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Fresno Employers Now Must Inform Workers About COVID Cases



Image of a woman in a bank wearing a COVID-19 mask across from a customer
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Employers in the city of Fresno now must notify their employees if there is a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.

That was one part of a change to the city’s emergency order approved by the Fresno City Council on Thursday by a 5-1 vote.

Proposed last month by Councilman Nelson Esparza then tweaked for approval today, the order also requires masks to be worn at all businesses and government facilities throughout the city. The requirement was already in place by a statewide order.

Employers Responsibility

The order’s new language reads: “Upon confirmation of a positive COVID-19 case among an employee or customer of a business, the employer shall notify all employees of the possible exposure within 24 hours.”

Businesses must comply with ADA and privacy laws.

However, there is no mention of a penalty if an employer does not comply.

Through July 15, Fresno County had reported 8,941 COVID-19 cases, with a spike in the last week. There have been 91 deaths, and 219 people are currently hospitalized.

The city has seen 4,838 cases, according to the county public health department.

Fresno County doesn’t require employers to report cases to their employees. In addition, employees don’t have to report their medical conditions to their employers.

Masks Also Required at Fresno Businesses

The same order also requires mask-wearing at Fresno businesses. Not complying could lead to a fine for the business.

At today’s council meeting, the item had limited debate.

One woman, identified as Kim Sambrano, told the council she was concerned about being forced to wear a mask when she had medical reasons not to.

“I don’t feel that I should have to explain those to people every time I go to the store or … have to get dirty looks,” Sambrano said via Zoom. “I just feel that these mask orders are going to further divide our community.”

The council clarified that people with medical conditions would be exempt from wearing masks.

The ordinance also requires the city to post a hotline reporting number on its website. It will be the same as the regular code enforcement number, (559) 621-8400.

Garry Bredefeld voted no on the change to the emergency order. Paul Caprioglio was absent.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email