Resources for Businesses and Community Organizations

Page updated: May 2, 2022 at 3:45 p.m.   

We are committed to supporting employers in Whatcom County during this unprecedented challenge of COVID-19. You can find information below that will help answer questions you might have. If you are unable to find the information you need, please contact us:


By phone: 360-778-6100

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Washington Ready

Businesses, recreation sites, and venues are currently open at full capacity (but they must meet workplace safety requirements). 

You can find further reopening details from the Office of the Governor.

All employees, vaccinated or not, are required to wear masks in indoor spaces that are accessible to the public. See L&I's guidance for more details. More information is also available on our masking page

Workplace Safety and COVID-19 Prevention Requirements

These workplace safety and coronavirus prevention recommendations and requirements are still in effect:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Businesses

See our guide, COVID Vaccine Employer Resources (PDF), which offers expert advice to help employers support their employees and communicate effectively about COVID-19 vaccination.

We are updating our COVID-19 Vaccine page regularly with information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Whatcom County. 

When should employees test?

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees should test if they develop symptoms or have a known exposure.

What to Do If a Worker Has COVID-19 or Is a Close Contact

Isolation and quarantine guidance for the general population was updated as of December 28, 2021. 

  • Quarantine and isolation guidelines for certain workplaces and congregate living settings is different. Refer to Guidelines for Returning to Work to learn more.
  • Quarantine and isolation guidelines for K-12 schools have been updated, but please be patient during the transition to the new guidelines.

A close contact is anyone who has been within 6 ft for 15 minutes cumulatively over 24 hours.

If you have an employee who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or is a close contact of someone with COVID-19, refer to DOH Guidance for Non-Healthcare Businesses and Organizations during Covid-19 to learn more. If you need assistance, you can contact our Communicable Disease team. Contact us:

Does my employee need a negative test to return to work?

No, it is not required for employees to test prior to returning to work. If an employee chooses to test prior to returning to work and receives a positive test result, they should remain in isolation until the end of day 10. 

What if an employee was exposed outside of work?

Employees exposed outside of work should follow the quarantine guidance applicable to them. An employee’s vaccination status and recent COVID-19 status as well as whether the employee is experiencing ongoing exposure will impact their quarantine guidance.

An employee does not need to quarantine if:

  • They are fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic.
  • They received a COVID-19 positive test result within 90 days prior to their exposure and are asymptomatic.

If an employee is experiencing ongoing exposure, they should:

  • Quarantine through the last day of exposure period plus an additional five days. 

Employer Tool Kit: What to Do When COVID-19 Comes to Work

The guidance and resources below will help your business or organization respond quickly and effectively when a worker has confirmed COVID-19 or has been exposed to COVID-19.

Masks/Face Coverings

As a business, you're responsible to follow masking rules for employees and customers. 


Review the L&I requirements for employers regarding employee mask requirements.

Review the Governor's Office mask guidance. It clarifies employer, business, and organization requirements.


Review the Governor's Office mask guidance. It explains employer, business, and organization responsibilities involving customers or patrons, including signage requirements and face covering exemptions.

Covid Vaccine Employer Resources

A guide for employers to support and communicate effectively with employees about COVID-19 vaccination.

safer stronger together logo

The "Safer. Stronger. Together." campaign was created to support businesses as we work together to ensure a healthy and welcoming environment for all. The ultimate goal of this campaign is to keep our community healthy while we build consumer confidence and reopen our economy.  

Posters and signage can be downloaded, or you can request the printed materials for free!