What Business Owners Need to Know When an Employee Tests Positive

The following guide comes from the Door County Public Health Department to help businesses navigate the situation if an employee tests positive for Covid-19.

What should I do if an employee experiences COVID-19 like symptoms at work?

  • Anyone with symptoms needs to go home, isolate, and contact their healthcare provider or Door County Medical Center Screening Hotline at 920.746.3700 for testing.
  • After testing, stay home (isolate) until results are known. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick.

If your employee tests positive:

Those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home until fever (100.4 F or greater) is resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours, and a full 10 days have passed since their symptoms first began. Individuals who test positive can see WI DHS document on “Next Steps: After you are diagnosed with COVID-19”:

Public Health is required to follow up with anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 and will identify those who were a close contact during their infectious period.

Who is a close contact?

You are a close contact if any of the following situations happened while you spent time with the person with COVID-19 during their infectious period, even if they didn’t have symptoms:

  • Had direct physical contact with the person (for example, a hug, kiss, handshake, etc.).
  • Were within 6 feet of the person for a total of more than 15 minutes in a single day regardless if either person was wearing a face covering or mask.
  • Had contact with the person’s respiratory secretions (for example, coughed or sneezed on; contact with a dirty tissue; shared a drinking glass, food, towels, or other personal items).
  • Live with the person or stayed overnight for at least one night in a household with the person.

Public health will notify close contacts of their exposure and advise them to quarantine. Close contacts need to quarantine (at home) and watch for symptoms for 14 days from their last contact with positive case. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Close contacts can see WI DHS document on “Next Steps: Close contacts of someone with COVID-19”:

  • Public health will contact your business when there is a risk that anyone, employees or others, could have been exposed. Door County Public Health would like to answer your questions, and we prefer to address your concerns at the earliest onset. We want to partner with you to keep your business safe.

    Will my business need to close when there is a positive case?

    Diagnosis of an employee does not mean that a business will need to automatically close.
    A thorough cleaning of the area where the positive case was working during their infectious period is recommended.
  • Other employees may need to quarantine for 2 weeks, and this could affect whether your business is able to stay open.
  • Public health monitors positive cases as well as close contacts throughout their respective isolation and quarantine periods. Public Health will determine the time period necessary for each individual.

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