Businesses & Employers

Dallas County Health and Human Services - 2377 N. Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, TX 75207
Telephone: 214-819-2000

Guidance for Businesses & Employers

Businesses should review their Continuity of Operations Plan or Business Continuity Plan. Businesses should prepare for social distancing and absenteeism. It’s important that employees with signs of respiratory illness (fever and cough) stay home and seek medical care. DO NOT require proof of a negative COVID-19 test before employees return to work. Emphasize the use of masks, hand hygiene, and social distancing in the workplace. For more guidance on COOP or BCP planning, visit 

If your employees are critical infrastructure workers, please see the CDC guidance on safety practices in the case of potential exposure to COVID-19. This interim guidance pertains to critical infrastructure workers, including personnel in 16 different sectors of work including: Federal, state, & local law enforcement; 911 call center employees; Fusion Center employees; hazardous material responders from government and the private sector; janitorial staff and other custodial staff; workers (including contracted vendors) in food and agriculture, critical manufacturing, informational technology, transportation, energy and government facilities.

Resources for Businesses and Employers

Information on COVID-19 and Employees

What if an employee gets sick at work and they have not yet tested for COVID-19? If an employee develops any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the employee should cease work activities and be separated from coworkers, customers and visitors and, if possible, sent immediately home. If possible, employees should go directly to their car and phone-in to their manager/supervisor and wait for guidance. The employee should also consult with their healthcare provider about their illness and PCR or antigen (swab) testing for COVID-19. If an employee cannot immediately go home, designate an enclosed area with closable doors to serve as an isolation room until the employee may be removed from the worksite either by private care or ambulance. Restrict the number of personnel entering this room and properly disinfect the room after use. The employee should follow home isolation guidelines, and should not return to work until they have met the Dallas County criteria to discontinue home isolation.

Can I require a doctor's note or negative test for an employee to return to work? Any employee with symptoms of COVID-19 or who tested positive for the disease should follow the DCHHS guidelines. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation. Employees who have completed home isolation should NOT be required to provide a doctor’s note or negative COVID-19 test to document their recovery or be permitted to return to work.

Can I inform other employees if a member of our staff tests positive for COVID-19? Yes, DCHHS advises those who test positive for COVID-19 to inform their employer. Employers should confidentially inform any other employees of their exposure to the sick person, if they meet the criteria for being a close contact. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period* starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. *Individual exposures added together over a 24-hour period (e.g., three 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). The identify of the sick employee should remain confidential to protect their privacy as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees who were in close contact of the sick individual should quarantine at home.

My employee told me they have a sick person at home. Do they need to be excluded from work? If an employee reports and exposure to someone who is sick with COVID-19 or who is being tested for it, the employee should follow the DCHHS guidelines for exposures. The employee should consult with their healthcare provider to determine if they should be tested for COVID-19 themselves.

DCHHS Resources:

Reporting: DCHHS at

Dallas County Quarantine Guidance (12/13/20)

DCHHS Exposure Notification Letter

Quarantine vs. Isolation: English / Spanish

Texas Department of State Health and Human Services COVID-19 Mental Health Hotline: English / Spanish

Symptoms of COVID-19: English / Spanish

Contact the Texas Department of State Health Services’ COVID-19 hotline with questions about symptoms and risk factors by dialing 2-1-1 and selecting Option 4.