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Major Outbreak Procedures

UPE met again on August 19, 2022, with representatives from DHA to further discuss the Major Outbreak Testing Procedures. Cal-OHSA rules require buildings in a major outbreak to have their workers take COVID tests twice a week and report the results. Employees are allowed to self-test at the worksite or visit an outside provider. This meeting concerned ongoing issues with off-site testing. UPE members at East Commerce and Greenhaven informed UPE that both worksites were restricting and/or prohibiting employees from scheduling off-site appointments in the afternoon. UPE strongly objected to these restrictions and pointed out that rather than preventing workload impacts, they simply spread them to a different time of day. Additionally, UPE took time to point out to DHA that they could be taking steps to modify the services provided at the Service Centers in response to lowered staffing levels. Instead, the Department is burdening staff further by limiting when they can test.

Ultimately, DHA agreed that there are no prohibitions on when employees can schedule testing. However, there are limits to how many people can be allowed at any time during the day. If workers request time off in the afternoon to test and are denied, they should ask for the reason. There should not be any blanket prohibition on afternoon appointments.


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