In the two months since we first reported of local jurisdictions requiring employers to screen employees for symptoms of COVID-19, such policies have expanded rapidly. The following is a list of jurisdictions within California that have mandated that employers screen most or all employees working onsite or interacting with the public. Note that this list does not include jurisdictions that have recommended screening, only those that have mandated it. In addition, we have excluded screening requirements that may only apply to a small segment of the workforce.
As always, given the rapid developments in this area, it is possible that the list will be missing a jurisdiction or two. If you learn of developments that you don’t see here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bay Area Jurisdictions
Seven jurisdictions in California’s Bay Area have undertaken many COVID-19 response measures together, and that holds true for employee screening.
These jurisdictions have adopted Orders requiring businesses that remain open to implement a “Social Distancing Protocol” at each facility in operation. The orders require employers to implement a Protocol that is substantially the same as the Social Distancing Protocol attached to the order as an Appendix. Among other things, the Protocol states “Symptom checks are being conducted before employees may enter the work space.” On April 29, 2020, these jurisdictions updated their Orders and their Social Distancing Protocol effective May 4. On or about May 18, these jurisdictions again updated their Orders. Please note that the new Orders require that employers update their Social Distancing Protocols to address revised requirements.
Alameda County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
City of Berkeley (March 31 Order ) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
Contra Costa County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
Marin County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 15 update)
San Mateo County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 15 update)
City and County of San Francisco (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 17 update)
Santa Clara County (March 31 Order) (April 29 update) (May 18 update)
On March 27, 2020, Fresno County became one of the first jurisdictions in the country to mandate that employers perform health screenings for employees reporting to work. Specifically, the county’s Department of Public Health has mandated that employers screen for signs of "febrile respiratory illness," which is defined as "a new or worsening episode of either cough or shortness of breath, presenting with fever ... or chills in the previous 24 hours."
In addition, the Order, which was amended on April 14, requires employers to exclude from work all employees who have had febrile respiratory illness symptoms for seven days from the day that they are identified as having symptoms.
The Order also details when employees who have had symptoms may return to work.
Los Angeles County
The county of Los Angeles has adopted similar requirements as the Bay Area jurisdictions described above, requiring employers to adopt a social distancing protocol that requires symptom checks of employees before they enter the workplace. The County updated its health Order on May 13. As amended, Los Angeles’ Social Distancing Protocol requires that symptom checks include a “check-in concerning cough, shortness of breath or fever and any other symptoms the employee may be experiencing.” While the Protocol states that these checks may be done remotely or at the workplace, “A temperature check should be done at the worksite if feasible.”
On March 25, 2020, Mariposa County’s Health Office signed an Order requiring employers to conduct daily screenings of employees for febrile respiratory illness and exclude all employees who have symptoms from work for seven days after the onset of symptoms.
On April 7, 2020, Merced County’s Health Office issued an Order requiring employers to conduct daily screenings of employees for febrile respiratory illness and to exclude all employees who have symptoms from work for seven days from the onset of symptoms. On April 24, the Health Officer further revised the order to impose additional restrictions. However, on April 30, the Health Officer suspended that portion of the order requiring employers to develop a Social Distancing and Safety Plan in response to stakeholder concern.
On May 8, new revisions were published.
On May 1, Monterey County updated its public health Order to mandate that employers adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that requires employers to provide symptom checks before employees enter the work space.
On May 1, 2020, Sacramento County’s Health Officer has issued an Order similar to that initially enacted by the Bay Area jurisdictions summarized above. It requires employers to adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that includes screening employees for COVID-19 symptoms before they enter the work space.
Santa Cruz County
Sana Cruz County’s Health Officer has also issued an Order, updated April 29, requiring employers to adopt a Social Distancing Protocol that includes performing symptom checks before employees enter the work space.
San Diego County
On May 9, San Diego County’s Health Officer issued an Order that requires employers to conduct temperature screening of employees, prohibiting employees with body temperatures of 100 degrees or more from entering the workplace. The Order states that symptom screening (defined as screening for cough, shortness of breath, or trouble breathing or at least two or more of the following: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell) may be used only when a thermometer is nor available.
On May 7, Solano County’s public health officer issued an Order that requires reopening businesses to implement a Social Distancing Protocol. The Order also permits certain businesses to reopen for low-risk activities provided, among other things, that they provide general screening for COVID-19 symptoms prior to employees entering the work space and provide training to all employees on COVID-19 symptoms.