectious period” means the following time-period, unless otherwise defined by CDPH regulation or order, in which case the CDPH definition shall apply:

    • For COVID-19 cases who develop COVID-19 symptoms, from two days before the date of symptom onset until:
    • Ten days have passed after symptoms first appeared, or through day five if testing negative on day five or later; and
    • Twenty-four hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and symptoms have improved.
  • For COVID-19 cases who never develop COVID-19 symptoms, from two days before the positive specimen collection date through 10 days (or through day five if testing negative on day five or later) after the date on which the specimen for their first positive test for COVID-19 was collected.

For the purposes of identifying close contacts and exposures, symptomatic and asymptomatic infected persons who end isolation in accordance with this guidance and are no longer considered to be within their infectious period. Such persons should continue to follow CDPH isolation recommendations, including wearing a well-fitting face mask through Day 10​.

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Resources & Protections for  Employees

In the event you are diagnosed as COVID-19 positive, you may be entitled to the following COVID-19 benefits under applicable federal, state, and/or local laws, including, but not limited to, COVID-19 related leave, employer provided sick leave, state-mandated leave, supplemental sick leave, or negotiated leave provisions:

Isolation & Illness Protections

If you become sick, additional benefit options are:

  • Short Term Disability (STD): Some Unions have short-term disability benefits available to their members.  Short-term disability benefits pay a percentage of your normal wage.  You may also have the option of supplementing the payments with your accrued leave to bring you to 100% of pay. Information is available on the HR website at: 
  • Long Term Disability (LTD):  Like STD, LTD pays a percentage of your normal wage. You cannot supplement the payments.  If your illness extends beyond 60 days, you may be eligible to receive LTD benefits. Information is available on the HR website at:
  • Catastrophic Leave: If you exhaust all your own leave accruals, your illness leave extends beyond 2 weeks, and you do not qualify for STD benefits, you may apply to receive Catastrophic Leave (donations of vacation and compensatory time from other County employees).

Catastrophic Leave information is located online:

The Catastrophic Leave application form, is available at:

Workers’ Compensation 

If you become COVID-19 positive and think it is due to a workplace exposure, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim.  Information on filing a claim is available on the County’s Human Resources website:

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Kaiser Occupational Health

Injured Workers: Employees with non-urgent injuries are to call Kaiser Occupational Health at 707-566-5555 to schedule an appointment. The medical appointment will be conducted by phone with the treating doctor, and any testing or follow up care will be issued by the doctor. As always, employees should be taken to Kaiser Emergency Room for serious/urgent injuries, and for urgent injuries after business hours.

Resources for Exposed Employees 

If you are identified as an employee that has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual in the workplace, you will be notified by your Department Human Resources staff or Public Health. Employers shall make COVID-19 tests available at no cost, during paid time, to all employees of the employer who had a close contact in the workplace.

Reasonable Accommodation

If an employee has an underlying medical condition that places them at high-risk of severe symptoms and illness if they contract the COVID-19 virus, accommodation options may be available, as outlined in the County’s Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Policy.

To initiate the accommodation process, the employee must provide a medical note from their healthcare provider, outlining their work restrictions.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

The County's Employee Assitance Progrma (EAP) provided free, confidential support for work and life, available 24/7. To access services, call 1-866-248-4096, or go to the EAP website (Company Access Code: Sonoma).

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Employee Benefits Information

Sutter Health Plus Member Information

Sutter Health remains committed to the health and safety of our communities. If you're concerned you may have COVID-19, please call your doctor or healthcare provider before visiting a care facility. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For up to date COVID-19 information, please visit our Sutter Health Plus website: »

At the direction of the Department of Managed Health Care All Plan Letter, Sutter Health Plus covers medically necessary COVID-19 screening and testing at zero cost to members. We consider services medically necessary if you experience symptoms and meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria for screening or testing. We also defer to the clinical judgment of the treating provider to determine medical necessity. We encourage members to schedule video or telephonic visits to help minimize spread of infection and ease pressure on provider offices, urgent care centers and emergency rooms.

In addition, Sutter is offering designated respiratory sites for patients who need to be evaluated by a clinician to see if they meet the criteria for the COVID-19 test. Per CDC guidelines, Sutter needs to preserve test supplies for high-risk patients with certain pre-existing conditions or social risks, so this service is available only to patients with symptoms who have a referral from a Sutter-affiliated clinician. If you feel ill, please schedule a video visit or call our our COVID-19 advice line at (866) 961-2889 to receive guidance on whether you need to go to a site to be further evaluated. Patients must present identification at the testing site to confirm their appointment. If patients meet the criteria for testing, a specimen will be collected and sent to a lab for analysis. If the result is positive, your clinician will ensure you receive appropriate care.

