COVID-19 Employer Toolkit

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 March 14, 2022

Employers should refer to and follow all applicable worksite requirements outlined by the Department of Labor and Industries:

As of March 12, 2022 masks are not required in most indoor public spaces ⁠— including schools and childcare facilities, restaurants and bars, houses of worship, gyms and recreation centers, grocery and retail stores.

Masks are still required at health care facilities (hospitals, dental offices, pharmacies), long-term care facilities, public transportation, correctional facilities and jails. 

Businesses can choose to continue requiring customers and employees wear masks. To learn more, visit the Washington State Department of Health's 
website or see Governor Jay Inslee's proclamation: 

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) 246-101-305

To 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

There continue to be several public health recommendations for 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.

2. To determine who all may have been exposed to COVID-19 within your workplace, perform “contact tracing” (described by the CDC here). To learn more about 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 Exposed To Someone With COVID-19

Employers should not require sick employees to provide a COVID-19 test result or a doctor's note to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or to return to work. Cowlitz County Health does not provide work clearance letters for employees.

To learn when employees can return to work view the Washington State Department of Health's Symptom Decision Tree for the general public (not including health care settings or schools):

What to do if a Person is Symptomatic

What To Do If A Person Is Symptomatic

Identify and Care for Close Contacts

What To Do If A Person Is A Close Contact

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
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