Guidance for workplaces impacted by COVID-19

What to do if an employee, customer or visitor is a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case or an employee is identified as a household contact of a person with COVID-19.

Last updated: 20 July 2022

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If the case is your employee

If one of your employees becomes a confirmed (or probable) COVID-19 case and has been at your workplace while infectious, there are standard processes that can be followed.

You will be told by your employee directly and then you should:

  • inform any Health and Safety Managers and/or Occupational Health Managers within the organisation if you have them
  • isolate spaces that this person may have spent significant time in and ensure cleaning is undertaken before they are able to be used (see General cleaning for more information)
  • consider contact tracing of other employees. Refer to the advice in the document Guide for managing COVID-19 in your business or workplace.

Remember, always protect the privacy of your employee. Their name must not be shared.

At any time, an employee who feels unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, should be encouraged to get a test, and stay at home until they receive a negative test result.

They can seek help by calling their GP (doctor) or they can call Healthline, for free, on 0800 358 5453.

Support your employee to self-isolate

If your employee informs you that they have tested positive or live with a person with COVID-19, they are required to isolate in line with Ministry of Health guidance.

If the case was a customer or client

If a customer or client who is a confirmed (or probable) COVID-19 case has visited your workplace while infectious, you will not be contacted by public health. Only very high-risk settings will involve public health input.

You should:

Communication to employees or customers

Follow advice in the Guide for managing COVID-19 in your business or workplace to help you inform customers about the situation and what actions need to be taken (if any).

This could include:

  • notifying other employees of their exposure and helping them to assess if they are at risk
  • signage at the front of the store to inform customers of when the case was present on site and include any health advice
  • notifying customers via media platform (newsletter, social media etc) of when the case was present on site and include any health advice
  • having Ministry of Health guidance readily available for employees and customers.

Remember, always protect the privacy of your employee. Their name must not be shared.

Guidance for businesses

Guide for managing COVID-19 in your business or workplace

Contact tracing for workplaces

In this video, workplaces learn how to undertake contact tracing when one of the employees tests positive for COVID-19.

Employer support

Employers can apply for financial support to help pay wages or salary and support their business if affected by COVID-19. If you’re self-employed, you can also apply for this support.

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