COVID-19 Employer Toolkit

New! We are now recommending updated isolation and quarantine periods in alignment with the Washington State Department of Health and CDC. This webpage, along with state guidance documents and webpages, will be updated to reflect this change soon. Employers should continue referring to and following all applicable worksite requirements outlined by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Learn more here:  
Per Governor Jay Inslee’s "Washington Ready" proclamation, employers (in non-healthcare settings) are required to notify Cowlitz County Health & Human Services *within 24 hours* if they suspect COVID-19 is spreading in their workplace or if there are two or more confirmed or suspected cases among their employees within a 14-day period. 

▶  To report a case, fax us: (360) 425-7531, call us: (360) 414-5599 - Option 2, or email us:

Updated September 22, 2021

Washington State reopened under the “Washington Ready Plan” on June 30, 2021. Most industry sectors no longer have capacity limits and can resume usual operations as long as they’re following L&I safety requirements.
The Secretary of Health’s 
mask orders remain in place. Everyone over age 5 years old is required to wear face coverings (masks) in public indoor settings and at large outdoor events with 500 or more people regardless of vaccination status.
Masks are strongly recommended for all in crowded outdoor settings like sporting events, fairs, and concerts where physical distancing is not possible.

Access the state’s reopening guidance for businesses and workers here: Find resources and recommendations for healthcare providers here:

Long-term care facilities are required to report all suspected and confirmed disease outbreaks to Cowlitz County Health & Human Services, per Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-101-305To submit a report, complete this document and upload it via Cowlitz County Health & Human Services’ secure webform:

Frequently Asked Questions

What To Do If An Employee Has COVID

While capacity restrictions for businesses have been lifted, there continue to be several public health recommendations for businesses, organizations, and other non-healthcare workplaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
If you work in a non-healthcare setting and you suspect COVID-19 is spreading in your workplace, please follow these steps: 

1. Review and follow guidance from the Washington State Department of Health to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at your workplace: Recommend to any employee who develops COVID-19 symptoms, or who comes in close contact with someone who tests positive, to get tested right away.

2. To determine who all may have been exposed to COVID-19 within your workplace, perform “contact tracing” (defined by the CDC here). To learn how to do contact tracing, review and follow this employers' guide:

3. Fill out this document to identify employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their possible close contacts. Upload the document via Cowlitz County Health & Human Services’ secure webform: Continue updating and uploading the document as new individuals are identified.
4. Review and share the following resources with your employees:

What To Do If You Have Confirmed Or Suspected COVID-19
What To Do If You Were Potentially Exposed To Someone With COVID-19
Evaluation & Management Of Persons With New Unexplained Symptoms

When An Employee Can Return To Work 

Employees who have recovered from COVID-19 can return to work after their contagious period ends. The Washington State Department of Health provides this guidance for when a person can end isolation:
1. If you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and have symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:

• You’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND
• Your symptoms have gotten better AND
• At least 10 days have gone by since your symptoms first appeared. 

2. If you tested positive for COVID-19, but have not had any symptoms, you can stop your home isolation when:

• At least 10 days have gone by since the date of your first positive COVID-19 test AND
• You have not gotten sick with COVID-19

Employers should not require a sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider's note to return to work. Cowlitz County Health & Human Services does not provide work clearance letters for employees.

Resources For Businesses & Organizations

COVID-19 Toolkits
Cowlitz County Toolkit For Close Contacts
Cowlitz County Toolkit For Positive Cases

• COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs for Employers (Non-Healthcare Settings)

Data & Information

Cowlitz County COVID-19 Data
• State COVID-19 Data Dashboard
• CDC COVID Data Tracker (search by county)

State Guidance
Reopening Guidance For Businesses & Workers
Face Covering & Mask Guidance
General & Sector-Specific Guidance, Resources & Recommendations

Prevention Information
Guidance For Daily COVID-19 Symptom Screening Of Staff & Guests
Suspected Or Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In The Workplace
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility
Ventilation & Air Quality For Reducing Transmission Of COVID-19

Business Signage
Handwashing Signs (+Multiple Languages)
Mask Sign (English)
Help Us Reopen Safely (English)

WA L&I Guidance
L&I Requirements & Guidance For Preventing COVID-19
Request A Safety Consultation With L&I; to speak with a Cowlitz County representative for WA L&I call: (360) 575-6951
Q&A: Protecting High-Risk Employees From Discrimination During Public Health Emergencies
More COVID-19 Resources

OSHA Guidance
• Mitigating And Preventing The Spread Of COVID-19 In The Workplace
Guidance On Returning To Work

Sample Communication
Preparing For COVID-19 In The Workplace
Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

Vaccine Requirements
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for K–12 School Employees
• Vaccine Mandate Frequently Asked Questions

Printable Version