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Report infectious diseases

Reporting to Public Health: What, when, and how

Below is a complete list of documentation that outlines reportable diseases with acceptable reporting methods and timeframes. Some diseases must be reported immediately by phone or electronic transmission. Other diseases must be reported within one working day of identification or within seven calendar days of identification.

For additional information on disease reporting, visit the California Department of Health (CDPH) Reportable Diseases and Conditions webpage.

For a list of reportable diseases for animal patients, see the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s List of Reportable Conditions for Animals and Animal Products.


Who is required to report a communicable disease?

All groups below are required to report independent of one another. For example, if a provider knows that a lab has already reported a disease, the provider is still required to report the disease.

Table 1 | Professionals and entities required to report infectious diseases
ReportersCode of regulations
Medical doctors, osteopaths, podiatrists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, nurse midwives, infection control practitioners, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, and administrators of health facilities and clinics with two or more health care providers.17 Cal. Code Regs. §2500
General acute care hospitals, acute psychiatric hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and home health agencies22 Cal. Code Regs. §§ 70737, 71535, 72537, 73533, and 74725
Laboratories17 Cal. Code Regs. §2505 
Veterinarians 17 Cal. Code Regs. §2500; 3 Cal. Code Regs. §797
Anyone in charge of a public or private school, kindergarten, boarding school, preschool, or childcare facility licensed by CDSS  17 Cal. Code Regs. §2508; 22 Cal. Code Regs. §101212
Most licensed facilities subject to Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations must, at minimum, report outbreaks or unusual occurrences of disease.22 Cal. Code Regs.

The Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) allows for communicable disease reporting as part of permitted disclosures for public health activities (45 CFS 164.512 (b)). No consent or authorization is required.


How to report

Most cases of reportable disease can be reported to the Public Health Department via fillable forms submitted by electronic transmission (CalREDIE), phone, or fax. Certain diseases must be reported by phone.

FormConfidential Morbidity Report (CMR)
Submission methods  



Submission methods

*Information in this section is not exhaustive. Refer to table 1 for a complete list of reportable diseases.


COVID-19 reporting to County of Santa Clara

This section outlines requirements to report COVID-19 to the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department.

Local reporting requirementReporting method

Hospitalizations or deaths: Providers are not required to report individual cases unless they are related to a hospitalization or death. Submit the COVID-19 Confidential Morbidity Report (CMR) Form for all hospitalizations or deaths.

MIS-C: Providers must submit the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with COVID-19 Case Report Form for all MIS-C cases. Please see instructions on the CDPH MIS-C webpage.

Outbreaks: Report all outbreaks of COVID-19 (as defined by CDPH). Providers may also contact the PHD’s Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Program at (408) 885-4214 to request outbreak response guidance.

Local reporting requirementReporting method
Laboratories shall report all positive COVID-19 tests.Electronically via CalREDIE

Local reporting requirementReporting method
There is no local public health requirement for reporting COVID-19 cases or outbreaks in non-health care businesses. However, non-health care businesses may contact the Public Health Department's Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Program at (408) 885-4214 to request outbreak response guidance.N/A

Local reporting requirementReporting method

Schools and childcare providers shall promptly notify the Public Health Department when at least 5% of their school population - with a minimum of 5 ill among students and staff - have reported a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection over a 14-day period.


Local reporting requirementReporting method
Shelters should promptly notify the Public Health Department when they have ≥3 suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases among staff and residents combined within a 7-day period.Shared Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT)

*CalREDIE (California Reportable Disease Information Exchange) can be used by health care providers, administrators and/or laboratories to securely submit reports to Public Health and comply with statewide regulatory requirements. Providers and Administrators can report electronically via CalREDIE (California Reportable Disease Information Exchange) Provider Portal (PP) to comply with provider disease reporting requirements as outlined in Title 17 CCR §2500. Laboratories must report to CalREDIE or to a system that is linked to CalREDIE via Electronic Lab Reporting (ELR) to comply with laboratory reporting requirements as outlined in Title 17 CCR § 2505.


Additional resources

The following instructions apply to all CMR Forms for human patients:

  • On first line of form, write the disease. Complete the patient's name, address, date of birth, phone number, and gender. Social security numbers are not necessary. 
  • Identify the whether the patient is pregnant, and if so, the estimated delivery date.
  • On the far right, enter the patient's ethnicity and race, if known.
  • On the center left, enter the date of onset and date of diagnosis. Enter the date of death if applicable.
  • In the center of the form, complete the Reporting Health Care Provider section. Please include phone and fax numbers.
  • The lower half of the page asks for additional information about sexually transmitted diseases, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis.
    • ​For hepatitis B or C, note whether the infection is chronic or acute.
    • For syphilis, include signs and symptoms to support syphilis staging and doses and dates of treatment administered.
  • In the Remarks section, enter the site of infection and medical record number, if applicable.
  • If pertinent lab reports are available, please send them along with the CMR.
  • Please be as complete as possible when entering information. ​

How to report cases

Do you have an existing SPOT account linked to the location you are reporting for?Take this action 
NoSubmit a SPOT intake form to report case information.  
  • You may report case information by logging into SPOT and reporting cases directly to the Location Account.
  • Click “Existing Users” to log in and navigate to the “Report Cases and Contacts” section of SPOT to submit new case information for the appropriate location from the drop-down list.

County reporting requirements will not be fully met until you submit case information for all positive individuals involved in the suspected outbreak.

Resources for reporting to SPOT