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Guidance: COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace and Building Operations

There are no requirements for businesses to close if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. The Anne Arundel County Department of Health, once notified of a positive case, initiates contact tracing usually within 24 hours of notification. Contact tracing is an in-depth conversation about where a person has been and where the individual could possibly have exposed others, so that appropriate parties can be notified. It is at this time that the health department would advise the business the best way to proceed which could include closing.

Local health departments and the State of Maryland continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and make recommendations for businesses accordingly. At this time, if a business remains open it is expected to follow safe practices as set out by the state and county. The county is committed to working with businesses to help them understand these best practices

Notification of Cases in the Workplace
Promptly identifying and isolating potentially infectious individuals is critical in protecting workers, customers and visitors.

  • Health departments investigate COVID-19 cases, trace contacts and notify contacts of exposure. Jurisdictions may actively monitor clients daily or have clients self-monitor and communicate remotely to notify public health authorities.
  • The workplace should inform and encourage employees to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 if they suspect possible exposure.
  • The workplace should develop policies and procedures for employees if and when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

Keeping a Building Open
Local and state health departments monitor the ongoing COVID-19 situation and make recommendations. If a business remains open, it are expected to follow safe practices as set out by the state and county. The county is committed to working with businesses to help them understand these best practices.

In the event of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the workplace:

Educate Employees and Supervisors about Steps They Can Take to Protect Themselves at Work

Closing a Building
Guidelines vary for different types of businesses and establishments. There is no exact number of cases that determine a decision to close an establishment. Local health departments investigate all complaints from the public and utilize data collected from contact tracing to guide decision-making. Closures are determined on a case-by-case basis. Closures depend on the level of disease transmission in the community and readiness to protect the safety and health of employees and customers.

In the result of a closure due to COVID-19:

  • Follow CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize the potential for exposure to respiratory droplets. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
  • Clean and disinfect all areas including offices, bathrooms and common areas, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces. Operations can resume as soon as the following cleaning and disinfection are completed.
    • Wash surfaces with soap and water prior to disinfection.
    • Disinfect surfaces using EPA approved products ( for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and that are appropriate for the surface.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for concentration, application method, contact time and required PPE.

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