For Same Day Access to Care Options, Sutter Health Plus members have access to the following:

  • Nurse Advice Line  (855) 836-3500, at no cost
  • Video visits at the same cost share as a PCP visit
  • Sutter Walk-In Care at the same cost share as a PCP visit (placing a call to the Walk-In Care location is encouraged, as some sites are dedicated to video visits only - at this time, Petaluma is closed to in-person appointments and is video appointments only)
  • Urgent and Emergency Care at the applicable copayment, unless to screen/test for COVID-19
  • Calling or emailing your Sutter Health Plus Primary Care Physician - call your PCP at the number listed on your Sutter Health Plus ID card

Prescription medications continue to be available at all of our contract pharmacies - many have drive-thru options or are open extended hours and some might even offer home delivery. In addition to mail-order that allows up to a 100-day supply for two times the monthly copayment, some network pharmacies participate in Smart90 that allows you to get a 90-day supply for 3 times the monthly copayment.

Kaiser Permanente Member Information

The spread of the coronavirus is touching lives across the country. As we fight this pandemic, we're prepared to test patients for COVID-19 if they meet the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and your local public health agency. Testing isn't recommended for people with mild or moderate symptoms.

One important exception to this policy is for first responders and health care workers if they have the following symptoms - cough, fever, or respiratory illness. This includes police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians who are vital for providing public safety and direct medical care in our communities. Both groups should contact their physician first for guidance and identify themselves as a health care worker or first responder before presenting at a medical facility. Their physician will give them an order to take to a testing site.

Rest assured that if it's medically necessary for any employees to be tested, they will be tested. And Kaiser Permanente members will never have to pay for costs related to COVID-19 screening or testing. Click here for information on Kaiser Permanente and COVID-19.

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For more information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how best to protect yourself, visit the SoCo Emergency Coronavirus website and the Sonoma County Department of Health Services website.

For support related to employee safety and health issues, please contact the Safety Unit at:

County of Sonoma Cleaning Procedures for COVID-19 Workplace Exposures (PDF: 101 kB)

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Kaiser Occupational Health

Injured Workers: Employees with non-urgent injuries are to call Kaiser Occupational Health at 707-566-5555 to schedule an appointment. The medical appointment will be conducted by phone with the treating doctor, and any testing or follow up care will be issued by the doctor. As always, employees should be taken to Kaiser Emergency Room for serious/urgent injuries, and for urgent injuries after business hours.

Pre-Employment Testing: Kaiser Occupational Health is not providing pre-employment medical testing services at this time; however, the County can petition for an exception for safety critical positions. Agility testing is still available. HR Liaisons are to call or email their HR-Disability Management Analyst for guidance on pre-employment testing, including filing an exception request for medical testing, and waiving test requirements.

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Employee Trainings

Sonoma Higher Ed, the County’s Learning Management System (LMS), will continue to offer online training opportunities to employees.

sonoma higher edSonoma higher ed is a cloud-based system that can be accessed from any computer. County staff members can easily launch each course themselves or can be assigned to a specific group by an LMS Administrator.

For more information about sonoma higher ed: »

Select one of the following links to access sonoma higher ed from any internet-connected device. You will need your network login credentials to access the system.

Instructions for sonoma higher ed » (PDF: 295 kB)


New general information topics relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic are available online through sonoma higher ed. These LMS courses are direct links to informational videos provided by the indicated authoring agency. They are not comprehensive training modules and are intended to provide information only.

Topics currently available include:

  • What Should You Do If You Get the Flu (CDC)
  • What You Need to Know About Hand Washing (CDC)
  • Live Hand Washing Presentation (CDC)
  • Happy Hand Washing Song (CDC)
  • Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes (CDC)
  • COVID-19: Stop the Spread of Germs - Silent (CDC)
  • Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu (CDC)
  • Disposable Glove Removal Safety (UCLA-EHS)
  • The Right Way to Cover Your Cough (Hamilton Healthcare)
  • COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know (CDC)
  • COVID-19: CDC Briefing Room 3/9/2020 (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Does the Coronavirus Spread? (CDC)
  • COVID-19: How Can I Protect Myself? (CDC)
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Common Sense Hygiene
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Coronavirus Preparedness
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Stay Calm, Stay Informed
  • Coronavirus Precautions and Prevention: Travel Safely

Instructions for sonoma higher ed » (PDF: 295 kB)

(IMPORTANT NOTE: When you register for the class and time that you want for this training, click on the COURSE TITLE instead of the LAUNCH button. To REGISTER for the training, click ENROLL. The class title screen will pop up. EXIT the title screen by clicking the X in the TOP RIGHT CORNER. On the scheduled date and time of the training, click LAUNCH and view the activity. You will find the WebEx LINK on page 2.

For support with using sonoma higher ed, please contact the 'ed support team at:

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