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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​COVID-19 Guidance and Reporting

Covid-19 (corona virus) ​​guidance and reporting is subject to Federal, State, County and City health directives and is constantly changing as health experts learn more about the virus and its variants. This section is reviewed and updated as needed to comply with the latest information and regulations; therefore, check back regularly. 

The following is a summary of the most pertinent guidanc​e and definitions as of 8-29-22.

Definitions

"Close Contact" means either sharing the same indoor airspace with an infected person or being within six feet of an infected person, with or without a mask, during the infected person's high risk exposure period for 15 minutes of more over the course of 24 hours. Examples of an "indoor airspace" are a room, car, airplane,​ office, classroom, hall, gym or church. Depending upon all the circumstances, close contacts may be identified either as a group (participating in an event or activity together) or as individuals who had a sufficiently long interaction with the infected person so as to be considered closed contacts. The person in charge at a location, or the delegate of the person in charge at a location will make the determination of who is a close contact in his/her best judgment.

"COVID-19 test" in the employment setting means a test for SARS-CoV-2 that is:

(A) Cleared, approved, or authorized, including in an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to detect current infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (e.g., a viral test);

(B) Administered in accordance with the authorized instructions; and

(C) Not both self-administered and self-read unless observed by the employer or an authorized telehealth proctor. Examples of tests that satisfy this requirement include tests with specimens that are processed by a laboratory (including home or on-site collected specimens which are processed either individually or as pooled specimens), proctored over-the-counter tests, point of care tests, and tests where specimen collection and processing is either done or observed by an employer.

"Exposed Group" This definition differs between the workplace and the school settings. In the workplace, it means all employees (including contractors and volunteers) at a work location, working area, or a common area at work, where a COVID-19 case was present during his/her high risk or infectious period. A place where persons momentarily pass through while everyone is wearing a face covering or is fully vaccinated, without congregating, is not a work location, working area or common area. In the school setting, an exposed group includes any group of students who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes (within a 24 hour time period) in a shared indoor airspace (e.g. a classroom) with a COVID-19 case during his or her high risk or infectious period.

"Face covering" means a surgical mask, a medical procedure mask, a respirator mask (N95 or similar) or a mask made of tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers. A face covering does not include a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric.

"Fully Vaccinated" means the person can document receipt that the person received, at least 14 days earlier, of either a second dose in a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines must be FDA emergency approved or be listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization.

"Up to Date" ​means a fully vaccinated person has received a booster vaccination or is not yet booster eligible.

"High RIsk Exposure or Infectious Period" means:

​For individuals who develop symptoms of COVID-19, the infectious period begins 2 days before they first develop symptoms. The infectious period ends when all of the following criteria are met: at least 5 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and at least 24 hours have passed with no fever (without use of fever-reducing medications), and other symptoms have improved and a rapid antigen test has yielded a negative result. 

For individuals who test positive but never develop symptoms, the infectious period for COVID-19 begins 2 days before the specimen for their first positive test for COVID-19 was collected and ends after 5 days and a rapid antigen test has yielded a negative result.

"Respirator Mask" means a respiratory protection device approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to protect the wearer from particulate matter, such as an N95 mask

"Worksite", for the limited purposes of COVID-19 prevention regulations only, means the building, store, facility, agricultural field, or other location where a COVID-19 case was present during the high-risk exposure period. It does not apply to buildings, floors or other locations of the employer that a COVID-19 case did not enter.  This definition is not the same as the definition of a worksite for general Cal-OSHA purposes.


Governing Law and Recent Changes

Locations are governed by Federal, State, Cal OSHA, and local regulations of COVID-19 matters. General guidance and health orders for each can be found here:

Locations are required to comply with all City and County Health Department Orders, State of California Health Department Orders and, for employees, all Cal OSHA regulations. All locations must follow ADLA protocols and procedures. 
Cal-OSHA Requirements

Locations where employees are regularly assigned to work (work site) are governed by the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, section 3205.  This includes all buildings, offices, schools, rectories, convents, cemeteries, mortuaries, and churches​.

The employer must:
  • Have an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Plan (CPP)
  • Provide effective training and instruction to employees
  • Provide notification to public health departments of outbreaks
  • Provide notification to employees of exposure and close contacts
  • Offer testing after potential exposures
  • Follow requirements for responding to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks
  • Follow quarantine and exclusion requirements

These requirements apply to all employees and places of employment, except:
  • Work locations with one employee who does not have contact with other persons
  • Employees working from home
  • Employees teleworking from a location of the employee’s choice, which is not under the control of the employer
​​
Employers must have a written COVID-19 Prevention Program (CPP). It may be part of the location's Injury and Illness Prevention Program​. The elements of a COVID-19 Prevention Program are:
  • A system or method of communicating with employees about COVID-19
  • Identification and evaluation of COVID-19 hazards
  • A plan for investigating and responding to COVID-19 cases in the workplace
  • A method to correct COVID-19 hazards
  • Training and instruction of employees about COVID-19
  • Face coverings after close contact with an infected person
  • Controls (engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment)
  • Reporting, recordkeeping and access
  • Exclusion of COVID-19 cases
  • A return to work policy after contracting COVID-19 
For help preparing a written COVID-19 Prevention Program, see the sample template on the Cal OSHA website here: ​​Model Written ​Plans and Programs​ (this is a Word document that will download; look for it at the bottom of the computer or tablet screen). ​

