Updated August 22, 2022

COVID-19 is still present in our communities. Everyone who is eligible should get vaccinated and boosted to protect themselves and the community.  How to get a vaccine »

Optional mask signs to post

Employees & Symptoms

General guidelines for if an employee tests positive for COVID-19

An employee is showing symptoms. Should they stay home?

Yes. Follow these guidelines for when they can return to work

An 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. Follow these guidelines for when they can return to work

What should an employee do if they were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 but they do not feel sick? 

All close contacts, whether or not they are vaccinated, should get tested if they are able, even if they don’t have symptomsClose contacts are not required to quarantine, but should wear a mask for 10 days, get tested on day 5, and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Does a food service employee have to report if they have a positive test?

No. A food service employee is not required to report their positive diagnosis to their employer.

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 (foodsafety@multco.us, 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?

If a member of a food service employee’s household tests positive, the employee does not need to report the test results to their employer. They should monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested 5 days after their contact, if possible. Learn more about what to do if you have been around someone with COVID-19.

If a food service employee tests positive, what should the restaurant expect next?

  • The employer should follow guidelines for if an employee tests positive for COVID-19
  • The employer may call the area inspector or email foodsafety@multco.us for advice. 
  • The employer may be contacted by Communicable Disease Services if there was an exposure at the workplace. 
  • Employees who test positive need to isolate (stay home) for at least 5 days and can return to work (wearing a well fitting mask) based on guidelines for positive cases. 
  • Employees should not be required to have a negative test before returning for work.

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.

Contact Us

For concerns or questions, contact your health inspector or email foodsafety@multco.us.

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.