This page is intended to assist state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments in making decisions about how to allocate limited resources to respond to worksites that report COVID-19-related concerns, complaints, or clusters. In general, COVID-19 clusters in shared housing, detention and correctional facilities, schools, daycares, and youth programs should be considered high priority. Other worksites may be prioritized based on the potential for extensive transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, or transmission to people at higher risk for severe illness. These worksites could include high-density critical infrastructure facilities, such as manufacturing facilities, meat and poultry processing facilities, worksites with essential workers, warehouse and distribution centers, construction sites, or service-providing establishments such as salons or restaurants. Federal partners should be consulted regarding assessments of federal worksites.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available. Please check the CDC COVID-19 website periodically for updated interim guidance.
Definition of a COVID-19 cluster in a non-healthcare worksite
For non-healthcare worksites, a COVID-19 cluster is defined as two or more confirmed or probable cases within the last 14 days with a potential connection in time and place at a worksite, in employer-provided group housing, or among workers using employer-provided transportation. Note that in communities with substantial SARS-CoV-2 transmission, it might be expected for some worksites to identify two or more cases within a 14-day period that are not connected to the worksite or to employer-provided housing or transportation. This applies especially to large employers. In these circumstances, efforts should be made to determine if there are plausible epidemiologic links among cases in the worksite and to rule out the possibility of exposure outside of the worksite.
Potential worksite clusters might be identified through case investigation, contact tracing, worker complaints, or employer reports to the health department. Depending on the strength of evidence, these potential clusters might warrant worksite assessment even if there are not yet laboratory confirmed cases. The absence of laboratory confirmation alone should not always rule out investigating a potential worksite cluster, particularly when there may be testing shortages or delayed test results.