Food Service Establishments

COVID-19 Employee Illness and Exclusion

March 25, 2020

These recommendations are for employees of retail food establishments (restaurants, groceries, etc.), lodging facilities (hotels, motels, resorts, etc.), public swimming pools and water parks, manufactured home parks, recreational campgrounds and youth camps. If you have questions, please call the MDH COVID-19 hotline at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.

Protect your employees and the public

You want to help protect your employees and the public from COVID-19. These instructions describe how your establishment should handle the following scenarios when you are made aware of changes in your employees’ health.

Employees with a confirmed COVID-19 test

What the employee needs to do

STAY HOME and DO NOT report to work. Follow directions from MDH or local public health and self-isolate at home until all of these are true:

  • Symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND
  • Fever (100.4°F or higher) has been gone for at least 3 days without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Once all of these statements are true, the employee may return to work.

What the employee’s healthy coworkers and acquaintances need to do

  • Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people. See the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Don’t touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you get sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

What the employee’s healthy household and intimate contacts need to do

Follow directions from public health and quarantine for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person.

Employees with fever, cough, or shortness of breath, but has not been tested

What the employee needs to do

STAY HOME and DO NOT report to work. Self-isolate at home until all of these are true:

  • Symptoms including fever, cough, or shortness of breath have improved AND
  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared AND
  • Fever (100.4°F or higher) has been gone for at least 3 days without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

Once all of these statements are true, the employee may return to work.

What the employee’s healthy coworkers and acquaintances need to do

  • Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people. See the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Don’t touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you get sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

What the employee’s healthy household and intimate contacts need to do

Incorporate precautions in the home, and monitor for symptoms. Also, limit activities in public for 14 days after your last contact with the ill person.

Healthy employees can protect themselves and others

  • Practice social distancing. Keep at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and other people. See the CDC website for more information on how to protect yourself.
  • Wash hands often.
  • Don’t touch eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough.
  • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you get sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before visiting your doctor.

Licensing and Inspection

The Public Health and Environmental Services Department licenses and inspects food service establishments. The regulations are outlined in the Anoka County Food Ordinance and the Minnesota Food Code. Grocery stores, convenience stores, bakeries, meat processing, and candy-making businesses are regulated by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

In Case of Emergency

If your food service establishment experiences an emergency, please contact Anoka County Environmental Services. Other resources to help you deal with emergencies:

If you suspect you have become ill from food, call the department. You can also report through the Minnesota Department of Health Food Borne Illness Hotline at 1-877-FOOD-ILL (1-877-366-3455).