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Coronavirus and COVID-19 Information: Santa Clara County and Bay Area, California

Trustworthy information about COVID-19

Advice for Workers and Employers

The March 31, 2020 revised shelter in place order for the 6 Bay Area counties requires all businesses to send as many workers as possible to work from home. Businesses that are allowed to be open must follow public health orders.

The Santa Clara County Order of July 2 (effective July 13), 2020 sets requirements that businesses must follow to protect workers and customers. Those include: cleaning procedures, enforcing distancing protocols and capacity limits, enforcing the requirement for all workers and customers to wear a face covering, reporting when any worker tests positive for COVID-19 to the Public Health Department. Businesses must file a Social Distancing Protocol with the County, and post checklists on what they are doing to protect workers and customers, publicly and visibly at places of business.

That same Order has industry-specific Mandatory Directives for: restaurants (Outdoor Dining); for Personal Care Services ("hair and nail salons, tattoo and piercing shops, massage therapy, and other services providing body care services"); Construction; Food Facilities ("grocery stores, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, food trucks, catering businesses, convenience stores, and other facilities that store, package, prepare, serve, and sell food"); gyms and fitness centers. Specific requirements for other industries are currently in preparation.

California also has issued statewide industry-specific guidance for several types of businesses, including checklists, in their "Roadmap" and "Industry guidance" documents. The state also set requirements for sick leave policies. OSHA also has federal safety regulations that may apply.


Here's what employers should do if a worker tests positive for COVID-19, according to the Order of July 2, 2020:

"Positive case reporting: All businesses (and governmental entities) are legally required to report to the Public Health Department within 4 hours if they learn that any of their workers are confirmed to be positive for COVID-19. They must also ensure workers alert them if they test positive."

The California Department of Industrial Relations clarifies state regulations around sick leave and employers' responsibilities in this period:

Businesses located in the City of San José are required to provide 2 weeks of paid sick leave to all employees from April 8 - December 31, 2020 (and to employees who are caring for a family member with COVID-19 during this time). Details are explained in the FAQ document and more information is available on the webpage.

Per this order from the Governor's Office, protections for California's "workers in the food sector, including farmworkers, agricultural workers, and those working in grocery stores and fast food chains, and as delivery drivers" shall include paid sick leave and additional workplace safety measures:


If your business includes healthcare, or caring for other people, these state agency bulletins  may apply.


Food business safety: Grocery stores and food pantries have been allowed to stay open since the first shelter-in-place order; restaurants (take out only) and food trucks also provided they follow the regulations. Outdoor restaurant dining was allowed across the Bay Area in June;  indoor dining was allowed to open at restricted levels for awhile but has been closed again in Nov. 2020 as COVID-19 cases surge across theU.S. (including the Bay Area). 

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