COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement

The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect against severe illness, hospitalization, and death is to get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccine is now one of the many vaccines that healthcare providers and healthcare workers are required to receive. Rhode Island regulations (216-RICR-20-15-8) require that healthcare providers and healthcare workers have received a complete series of COVID-19 vaccine (one dose of Johnson & Johnson, two doses of Pfizer or Moderna) by October 1, 2021.  

Through this regulation and its accompanying enforcement plan, the Rhode Island Department of Health will support healthcare facilities and licensees to safeguard patients, residents, and staff, while also preventing disruptions to care.   

 

Who Is Covered by the Regulation? 

Healthcare workers: A healthcare worker is any person who is an employee (temporary or permanent), volunteer, student, or contractor at a RIDOH-licensed healthcare facility. This includes trainees, healthcare providers with privileges at a facility, and people not directly involved in patient care (for example, clerical, dietary, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, and billing staff). 

Healthcare providers: All RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers are covered by the regulation regardless of whether they work in a healthcare facility (in other words, RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers who work in private practices are covered by the regulation). A healthcare provider means any person licensed by RIDOH to provide healthcare services. This includes but is not limited to, a physician, dentist, nurse, optometrist, podiatrist, physical therapist, social worker, emergency medical practitioner, psychologist, licensed massage therapist, provided such person is either directly involved in patient care or potentially exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted from person to person.  

Healthcare facilities: A healthcare facility is any facility in Rhode Island licensed by RIDOH to provide healthcare services. For the purposes of the COVID-19 vaccination regulation, assisted living facilities, adult daycare programs, and clinical laboratories were also included.  Health care facilities are further defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17-2(8). 

What Healthcare Facilities Should Do

COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation

Your facility should have received instructions to attest compliance or non-compliance with these regulations as of October 1, 2021. The email was sent to the address your organization provided for licensure renewal. If you believe your facility did not receive these instructions, please RIDOH Center for Health Facility Regulations at [email protected].  

Develop a COVID-19 Vaccination Corrective Action Plan

Health facilities that attest to non-compliance must develop a COVID-19 Vaccination Corrective Action Plan. These plans help safeguard patients, residents, and staff by holding health professionals and facilities accountable to the October 1 vaccination requirement, while also preventing disruptions to care in Rhode Island as healthcare facilities work towards full compliance. Facilities received Corrective Action Plan templates and instructions via email. If your facility has not received this via email, please reach out to [email protected].  

The COVID-19 Vaccination Corrective Action Plan must include the following information and attestations:  

  • The facility attests that it will achieve full compliance with the regulations no later than October 31, 2021. The Plan specifies the healthcare facility’s measures to attain full compliance, including the healthcare facility’s efforts to achieve 100% COVID-19 vaccination of all healthcare workers. 

  • The Plan specifies how any non-exempt, unvaccinated healthcare workers permitted to enter the healthcare facility on or after October 1, 2021 are critically necessary to the facility’s operation and/or patient care. The Plan also identifies approximately how many unvaccinated healthcare workers will be permitted to enter the facility on an average day and the duties to be performed. 

  • The Plan specifies the temporary infection protection measures that the healthcare facility will be implementing for COVID-19 unvaccinated staff who are critically necessary to the healthcare facility’s operation, and that such measures include COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated healthcare workers at least twice weekly. 

  • The Plan attests that healthcare workers onboarded by the facility on or after October 1, 2021 will be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their facility start dates. 

Facilites that have submitted COVID Vaccine Mandate Information

*See below for facilities’ attestations. A “Yes” in the third column indicates that as of October 1, 2021, the facility is and will remain in compliance with the regulation (216-RICR-20-15-8). A “No” in the third column indicates that the facility was not in compliance on October 1 but has submitted a plan to achieve compliance by October 31, 2021.

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