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When an employee tests positive for COVID-19 in your workplace can, this template helps you clearly communicate your response and address concerns.
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Template: Letter to employees about COVID-19 in the workplace

If someone in your workplace has tested positive for COVID-19 or been exposed to the virus, it can feel overwhelming to notify your employees. You need to let them know that you are addressing the situation and how your business is working to keep employees safe — while remaining compliant with federal medical privacy regulations that restrict what you can share about employee health.

 

This template for a letter or email to your team will help you clearly and thoughtfully communicate the information they need to know. Please note there are a few sections you’ll want to customize to make the letter specific to your business. And if you need any ideas for creating a workplace that’s safe for employees and customers, we have a detailed safety checklist you can review prior to sending your letter.

 

Dear [employee name]:

 

[Company name] has been notified that an employee has [tested positive/insert circumstances] for COVID-19. As an immediate response to protect the health and safety of our workforce, we are [notifying all employees or insert other preventative actions taken such as temporary closure or other action].

 

We are also taking the following steps (examples as applicable):

 

  • [Instituting remote workforce]
  • [Sanitizing and closing workplace]
  • [Notifying building management]
  • [Other]

We ask that you abide by the following federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect your health and those around you:

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Follow all recommendations provided by the CDC.

If you, or someone in your household, shows COVID-19 related symptoms, please notify [owner, HR manager, or other management + contact info] so that we may track any potential outbreaks within our company. All such personal information will be maintained confidentially.

 

Your health and safety are our priority. We are immediately assessing this situation and will contact you by [insert reasonable date/legally compliant date based on company action] via [email/phone] with any and all relevant workplace notices detailing your rights and protections as our employee.

 

Please contact [owner, HR manager, or other management} at {contact info] with any questions. We appreciate everyone continuing to do their best to support our [customers, clients, patients] and each other.  These are trying times for us all, and we are here for you.

 

Yours,

 

[name]

[contact information]

 

When an employee at your business tests positive for COVID-19, you may find that you also need more than a blanket communication. Many workers may still have questions, and you’re likely to have employees who have heightened risk due to close proximity to the infected employee or pre-existing medical conditions. Be prepared to walk through their questions and address their concerns with as much transparency as possible — within HR compliance guidelines.

 

For more information about how your small business can navigate payroll, HR, and benefits through COVID-19, please visit our Resource Center.

 

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors for formal consultation.

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