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Revised COVID‑19 facial covering guidance for staff and residents within institutions and facilities – Update to Feb. 1, 2023 memo

This memorandum updates facial covering requirements for California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS), and Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) institutions/facilities and supersedes the February 1, 2023, memorandum entitled “UPDATED COVID-19 FACIAL COVERING GUIDANCE FOR STAFF AND RESIDENTS AND INSTITUTIONS AND FACILITIES – FEBRUARY 2023.” The updated facial covering guidance outlined herein applies to all individuals who live in or enter an institution/facility regardless of COVID-19 vaccination/booster status. This includes residents, staff, contractors, volunteers, and visitors.

This memo provides guidance as it relates only to COVID-19. Employees required to wear a tight- fitting respirator are determined based on a job hazard analysis of the worksite and worksite tasks or other tasks that their classification may require. Note: Staff identified in the Department Operations Manual (DOM), Section 31020.8, Respiratory Protection Program, who are required to wear respirator(s) shall comply with California Code of Regulation (CCR), Title 8, sections 5144 and 5199.

As a reminder, leadership at each institution/facility shall continue to monitor staff for compliance with facial coverings. In the event an employee is out of compliance, supervisors and managers shall utilize the progressive discipline process as outlined in CCR, Title 15, section 3392, Employee Discipline, and DOM, Article 22, Employee Discipline. Supervisors and managers are also reminded to utilize DOM, section 33030.8, Causes for Corrective Action, and section 33030.9, Causes for Adverse Action.

Facial covering guidance for staff, visitors, volunteers

LocationMinimum Required Face Covering
All isolation and quarantine areas including buildings/units that are in OUTBREAK PHASEN95 respirator*
TransportationProcedure mask
(N95 respirator* if transporting patients who are on isolation or quarantine)
CTC, OHU, TTA, SNF, dialysis, hospiceProcedure mask
Medical and dental clinics and waiting roomsProcedure mask
Dental operatories, sterilization rooms, dental laboratories and other areas where Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGP) are performed. (CDCR and PIA prosthetic production labs follow local procedure.)N95 respirator*
Indoors excluding the following: isolation and quarantine areas, buildings/units that are in OUTBREAK PHASE, CTC, OHU, TTA, SNF, dialysis, hospice, medical clinics/medical clinic waiting rooms, dental clinics/dental clinic waiting rooms/dental operatories and transportationFace coverings are optional but encouraged
Outdoors and administrative areasFace coverings are optional
Exposed but asymptomatic staff who test negative and continue to workProcedure mask
* All individuals who are required to wear an N95 respirator shall be medically cleared and fit tested in compliance with CCR, Title 8, sections 5144 and 5199.

For questions or concerns regarding staff facial covering guidance, please contact your respective supervisor or manager.

Facial covering guidance for residents

LocationMinimum Required Face Covering
Residents who are housed in isolationProcedure mask unless on bed
Residents who are housed in quarantine including buildings/units that are in OUTBREAK PHASEKN95 encouraged; procedure mask at
a minimum unless on bed
Residents who are housed in CTC or OHU and not in isolation or quarantineProcedure mask when out of cell/dorm
All other resident housing areasFace coverings are optional
Residents who are being transportedProcedure mask
TTA, SNF, dialysis, hospiceProcedure mask
Medical and dental clinics and waiting roomsProcedure mask
Indoors excluding the following: isolation and quarantine areas, buildings/units that are in OUTBREAK PHASE, CTC, OHU, TTA, SNF, dialysis, hospice, medical clinics/ medical clinic waiting rooms, and transportationFace coverings are optional
Outdoors and administrative areasFace coverings are optional
Exposed but asymptomatic residents who test negative and continue to workProcedure mask

When staff observe residents failing to adhere to facial covering directives, the resident will be directed to wear his/her mask as required. Further violations may result in corrective action and progressive discipline.

For questions or concerns regarding residents’ facial covering guidance, please contact the Institutional Watch Commander.