Paid Time Off for COVID-19 Related Reasons

​Employees who are required to take time off for COVID-19 related reasons such as their own illness or to take care of a sick relative may utilize sick or vacation time after they have exhausted the 2022 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave​.  See Section 5.8.2 and Section 5.8.3. Because legislation on this subject changes periodically, check with the Human Resources Department for the most recent information about available sick time benefits.  For longer COVID-19 illnesses, the Hartford's disability insurance may be available. See Section 5.8.4​.


Vaccines

​COVID-19 vaccines and boosters have proven to be an effective protection against COVID-19 serious illness and death.   

For guidance on the Church's and Archdiocesan position on COVID-19 vaccines go to Covid-19 Information | LA Catholics (scroll down on the screen).

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second shot of the the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and two weeks after the single shot of the J&J vaccine. 

Locations that wish to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic must use the Outside User Agreement for COVID-19 Vaccine Site.​ Locations that wish to hire a COVID-19 vendor to test at the location must use the Outside User Agreement for Blood Drive/Flu Shot Clinic/Health Services/Wellness Program.

Determining Vaccination Status
 
When locations are required to check vaccination status, self-attestation is no longer an accepted method. Proof of vaccination must be provided. Locations should provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees of events and gatherings when vaccination proof or proof of a negative COVID-19 test is required. Signs should be posted at the entrance to an event or gathering. See: Best Practi​ces to Prevent COVID-19 for Businesses  (scroll to the bottom of the web page for sample signs).  Checking vaccination status is not required for a religious service.

Locations must document employees' vaccination status and keep the documentation confidential and placed in the employee's separate medical file. Any employee who declines to state whether he/she is vaccinated must be treated as though unvaccinated. This policy also applies to volunteers.​


Face Coverings in California

The State of California has lifted the indoor mask requirements for all people, except in certain settings described below. Presently, Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties and the Cities of Long Beach and Pasadena have aligned with the State health department requirements. Masks are now strongly recommended but not required in indoor settings throughout the Archdiocese, except for cemeteries and mortuaries. 
  • Employees may continue to request a well-fitting medical mask or respirator, such as an N95, KN95 or KF94, at no cost. No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a business or other location.  
Masks are still required to be worn by everyone indoors, regardless of vaccination status in the following settings:
  • Adult and Senior ​Care Facilities

  • ​Healthcare settings, including long term care facilities
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers

  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers

​​​ State mega event guidelines can be found HERE​.

​See http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/BestPractices/communitiesoffaith/ for specific guidance for Communities of Faith.​

Exemptions to face covering requirements:

The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.

  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.

  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

  • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines

Reporting Requirements

In the event a location learns that any employee, clergy or other religious, volunteer, parishioner, student or parent/guardian is diagnosed with COVID-19, several reporting requirements are involved.

ADLA Reporting Requirements

​There are two ADLA COVID-19 Report Forms; one for reporting school students who have tested positive for COVID-19 and one for reporting all others cases in all locations.

To report positive COVID-19 student cases at a school location, the person in charge shall fill out the Archdiocese of Los Angeles School Student COVID-19 Report Form​  and send it to the individuals identified on the Form. More than one student may be reported per Form. In the event a school needs additional assistance for student cases, the school may reach out to the Department of Catholic Schools or the COVID Response Team.

For all other cases, including employees, volunteers, contractors, clergy and other religious, the person in charge shall fill out the Archdiocese of Los Angeles COVID-19 Report Form  and send it to the individuals identified on the Form. Only one positive COVID-19 case may be reported per Form. The COVID Response Team will contact the person filling out the form upon request to discuss the case and to provide additional guidance and answer questions.

Additional Reporting for the Worksite

California state law requires that the employer provide the Notice of Potential Exposure to COVID-19 (which includes Appendix A​ - Benefits Notice​)​​ within one business day, to employees at the same worksite as an infected person during the individual's infectious period. Labor Code Section 6409.6 provides that anyone who meets the following criteria is considered to be an infected person:

  • Has a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19

  • Received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis from a licensed health care provider

  • Is subject to a COVID-19 related order to isolate provided by a public health official

  • Has died due to COVID-19, in the determination of a county public health department​

Worksite refers to the location where the employees worked during the infected individual's infectious period. It does not apply to buildings, floors, or other locations the infected person did not enter.

It does not matter whether the infected person is an employee, volunteer, student or other person who visited the worksite. If employees were working at the same worksite as the infected person, those employees must be given the mandated notice.

