Resuming Adopt-A-Highway Operations

Department Of Transportation
Division Of Maintenance Ms-31
1120 N Street
P.O. Box 942873
Sacramento, California 94273-0001
Phone (916) 654-2926
Fax (916) 654-6016
TTY 711

June 1, 2020

Dear Adopt-A-Highway Volunteer:

I’d like to thank you for your patience and complying with Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-33-20 proclaiming a State of Emergency and for Californians to stay at home or at place of residence. Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Litter Removal Operations may resume Monday, June 15, 2020 if the following guidelines have been followed and documented:

1. The new Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic (attached) must be reviewed with all Adopt-A-Highway volunteers.

2. All volunteers participating in AAH operations must receive a copy of the Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic. The AAH Group Leader will be responsible to ensure all volunteers understand the Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic.

3. Your local AAH District Coordinator must have the signed Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic Training Confirmation Form (attached) on file to ensure receipt, compliance and provide copies of Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic, to all volunteers.

4. A copy of the Guidance for Litter Removal During COVID-19 Pandemic must be displayed on the dashboard of your car, truck or van while working on the Caltrans Right of Way.

This letter supersedes the letter of April 20, 2020 that suspended all Adopt-A-Highway operations until further notice.

Litter affects the quality of life of our citizens, the quality of our water and the quality of our environment. AAH participation is a big part of overcoming the litter problem in California.

Please visit the AAH website for updates regarding AAH operations. Again, I want to thank you for your patience and your commitment to the AAH Program.  


Trent Manning
Statewide Coordinator
Adopt-A-Highway Program

“Provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability”

Guidance for Litter Removal
During COVID-19 Pandemic for Caltrans Partners


The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has prepared the following guidelines to safely resume litter removal activities during the COVID-19 Pandemic. These guidelines should be followed by all Caltrans litter removal partners, which includes, Adopt-A-Highway (AAH)contractors and volunteers and Special People Program (SPP) contractors.

Partners can choose to follow their own guidelines or guidelines from the county health officials where they are operating, provided that those guidelines pertain to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and are more stringent than these guidelines.

Caltrans suspended litter removal activities, including efforts from its AAH and SPP partners,due to Governor  Newsome’s Executive Order N-33-20, which mandated non-essential Californian workers to stay at home. Governor Newsome has subsequently implemented a four-stage Resilience Roadmap to gradually modify Executive Order N-33-20, which include:

1. Stage 1- Safety and preparedness.

2. Stage 2- Resume lower-risk workplaces

3. Stage 3- Resume higher-risk workplaces

4. Stage 4- End of Stay Home Order

In accordance with Stage 2 of the Resilience Roadmap, before litter removal operations can resume the following steps shall be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19:

• Perform a detailed risk assessment and implement a work site-specific protection plan.See Section A below.

• Train volunteers and staff on how to limit the spread of COVID-19, including how to screen themselves for the symptoms and stay home if they have them. See Section B below.

• Implement disinfecting protocols. See Section C below.

• Implement physical distancing guidelines. See Section D below.

Failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in the litter operations to be temporarily discontinued or restricted.


A. Risk Assessment/Work site specific plan for litter removal. Contractors and partners shall:

a. Designate individual who will implement this plan

b. Obtain and train staff on COVID-19 protocols from the local health department where litter removal will take place. It is the responsibility of the contractor to comply.

c. Document the training and those who participated.

i. Documentation shall be saved for 90 days by Area Superintendents, District AAH coordinators and Program Managers for SPP.

d. Conduct monthly meetings remotely with district AAH coordinators, AAH Contractors and AAH Volunteer Group Leaders to ensure compliance.

e. Regularly inspect worksites for compliance and investigate any COVID-19 reported illness to determine if work related factors contributed to the risk of infection. Document and correct deficiencies identified.

f. Identify close contacts (individuals within six feet for 10 minutes or more) of a reported infected employee.

g. Encourage workers who are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to stay home.

h. Provide all the required protective equipment.

i. Encourage use of face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved. Face coverings must not be shared.

j. Ensure non-partners are not allowed to enter the work site

B. Training. Employee training shall include:

a. How to identify underlying health conditions that may make individuals more susceptible to contracting the virus.

b. How to self-screen at home, including temperature and/or symptoms checks using CDC guidelines.

