COVID-19 information: vaccines, testing, getting care and more
Doctor's office
Enter your doctor's name to get office information.
Find labs in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find labs in your network.
Find urgent care centers in your network
Enter your primary care doctor's name to find urgent care centers in your network.
Verify your medical group

Refer to your insurance card or call your insurance provider to determine your medical group.

You can also search for your primary care doctor to find the medical group you and your doctor belong to.

Driving Directions
Update Information
Forgot Password

Please enter your e-mail address.

Sharp Health News

Returning to the workplace, safely

Jan. 14, 2021

Young people with face masks back at work in office after lockdown

As states begin the process of vaccinating millions of health care workers, essential workers, high-risk patients and others, many people who are temporarily working from home may wonder when they can return to the office safely.

Last summer, many companies indicated that they had no intention of returning to the office before summer 2021, but with the situation still very fluid, timelines remain subject to change.

"The vaccine has proven effective against COVID-19 infections," says Dr. Kathy Head, associate director of occupational medicine with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. "However, we will wait for guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical recommendations regarding when the use of masks, social distancing and other precautions taken to prevent the spread of the virus will be lifted. It is anticipated that with the use of vaccine, return to work at a workplace environment will follow."

When employees do return to their regular workplaces, there is much for employers and employees to keep top of mind.

"The most important factor in bringing an employee back to work is safety for all employees in the workplace," says Dr. Head. "An employer should make sure that the workplace can accommodate the CDC recommendations for work distancing of at least 6 feet apart, continuous masking and eye protection when people are not in individual closed rooms, and no prolonged time together."

However, Dr. Head is quick to point out that things are changing on a week-to-week, sometimes day-to-day basis. "While current COVID-19 precautions may change once everyone is vaccinated, the timeframe of this is not clear and we await further recommendations from the CDC and other government entities."

If an employee shows symptoms of COVID-19, such as cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell, they should immediately contact their supervisor.

"The first thing that must happen is that the person with symptoms should leave work and contact their primary care physician," says Dr. Head. "The employer should then discuss the situation with all employees to determine who may have been exposed. If anyone has been exposed or potentially exposed, that person should be sent for an exposure evaluation by a trained provider, who will direct appropriate care, including advice to the exposed employee and others in the workplace."

Sharp Rees-Stealy Occupational Medicine follows the CDC and California Department of Public Health (CDPH) return-to-work guidelines. The symptom-based strategy is people can return to work when at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared, and they have recovered for at least one day or 24 hours - meaning they have been fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication and are showing improvements in respiratory symptoms.

Dr. Head also recommends employers consult recent laws regarding COVID-19 and workers' compensation. "A recent safety order issued by Cal/OSHA (California Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires employers to test employees exposed to COVID-19 at the workplace in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, defined as three or more cases within 14 days," she says.

Employers are encouraged to talk with their workers' compensation carrier for the latest information on this important topic. For more information, visit the Cal/OSHA website.

To learn more about Sharp Rees-Stealy's occupational services, visit Occupational Health online.

You might also like:

Choose the doctor who's right for you.

At Sharp, we make it easy to find an exceptional doctor — right where you live and work.

All Categories
Contact Sharp HealthCare
Call us


For medical or psychiatric emergencies, call 911 immediately.

Email us

Please do not use this form to convey personal or medical information.

How would you like to be contacted?
Date of birth

Find other numbers

View our phone directory

What's This?

These important numbers are located on your billing statement.

Find your Sharp Rees-Stealy account number

Find your SharpCare account number

Find your SharpCare account number
What's GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) governs the processing of personal information gathered from individuals while they are in the European Union (EU) and parts of the EEA (European Economic Area, which currently includes Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway).

We are sorry, but we are unable to process your price estimate if you live or are travelling within the EU or affiliated nations.

What's This?

Many surgery and procedure names sound similar. If possible, please provide the current procedure terminology (CPT) code, which can be found on the order from your doctor.

If you cannot provide the CPT code, please contact your doctor's office for the CPT or a detailed description of services.