COVID-19 Response, MEMOs, Testing, Testing, Uncategorized, Updates

CORRECTED: MANDATORY STAFF COVID‑19 TESTING AND ACCOMMODATIONREQUESTS

NOTE: The Richard A. McGee Correctional Training Center (CTC) in Galt and all 34 adult institutions are the only ones covered by the new testing guidelines. The PCR test will continue to be used at all other CDCR and CCHCS work locations

As California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional HealthCare Services (CCHCS) adjust to the demands of the COVID-19 disease, a decision was made to move to a platform of Point-of-Care (POC) rapid antigen testing for unvaccinated, partially-vaccinated, and specified booster-eligible but unboosted staff.1 The term “staff” herein pertains to CDCR/CCHCS and California Prison Industry Authority (CalPIA) civil service employees, registry providers, and contract
workers.

Transitioning to POC rapid antigen testing provides the Department the ability to intervene quickly asstaff who test positive are notified of the result and the need to leave CDCR/CCHCS grounds
immediately. POC rapid antigen tests provide results in approximately fifteen (15) minutes rather
than forty-eight (48) hours and are only available via nasal testing.

ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS FOR CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES
CDCR/CCHCS/CalPIA civil service employees with an accommodation request for an alternate method of COVID-19 testing on the basis of a sincerely-held religious belief or due to qualifying medical reason(s) shall immediately submit a request for a religious or reasonable medical accommodation. The Department shall engage in the interactive process to ensure a timely and appropriate determination of religious or reasonable medical accommodation.

a. Religious Accommodation Requests for Civil Service Employees
CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA civil service employees who wish to submit an accommodation request
due to a sincerely-held religious belief shall immediately contact their supervisor and local Equal
Employment Opportunity (EEO) Coordinator. Religious accommodation requests for alternate
COVID-19 testing may be submitted by staff in writing via a CDCR Form 2273, Request for Religious
Accommodation, indicating the individual’s sincerely-held religious belief that precludes them
from completing a nasal COVID-19 rapid antigen test.

b. Reasonable Medical Accommodation Requests for Civil Service Employees
CDCR/CCHCS/CalPIA civil service employees who wish to submit a request for a reasonable
medical accommodation due to a qualifying medical, mental health, or developmental condition
shall immediately contact their supervisor and local Return-to-Work Coordinator (RTWC). CCHCS
civil service employees may submit a request by emailing
CCHCS_Disability_Management_Unit@cdcr.ca.gov.

All CDCR/CCHCS/CalPIA requests require a CDCR Form 855, Request for Reasonable
Accommodation and a healthcare provider’s written verification indicating limitations or
restrictions from completing a nasal COVID-19 rapid antigen test and duration of the limitations
or restrictions.

CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA civil service employees with a pending or approved request for a religious
accommodation or reasonable medical accommodation shall continue to report to work, obtain saliva testing twice-weekly with at least 48-72-hours between each test (for staff assigned in healthcare settings) or once-weekly (for all other staff).2

ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS FOR REGISTRY PROVIDERS AND CONTRACT WORKERS
Registry providers and contract workers with an accommodation request for an alternate method of
COVID-19 testing shall submit their request as follows:


a. Religious Accommodation Requests for Registry Providers and Contract Workers
Requests for religious accommodation from registry providers and contract workers shall follow
the same process as civil service employees, as previously outlined. Additionally, for CCHCS
registry providers and contract workers, once a determination on the religious accommodation
request is made, Hiring Authorities (HA) shall notify the CCHCS Direct Care Contracts Section
(DCCS) by emailing cchcshealthcarecontractshelpdesk@cdcr.ca.gov, the provider/contractor, and
the network contractor (if applicable).


b. Reasonable Medical Accommodation Requests for Registry Providers and Contract Workers
CDCR contract workers shall direct requests for reasonable medical accommodations to their
respective contractor/employer.

CCHCS registry providers and contract workers’ requests for reasonable medical accommodation
shall be submitted to their vendor/contractor/network contractor, along with the required signed
medical statement. Upon determination by their vendor/contractor/network contractor, denials
and/or approvals (with corresponding signed medical statements) shall be forwarded to the
CCHCS DCCS Helpdesk at: cchcshealthcarecontractshelpdesk@cdcr.ca.gov. Upon receipt of the
approval or denial by the vendor/contractor/network contractor, DCCS shall forward to the HA at
the location(s) the provider/contractor renders services.

Registry providers and contract workers with a pending or approved request for a religious or reasonable medical accommodation for an alternate method of COVID-19 testing shall continue to
report to work, obtain saliva testing twice-weekly with at least 48-72-hours between each test (for
staff assigned in health care settings) or once-weekly (for all other staff).3

HIRING AUTHORITY RESPONSIBILITIES
The Hiring Authority (HA) shall email the Employee Health Program (EHP) mailbox at
EHP@cdcr.ca.gov a list of CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA staff with a pending, approved, or denied request for a religious or reasonable medical accommodation. EHP shall notify the vendor to ensure saliva testing is made available for CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA staff who have a pending or approved request for religious accommodation or reasonable medical accommodation.

If the religious or reasonable medical accommodation is denied, CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA staff will have
14 calendar days to become compliant with nasal COVID-19 rapid antigen test. CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA staff with a pending request for a religious or reasonable medical accommodation shall not be removed from their assigned posts or positions, and no disciplinary action shall be issued unless the request is denied and staff still refuse to comply within the compliance timeframe specified when they were notified of the denial.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH MANDATORY COVID-19 TESTING
CDCR/CCHCS/CALPIA civil service employees who do not comply with mandatory COVID-19 testing
requirements and have neither requested nor been provided a religious or reasonable medical
accommodation shall be subject to corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section 3392, Employee Discipline, and the Department Operations Manual Chapter 3, Article 22, Employee Discipline.

Registry providers and contract workers who do not comply with the mandatory COVID-19 testing
requirements and have neither requested nor been provided a religious or reasonable medical
accommodation shall be subject to assignment termination. Non-compliance by registry providers
and contract workers shall be reported to the vendor/contractor/network contractor following
established method(s) of communication.

QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS
If you have any questions or concerns, inquiries shall be directed as follows:
 For religious accommodation-related questions, contact the local Equal Employment Opportunity
Coordinator.
 For reasonable medical accommodation-related questions, contact the Return to Work
Coordinator for civil service employees, or appropriate vendor/contractor/network contractor for
registry providers and contract workers.
 For progressive discipline-related questions, contact the assigned Employee Relations Officer or
Health Care Employee Relations Officer.
 For COVID-19 testing questions, and any other COVID-19-related questions, contact the Employee
Health Program at EHP@cdcr.ca.gov