c. Call in procedures when not reporting to work if any symptoms of COVID-19 are recognized from self-screening or if they or someone they live with has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

d. How to seek medical attention if their symptoms become severe, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips or face. Updates and further details are available on CDC’s webpage.

e. The importance of frequent handwashing with soap and water, including scrubbing with soap for 20 seconds (or using hand sanitizer with at least 60%ethanol or 70% isopropanol when employees cannot get to a sink or handwashing station, per CDC guidelines.

f. The importance of physical distancing, both at work and off work time (see Physical Distancing section below).

g. The proper use of face covering, including:

i. Face coverings are not personal protective equipment (PPE)

ii. Face coverings can help protect people, but do not replace the need for physical distancing and frequent handwashing.

iii. Employees should wash or sanitize hands before and after using and/or adjusting face coverings.

iv. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.

v. Face coverings should be washed after each shift.

C. Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols. Contractors and partners shall:

a. Perform thorough cleaning on high traffic areas such as staging areas (if applicable), transportation vehicles and equipment after each shift.

b. Clean touchable surfaces between shifts or between users, whichever is more frequent, including but not limited to working surfaces, tools, handles and latches, and control on stationary and mobile equipment, including surfaces in the cabs of all vehicles.

c. Require workers to wash hands or use sanitizer between the use of shared equipment, tools, radios, phones and other items.

d. Require PPE equipment such as hard hats and any face shields, be sanitized at the end of each shift. Clean and disinfect the inside of the equipment, then the outside, then wash hands.

e. Avoid sharing phones, office supplies, other work tools, or handheld mobile communication equipment wherever possible. Individually assigned peripheral equipment (keyboards, handsets, headsets, chairs, etc.) should be provided wherever possible. If necessary, clean and disinfect them before and after each use. Never share PPE.

f. Ensure that sanitary facilities always stay operational and stocked and provide additional soap, paper towels, and hand sanitizer when needed.

g. Provide additional sanitary facilities (including portable toilets and handwashing stations) if feasible and necessary to maintain physical distancing during scheduled breaks.

h. Install hands-free devices, if possible, including motion sensor sinks, soap dispensers, sanitizer dispenser, and paper towel dispensers.

i. Choose cleaning chemicals and products approved for use against COVID-19 listed on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved list and follow product instructions. Use disinfection labeled to be effective against emerging viral pathogens, diluted household bleach solutions (5 tablespoons per gallon of water), or alcohol solutions with at least 75% alcohol that are appropriate for the surface. Provide employees training on the manufacturer’s directions and Cal/OSHA requirements for safe use. Workers using cleaners or disinfectants should wear gloves as required by the product instructions.

D. Physical Distancing Guidelines. Contractors and partners shall:

a. Implement measures to ensure physical distancing of at least six feet between workers.

b. Adjust work site meetings to ensure physical distancing and implement smaller individual safety meetings at the jobsite to maintain physical distancing.Transition other meetings and interviews to phone or digital platforms or hold outside or in a space allowing for at least six feet of physical distance between employees.

c. When possible, transition meetings and interviews to phone or virtual plat forms or hold outside or in a space allowing for at least six feet of physical distance between employees.

d. Allow only 2-4 people to be transported while using passenger vans with no more than one person per row sitting farthest away from the person on the row before. If passenger vans are not available, cars can be used with only 2 people in the car. The passenger must sit in the back seat directly behind the front passenger seat. The cab should be kept well ventilated and crew members should not be reassign or comingled.

e. Park in a wide and safe area when using multiple vehicles to transport workers, in order to maintain social distancing. Use of safety pull outs is recommended.

f. Encourage crew members to wear face coverings when physical distancing cannot be achieved. Face coverings should meet the CDC guidelines.

g. Require crew members to wear rubber or nitrile gloves when picking up litter.

h. Utilize work practices, when feasible and necessary, to limit the number of workers on the jobsite at one time. For example, when onsite terrain and features requires workers to work closely together. This may include scheduling (e.g. staggering shift start/end times) or rotating crew access to a designated area during a shift. Stage the jobsite to stagger work and limit overlap of workcrews.

i. Stagger employee breaks, within compliance with wage and hour regulations, to maintain physical distancing protocols.

j. Encourage crew members to bringing a lunch made at home or purchase takeout or delivery where available as long as they can avoid congested areas.

k. Avoid unsheltered camps and people experiencing homelessness.

Group Leader Signature (PDF)