Introducing Caltrans’ COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program

For the health and safety story 

By the Office of Employee Health & Safety

On July 26, Caltrans initiated weekly mandatory COVID-19 testing to all employees whose COVID-19 vaccination status is not verified per the direction provided by the Administration to implement enhanced safety measures. Further details of that announcement can be found in PIB 21-29.

To comply with the weekly mandatory COVID-19 testing, the following employees must adhere to testing when accessing any Caltrans facility:

  • Employees who are not fully vaccinated.
  • Employees for whom vaccine status is unknown or documentation is not provided.

Note: Testing is only for employees who are and remain asymptomatic. Employees experiencing symptoms are required to stay home and consult with their medical provider for guidance.

At this moment, weekly testing does not apply to employees who are 100 percent teleworking or are on extended leave until such time that the employee needs to access a Caltrans facility. Adherence to weekly testing will be rolled out in phases. The roll out schedule is to be determined and will be communicated when established.

Employees who are not vaccinated or did not disclose their status will receive an email with instructions on how to register for testing when testing is required of them. The email will contain a link specific to each District and/or testing site. NOTE: The email must not be shared to avoid registration at the wrong testing site.

Employees, including teleworkers, who report to any worksite (other than their home) to conduct Caltrans business are expected to adhere to the testing requirements of that location. Unvaccinated and unverified employees who fall into this category should work with their supervisor and contact the location prior to arrival.

Employees who are required to test and do not test, may be docked as Absent Without Leave (AWOL) for any in-office scheduled shifts on or between the test date cited above and the next available testing date. At this time, testing will occur once a week. Telework is not a substitute for employees who have not tested and are not able to access their assigned workstation due to the mandate issued by Governor Newsom. Employees who do not test or are docked as AWOL may also be subject to disciplinary action or AWOL separation from state service.