New and Existing COVID‑19 Protocols at Headquarters, Regional, and Field Offices

The purpose of this memorandum is to clarify employee, visitor, and supervisory expectations regarding new and existing COVID-19 protocols at headquarters (HQ), regional, and field office locations. For the purposes of this guidance, visitor is defined as contractors, vendors, individuals not employed by CDCR/CCHCS, and members of the public.

These expectations do not apply to CDCR institutions or facilities. When visiting, working, or performing duties at any CDCR institutions or facilities, employees and visitors shall wear either a procedure, N95, or KN95 mask at all times, with limited exceptions. For full guidelines, please refer to the May 10, 2021 memorandum “Recommended COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment for Employees and Inmates.”

In accordance with the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 8, Section 3205, COVID-19 Prevention, and the Governor’s Executive Order (EO) N-09-21, CDCR and CCHCS shall adhere to the revised COVID-19 guidance set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). Effective immediately, all employees and visitors shall adhere to the following when visiting, working, or performing duties at any CDCR/CCHCS HQ, regional, or field office locations:

  • For employees and visitors, face coverings are not required outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Employees and visitors have the option to maintain six-foot physical distancing if they choose, regardless of vaccination status.
  • For fully vaccinated employees and visitors, face coverings are not required indoors, except when visiting any Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) field office.
  • Fully vaccinated employees and visitors have the option to wear a face covering, if they choose.
  • For unvaccinated employees and visitors, face coverings are required indoors at all times, except when:
    • Alone in a room or vehicle.
    • Eating or drinking at the workplace, provided six-foot physical distance is maintained.
    • Wearing a respirator in compliance with CCR, Title 8, Section 5144 – Respiratory Protection.
    • A medical, mental health, or developmental condition/disability, or hearing-impairment exists. Refer to the Reasonable Accommodation and Religious Accommodation of the May 10, 2021 memorandum for further information.
  • For inmate-workers and parolees, face coverings are required indoors at all times, regardless of vaccination status. Refer to the May 10, 2021 memorandum for the limited exceptions.

Face Coverings and Requesting N95 Respirators

Unvaccinated employees and visitors, and inmate-workers and parolees (regardless of vaccination status), shall wear a cloth mask, N95, KN95 or polypropylene procedure mask at HQ, regional, and field office locations. Sleeve-style facial coverings (gaiter masks), bandanas, and face coverings with exhalation valves or vents shall not be worn. Properly worn face coverings shall cover the nose, mouth, and chin.

Pursuant to Title 8, Section 3205, COVID-19 Prevention, CDCR and CCHCS shall provide N95 respirators to any employee, visitor, inmate-worker and parolee upon request, regardless of vaccination status. Hiring Authorities shall ensure there is adequate supply of N95s available at all times as follows:

For CCHCS Hiring Authorities:

For CDCR Hiring Authorities:

Employee Compliance and Supervisory Expectations

All departmental supervisors and managers shall ensure employees who are unmasked indoors are fully vaccinated. Pursuant to CCR, Title 8, Section 3205, “fully vaccinated” means the employer has documented that the person received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, and the documentation shall be kept confidential. Employees shall self-attest their vaccination status, and supervisors and managers shall maintain a confidential record of each employee who self-attests in their supervisory file. These records shall not be retained in the employee’s official personnel file. Records shall be retained in a confidential manner until further notice. Visitors are not required to self-attest their vaccine status, and are expected to follow face covering requirements if unvaccinated.

Employees who decline to provide their vaccine status shall be treated as unvaccinated and shall be subject to the face covering requirements for unvaccinated individuals.

In order to protect employee privacy and the rights of disabled employees, and to ensure respect and dignity in the workplace, all employees and supervisors shall adhere to the following:

  • Limit information provided.
    • Employees shall only attest to vaccination status and not reveal any other medical information.
    • Supervisors shall not ask questions that require employees to divulge unnecessary information.
    • Supervisors shall not ask questions of employees who choose not to provide vaccination status information unless the employee’s response is unclear. For example, departments should not ask why an employee is not vaccinated. Someone could have a religious objection or a medical condition that makes the vaccine dangerous for them. Questions should not require the employee to reveal that type of information.
  • Address potential workplace bullying/violence. For example:
    • Employees and supervisors shall respect physical distancing when practiced by an individual, as some individuals will be masked and unmasked in the workplace.
    • Employees shall not inquire or make comments regarding masked and unmasked status of individuals.

Employees who misrepresent their vaccine status, and/or engage in workplace bullying/violence, may be subject to corrective or disciplinary action in accordance with Department Operations Manual, Article 22, Employee Discipline, Section 33030.8, Causes for Corrective Action, and 33030.9, Causes for Adverse Action. Supervisors and managers shall refer these cases to each department’s respective Employee Relations Officer.

CDCR/CCHCS strives to continually assess workplace hazards and implement controls to prevent transmission of disease. All other Emergency Temporary Standards from Cal/OSHA will be followed, and protocols are outlined in the CDCR/CCHCS COVID-19 Prevention Program. If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, vaccination, or other COVID-19 related topics, please contact the Employee Health Program at For all other questions, please contact your direct supervisor/manager.