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What are businesses required to report if employee tests positive for COVID-19?

While businesses are encouraged to report when employees test positive for COVID-19, it is not required by the State of Texas.

TYLER, Texas — Several Tyler businesses announced temporarily closures after their employees tested positive for COVID-19. 

While this practice is highly encouraged, it is not required by law in Texas.

“We don't have any requirements,” said Russell Hopkins, director of NET Health’s emergency preparedness department said.

While counties and cities can issue orders that require businesses to report certain information, at this time Smith County is following the state’s path.

"We have best practices and guidance and suggestions," explained Hopkins. “Now it is helpful if they drop us a line and say I have a concern. So if they do notify us, we certainly can respond with whatever assistance we can provide."

This means businesses do not have to shut down or inform employees or customers if someone affiliated with the store has the virus. 

"We think that is like best practice when people know, as much as they can,” said Hopkins. “And that transparency and honesty is available from their employer so that they're going to feel safe coming back to work."

There is also not a requirement for businesses to do contract tracing if an employee tests positive for COVID-19. However, Hopkins said if they would like to do so to contact NET Health.

“We can talk about sanitation, hygiene and how to sanitize after someone has been diagnosed who's been in that business.”