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On July 28, 2020, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) updated its new COVID-19 Employer Playbook. The purpose of the Playbook is to provide “guidance for employers to help them plan and prepare for reopening their business and to support a safe, clean environment for workers and customers.” The Playbook provides industry-specific guidelines and checklists for safely reopening businesses such as performing a detailed risk assessment, creating worksite specific COVID-19 prevention plans, worker training for preventing the spread of the coronavirus, social distancing guidelines, and directions for managing and preventing outbreaks in the workplace.

In its most recent revision, the Employer Playbook defines an outbreak as three or more laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a two-week period among employees who live in different households. Employers are required to contact the health department in any jurisdiction where a COVID-19 employee resides when there is an outbreak in the workplace.

The Playbook discusses the importance of enforcing mask requirements and provides tips on de-escalating situations in which an employee or customer is found without a face covering. Employers will find these tips to be helpful in their reopening strategy.