This information is current as of April 12, 2023 

Basic COVID-19 Requirements for All Workplaces

COVID-19 remains a recognized respiratory hazard in the workplace. Employers will need to continue to assess their worker’s exposure risk along with the need for further precautions to prevent exposure.

Guidance for Preventing COVID-19 Spread in the Workplace

The level of COVID-19 hazards may change along with the number of cases. Employers will need to reassess the hazard to their employees and determine if additional precautions are needed. The following prevention measures may assist employers in managing COVID 19 in their workplaces:

  • Support vaccinations for employees. Updated vaccinations continue to significantly reduce the risk for severe illness.
  • If employees must return within 10 days from becoming sick, they should wear a well-fitting mask at work, such as an N95.
  • Select and provide more protective masks or respirators, when feasible. A properly fitting, NIOSH-approved respirator provides the most protection. This is especially important for those at increased risk for severe disease and for employees in high-risk exposure situations.
  • Physically distance employees from others, especially when the workforce is unvaccinated or when ventilation is poor. Use physical barriers like sneeze guards or increase the physical distance people for face-to-face interactions.
  • Maximize fresh air and air filtration settings on HVAC systems, and improve filtration in areas with poor ventilation (for example, use portable air cleaners with HEPA filters).
  • When possible, use signage, scheduling practices, or other means to encourage sick or symptomatic customers, visitors, and other non-employees to make alternate arrangements for services (e.g., ask for home delivery or postponing their visit) so they don’t need to enter the workplace.

Employees have a right to safe and healthy work environment. The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Chapter 49.17 prohibits employers from engaging in safety discrimination against employees. See Discrimination in the Workplace (wa.gov) for more information.

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