Outbreak: Redefined by the California Department of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its definition of an “outbreak.”

As previously discussed in our January 25, 2023 blog post, the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) were replaced with the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations, which rely on the CDPH definition of “outbreak.” The Non-Emergency Regulations, in effect until February 3, 2025, require employers to ensure employees are protected in the workplace from COVID-19, including during an outbreak.

New Definition:

“Outbreak” was previously defined as three or more employee COVID-19 cases in an exposed group within a 14-day period. As of June 23, 2023, the CDPH has adopted the following definition: at least three COVID-19 cases within an exposed group during a seven-day period.

Why This Matters:

The revised definition affects rules around face coverings, testing, exclusion of employees, etc. Employers should check that their COVID-19 policies and practices as well as COVID-19 Prevention Program are current.

For more information on the Non-Emergency Regulations, please click here.