The employer should print out the notice, sign and date it and then disseminate it to the employees. It may be disseminated in any manner that ensures the employee will recieve it within one business day of the employers knowledge of the positive case. The employer should maintain a list of those employees to whom the notice was given.  The notice and the list of those employees to whom the notice was given shall be maintained by the location for a period of at least three years.

If an employee is hospitalized or dies due to COVID-19, Cal-OSHA must be notified within 8 hours​ from the time the location learns of the hospitalization or death. Contact Human Resources for assistance with OSHA reporting.

 
Additional Reporting for Schools

​California regulations for schools can be found here: S​afe Sc​​​​​​​hools​ Fo​r ​All Hub.​

​The State of California requires every private school to notify its local health officer of any outbreak of COVID-19 among any students or employees who were present on a K-12 school campus and have tested positive for COVID-19. These are the local health agencies where reports have to be submitted within 24 hours: ​​​

Schools in Los Angeles County must comply with the ​​COVID-19 Exposure Ma​nagement Plan Guidance in TK-12 Schools​  and report all clusters and outbreaks of COVID-19 cases involving students, visitors and staff.  This can be completed online using the secure web application S​POT​. 

Schools in the City of Long Beach must report to COVID-19 Sch​​ool Case and Contact Reporting - Veoci.  A spreadsheet entitled School Case and Contact Line List must be included for all (one or more) cases reported (the spreadsheet may open at the bottom of a computer screen). Please upload within the School Case Report Portal.​​
 ​​
Schools in the City of Pasadena must use the COVID-19 Line List Template​ (the spreadsheet may open at the bottom of a computer screen) to report. 
  
Schools in the County of Santa Barbara ​must report outbreaks.
 

Schools in Ventura County should report outbreaks to the COVID reporting portal here: SPOT

This reporting does not replace or supersede any other statutory or regulatory requirements that require reporting of COVID-19 cases and/or outbreaks to other entities or institutions, such as Cal/OSHA. ​

​​Screening and Handling Outbreaks and Exposures

​Screening: 

At all locations, employees, volunteers, and guests should be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 before entering the premises. Screening may be done on site or remotely. Locations can choose to use a sign-in sheet for screening purposes. See sample screening sign in sheet​.  Locations should post signage in a highly visible place on a building reminding visitors or patrons not to enter the building if they have symptoms of COVID-19. In the alternative, employees and guests may self screen prior to entering the premises of the location. ​

​If you have any of the following symptoms, you might have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea​

 ACC employees must self screen before entering the building. Anyone who is meeting with a visitor at the ACC must ensure their visitor has signed the Security Log at the front desk in the ground floor lobby.​​​​


Handling Outbreaks, Quarantine and Isolaton

If a location experiences an outbreak, (3 or more individuals at a location test positive or are otherwise diagnosed with COVID-19 within a 14 day window) the location, with the assistance of the COVID-19 Response Team, shall report the outbreak to the appropriate health department. See COVID-19 Report Form​.

All medical information about individuals infected or exposed to COVID-19 is confidential and subject to privacy laws, unless the individual has given written permission to the location to identify him/her. Employers cannot require employees to disclose medical information unless otherwise required by law. Employers shall not retaliate against an employee for disclosing a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis or order to quarantine or isolate. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against may file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

Quarantine: The State of California has issued new rules and guidelines for quarantine. Except in certain high risk settings (i.e. emergency or homeless shelters), individuals who are close contacts do not need to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status, unless they develop symptoms. However, anyone who is a close contact must wear a medical grade mask indoors for 10 days following the last day of exposure and test 3-5 days after exposure. For more detail please see: California requirements for Isolation and Quarantine.

Isolation: An infected person must isolate at home (within one room and bathroom if possible) for 10 days. Howev​​​​er, an infected person who has no symptoms or greatly improving symptoms and has had no fever for 24 hours without taking any fever reducing medications, may leave isolation if the infected person tests no sooner than 5 days after the start of symptoms, (or if no symptoms, 5 ​days after the date of the initial test), and the test is negative. The infected person may then leave isolation and return to work or ministry on day 6 or later. An infected persons who leaves isolation by early testing must wear a face covering at all times for the next 5 days.

If a person's COVID-19 symptoms recur or worsen after ending isolation, they should re-isolate as they may have COVID-19 rebound. Isolation for COVID-19 rebound can end 5 days after rebound began as long as they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours, their symptoms are improving and they test negative on a rapid antigen test. 

To calculate the 5th day after the start of symptoms or the intial test date, the first day of symptoms, or the date of the asymptomatic test is day zero (0) and counting begins on the next day.


For information regarding leave of absence, health benefits, government assistance programs related to COVID-19 and proper payroll codes to use, please contact Human Resources​.  

​4-30-21​; 5-13-21; 7-13-21; 7-18-21​​​; 8-18-21; 9-7-21; 1-27-22; 2-17-22​​​