What are employers required to do if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Posted at 6:44 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 20:03:35-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If an employee tested positive for COVID-19 in the workplace, is the employer required to tell all employees?

Short answer: no.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employers are not required to tell all employees if a worker has tested positive for COVID-19.

KRIS 6 spoke with Chops & Eggs owner Chef Jordan Jaradat on the practices his restaurant has used to keep the establishment COVID-free.

He believes by abiding by Centers for Disease Control guidelines, and communicating daily with his staff, is the key.

"Communicate with you and staff member," he said. "Where have you been? How are you feeling? I mean you have to know, not just the virus, but you have to know everything."

Jaradat said his business is implementing social distancing between customers and staff, constantly cleaning and disinfecting, wearing masks and doing temperature checks before every shift.

"Think [this] is the 100% key factor, by preventing the spread of COVID, plus preventing the any cases in the establishments," he said

Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales said there is no clear-cut answer for all establishments and businesses.

But says all employers should follow these steps:

  • Research official rules and guidance
  • Develop, implement and post a health and safety document
  • And educate employees and customers on policies

CDC guidelines do say employers should determine which employees have been exposed and inform employees of possible exposure.

Once an employer is informed of an employee who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must contact trace and disinfect all areas.

"In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility," Canales said.

However, employers must maintain patient confidentiality.

Canales does say that if an establishment is not abiding by CDC guidelines, a person should contact the County Attorney at