Required COVID‑19 facial coverings

Non-institutional work locations

NOTE: This facial coverings memorandum is superceded by the March 3, 2022 memorandum Updated COVID-19 facial covering guidance for non-institutional work locations.

February 15, 2022

This memorandum updates facial covering requirements at California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) non-institutional work locations. The requirements outlined herein are effective February 16, 2022, and supersede the June 25, 2021, memorandum entitled, “New and Existing COVID-19 Protocols at Headquarters, Regional, and Field Office Locations.”

Facial coverings required in non-institutional locations

Pursuant to the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance for the Use of Face Masks, the universal indoor masking requirement for non-institutional settings is expiring on February 15, 2022, for fully-vaccinated individuals.

(Read the CDPH face mask guidance.)

Effective February 16, 2022, all individuals entering a CDCR/CCHCS non-institutional work location (i.e. Headquarters, Regional, and Field Offices) shall abide by the following:

  • Uvaccinated/partially-vaccinated individuals must wear facial coverings of either a surgical/procedure mask or KN95 mask while indoors at all times. Cloth masks alone are no longer acceptable and shall not be worn indoors.
  • For fully-vaccinated individuals[1], facial coverings are not required, however they are recommended while indoors at all times when risk may be high (i.e. during a COVID-19 outbreak).
  • Individuals who have been fit-tested may elect to wear a higher-level respirator
    (i.e. N95 mask) indoors.
  • In counties where the local health jurisdiction issues a stricter facial covering mandate
    (i.e. requiring indoor masking for fully-vaccinated individuals), individuals shall follow the local facial covering mandate. Please monitor and comply with local public health ordinances.
  • For staff required to wear a facial covering, limited exceptions to indoor facial covering requirements apply, including:
    • While actively eating or drinking, if a minimum of six feet of physical distance is maintained from all other individuals.
    • When alone in an office with the door closed.
    • When a medical, mental health, or developmental condition/disability, or hearing-impairment exists. Staff requesting a reasonable medical accommodation for facial coverings shall contact their supervisor and local Return-To-Work coordinator. Staff requesting a religious accommodation for facial coverings shall contact their supervisor and local Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinator. The Department shall engage in the interactive process with staff.

Individuals entering a CDCR/CCHCS institution/facility shall follow facial covering requirements for CDCR/CCHCS institutional/facility settings as posted on Lifeline. 

Ordering facial coverings for non-institutions

CDCR/CCHCS shall provide surgical/procedure/KN95 facial coverings to individuals entering a CDCR/CCHCS non-institutional work location, upon request. Non-institutional Hiring Authorities shall ensure there is adequate supply of facial coverings available in non-institutional work locations at all times as follows:

For CDCR Hiring Authorities:

  • Hiring Authorities shall email their request via a Resource Request Message form (ICS 213 RR).
  • Hiring Authorities shall submit requests for a 90-day supply. Email another ICS 213 RR when program is down to a 30-day supply.
  • CDCR will ship requested facial coverings no later than the next business day.

For CCHCS Hiring Authorities:

  • Hiring Authorities shall submit a Supply Requisition form via Service Now Portal to
    Business Operations Services (BOS). The requestor shall select the Business Operations Request option, and attach the Supply Requisition form.
  • Hiring authorities shall submit requests for a 90-day supply. Submit another Supply Requisition Form when program is down to a 30-day supply.
  • CCHCS BOS will ship requested facial coverings no later than the next business day.

Non-compliance requirements

As a reminder, non-institution leadership shall continue to monitor staff for compliance with facial coverings. Supervisors and managers shall utilize the progressive discipline process as outlined in the California Code of Regulations, Title 15, section 3392, Employee Discipline, and the Department Operations Manual (DOM), Article 22, Employee Discipline, to address staff who fail to comply with these directives. Supervisors and managers should utilize DOM section 33030.8, Causes for Corrective Action, and section 33030.9, Causes for Adverse Action.

View current facial covering directives on Lifeline. This directive will be regularly reviewed and revised as necessary based on response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For questions or concerns, please contact your respective supervisor or manager.

[1] Individuals are considered fully-vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-shot series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as the J&J/Janssen vaccine.