Extension of routine surveillance COVID testing exemption for fully vaccinated employees and patients

During May, June and July, CDCR and CCHCS exempted fully vaccinated staff and incarcerated people from routine surveillance testing for COVID. This action was taken based upon the finding that fully vaccinated individuals appear to be less likely to transmit the virus to others.

We continue to monitor the spread of newer more transmissible COVID variants, some of which have been shown to be more likely to lead to hospitalization and death. The Delta strain is now the most common variant among recently infected CDCR/CCHCS staff. This variant is much easier to transmit, and more likely to result in hospitalization. We encourage those of you who are not yet vaccinated to request one now so that you, your families, and all of those around you are protected going forward.

CDCR and CCHCS are at this time extending the hiatus from routine surveillance testing for all fully vaccinated staff and incarcerated persons until further notice. Testing will continue for all incarcerated persons and employees, regardless of vaccination status, who are identified as close contacts of active cases. Testing for the incarcerated will also continue as described in the current movement matrix, as part of the in person visiting program and prior to dental encounters at institutions that have active COVID cases.

If you were vaccinated outside of CDCR, please refer to the May 19, 2021, memo titled, “Submission of COVID-19 Vaccination Record” for instructions on how to incorporate that information to your CDCR Employee Vaccination Record.