1. Is there a cost at the time of testing or will I be charged a co-pay from my health care provider? No, testing is paid for by the Department.
  2. Who is doing the testing? COVID-19 tests are conducted by trained clinical professionals who following personal data protection requirements and applicable laws will conduct testing, and have specimens delivered to a lab.
  3. What kind of COVID test is it? Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized COVID- 19 oropharyngeal (back of throat swab) and/or nasopharyngeal (nasal swab) test utilizing polymerase chain reaction testing.
  4. How long will it take to get my results? Approximately 72 hours.  If you have not received notification of your results being available and 72 hours has passed since you were tested, email the Employee Test Help Desk at
  5. Do I still come to work after I get my COVID test? Yes, if you pass entrance screening questions you should report to work.  All PPE requirements, such as face covering, social distancing, and cleaning procedures should be followed. If you experience symptoms, do not report to work and follow existing call out procedures. If you begin feeling ill while at work, notify your supervisor immediately.
  6. How will I be notified of my test results? You will be sent a text message and/or e-mail with a link to access your test results. Upon COVID-19 test check in, verify the vendor has the phone number and email address to which you want your results sent. If you do not provide an e-mail, the default will be your CDCR e-mail address on file.
  7. What happens if I am positive? Do not report to work.  Follow existing call out procedures.  Contact your Return to Work Coordinator (RTWC) for assistance with the return to work process.
  8. Will I receive ATO if I am positive? No. Staff that test positive are not eligible for ATO. However, staff may telework, if available; use FFCRA if available; may utilize leave credits including CBT, NDI or SDI. All questions in relation to ATO should be directed to:
  9. I have already tested positive for COVID-19, do I need to test again? Staff who have previously tested positive (confirmed by the institution or youth facility), and have returned to work should not retest again until 12 weeks have elapsed since their case was resolved.
  10. I took a COVID-19 ANTI BODY (serology) test, do I have to test? YES, you still have to test. An antibody test, also called a serological test, is supposed to be able to detect whether a person has already had the coronavirus before, and has since recovered. The test does this by testing individuals’ blood for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have already recovered from the virus and therefore may have gained a certain degree of immunity to it. It is not known yet if having antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19 can protect someone from getting infected again or, if they do, how long this protection might last.
  11. I recently had a COVID-19 test and it was negative, do I have to test again? Yes, COVID-19 tests are a point in time test. Receiving a negative result does not mean you will not become positive in the future.
  12. Is this testing mandatory for all state employees not just staff assigned to my institution? If so why not? Testing is mandatory for all institutions and youth facilities.  The testing is mandated according to the United States District Court; Northern District of California Case No. 01-cv-01351-JST.
  13. If this is mandated, I should not not be required to share my medical history with anyone other than my primary medical doctor.

Sharing Protected Health Information during the COVID-19 Public Health Crisis:

May share patient information with anyone as necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health and safety of a person or the public – consistent with applicable law (such as state statutes, regulations, or case law)

The department follows all laws, rules, regulations related to privacy. The Employee Health Program staff have had training regarding employee privacy.

14. If I do not test what will happen? The testing is mandated according to the United States District Court; Northern District of California Case No. 01-cv-01351-JST. There is a potential for progressive discipline