Types of Approved COVID‑19 Tests

This page is to provide information to CDCR and CCHCS staff on the types of COVID-19 tests that provide accurate test results to determine if you test positive for the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 tests that are collected from your nose and/or throat by a licensed health professional by swabbing the back of the nasal cavity through the nostril is the preferred choice. Alternatively, the health care professional could may swab the back of your throat.  

The results from only these tests can be used to determine if you are positive for the COVID-19 virus and for the potential approval of Administrative Time Off (ATO).

A COVID-19 test done with a sample of your blood (serology) only detects if your body has developed antibodies in response to the COVID-19 virus. It does not detect the virus. Currently the FDA HAS NOT approved any at-home or self-test kits.  The FDA is actively researching the accuracy of at-home and self-test kits.

The CDCR Office of Employee Health (OEH) is monitoring the information released by the FDA and will notify staff of any changes in the COVID-19 testing procedures.

  • The OEH wants to provide you with the information to make informed choices in your health care and to ensure staff understand that if an employee elects to take a non FDA COVID-19 test they will not be deemed positive and time off work will be evaluated as such.
  • An OEH nurse consultant is contacting all employees infected by the COVID-19 virus to provide support, information and education. In order to assist employees timely, when self-reporting you are positive for COVID-19 you will be asked to submit a copy of the COVID-19 test results to your assigned OEH nurse.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms and have attempted to receive a test from a licensed health professional via a nose and/or throat swab and are not successful please contact the assigned OEH Nurse Consultant for your institution/work location.

Up-to-date information related to COVID-19 can be found at: