Updated August 31, 2021
Due to the increased spread of COVID-19, masks are required in the State of Oregon for everyone ages 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status, in all indoor public spaces and in outdoor settings where physical distancing is not possible.
The requirement excludes people actively eating and drinking. However, Public Health supports any additional steps private businesses choose to take to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Starting June 30, the State of Oregon has removed some COVID-19 restrictions, including capacity limits and physical distancing requirements.
However, COVID-19 is still present in our communities; hundreds of thousands of people remain unvaccinated in Multnomah County. If you are not fully vaccinated, we strongly recommend you continue to wear a mask and practice physical distancing indoors and outdoors when around people you don’t live with. Fully vaccinated means it’s been 2 weeks after your 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna or 2 weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Employees & Symptoms
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus spreads through small droplets when someone who has COVID-19 sneezes, coughs, sings, or talks.
- Droplets containing the virus can land in your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Small particles from the droplets can stay in the air, especially indoors, and you can inhale them into your lungs.
- Droplets can land on surfaces like phones, doorknobs, floors, or countertops. If you touch these and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands, you can get sick.
Read more about HVAC Systems and the Spread of COVID-19.
I’m showing symptoms. Should I stay home?
Stay home and don’t have any visitors.
Call your doctor or clinic to see if you need to be tested or need an appointment. Make a plan with your doctor or clinic. Stay home until your doctor or clinic says you can be around others again.
If you don’t have a doctor or clinic, call 2-1-1 or Multnomah County Primary Care Clinics at 503-988-5558. You can get health care even if you don’t have insurance or are not a U.S. citizen.
My employee is telling me they have symptoms. Should I send them home?
Yes. And encourage them to stay home, away from others, and to call their doctor or clinic. See above.
What should I do if I was in close contact with someone with COVID-19 while they were ill but I am NOT sick?
All close contacts, whether or not they are vaccinated should get tested, even if they don’t have symptoms.
How do I know if I was exposed?
You may hear from your employer. Food service employees who may have been exposed to a coworker that tested positive for COVID-19 will be notified by their employer within 24 hours:
After the employee who tested positive notifies the employer of their diagnosis; or
After the employer is contacted by the health department as part of a disease investigation.
The employee may also be contacted directly by the health department if further disease investigation is required.
If an employee at a restaurant is diagnosed with COVID-19, does the restaurant have to completely shut down (and all employees with close contact self-isolate for 2 weeks)?
No. Please contact your inspector or our office for further advice (email@example.com, 503-988-3400).
If a food service employee has a member of their household with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, do they have to report this to the manager or supervisor?
Yes. Food service employees who live with a family or other household member who has tested positive for COVID-19 are legally mandated by Oregon law (OAR 333-019-1000 and OAR 333-150) to report this information to their manager or supervisor. In addition, they must:
- Assess their own risk of exposure and take action -- this may include staying home from work to avoid exposing others.
- Contact their local public health department.
If a food service employee has tested positive for COVID-19 do employers have to report this information?
Yes. If a food service employee tests positive for COVID-19 employers are legally mandated by Oregon law (OAR 333-019-1000 and OAR 333-150) to:
- Work with public health to determine which employees had close, prolonged contact with the employee.
- Follow all applicable laws and regulations to maintain confidentiality and protect personal health information of the employee who is ill.
- Assess their own risk of exposure and take appropriate action.
- Call the local public health department -- environmental health and/or communicable disease -- to notify of this positive case.
If a food service employee goes to a doctor, will a communicable disease nurse contact the manager or supervisor? What can the restaurant expect next?
It depends. If an employee seeks health care for possible symptoms of COVID-19, employers will NOT be notified. This is considered protected health information.
However, if a health care provider determines that testing for COVID-19 is necessary and the food service employee tests positive:
- The food service employee is legally required to report their positive diagnosis to their employer.
- The employer is required to notify all exposed or affected employees within 24 hours of learning of the positive test.
- The employer may call the area inspector or email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
- The employer may be contacted by Communicable Disease Services, if there was an exposure at the workplace.
- Employees should not be required to have a negative test before returning for work. Employees can return to work based on a timetable of symptoms ending and time passed since a positive test.
For concerns or questions, contact your health inspector or email email@example.com.
Report workplace safety or health hazard and unsafe conditions via Oregon OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) website, or call 503-229-5910. Available in English and Spanish.