Information for Workplaces

Information about economic support and COVID-19 guidance for businesses can be found at the RI Commerce website or by calling 521-HELP (521-4357). 

While Rhode Island has ended business restrictions, vaccination, testing, ventilation, and indoor masking are still important tools to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Read RIDOH Business Resource Package from The Rhode Island Department of Health, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, and the Department of Business Regulation to encourage businesses to make the best choices they can to promote public health and their economic success.

Masking Guidance

Governor Dan McKee announced actions to address the significant increase in COVID-19 cases and pressure on Rhode Island’s hospitals. These measures include masking or proof of vaccination at certain indoor venues, including entertainment venues, retail, places of worship, manufacturing, and offices. These temporary measures go into effect on Monday, December 20.

Whether or not you’re fully vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask and physically distance if a business, organization, or other entity requires it. Some settings, such as healthcare and transportation, have more restrictive federal masking policies.

Signage Resources

As a business owner, you can require employees and customers to wear masks and physically distance while at your place of business whether or not they’re fully vaccinated. The resources below include several masking signs and an optional employee and client screening tool that you may choose to display based on your policies. 

Take action when notified of a confirmed case

  • Exclude the person from the workplace immediately and instruct them to isolate.
  • Help provide employee supports to isolate at home including support to work remotely, if possible.
  • Create a list of direct contacts to the positive case that were likely exposed starting from two days before symptom onset OR test date, whichever came first.
  • Exclude all direct contacts from the workplace and instruct them to quarantine.
  • Notify RIDOH of the case and of the case’s direct contacts using the RIDOH COVID-19 Business Report Form.
  • Conduct cleaning and disinfection of all areas in the workplace exposed by the case.
  • Ask any lab-confirmed positive cases to answer RIDOH’s phone call and to participate in a brief interview and contact tracing.
  • Request any probable cases get tested as soon as symptoms start.

Report positive cases to RIDOH

If your business has identified positive cases of COVID-19, please complete this RIDOH COVID-19 Business Report Form.

  • To upload lists of multiple employees at once, use this form
  • This reporting protocol only applies to businesses with cases among employees, and excludes healthcare facilities and congregate care sites. 

Report positive cases as soon as possible so RIDOH can better help you prevent the rapid spread of illness in your workplace and in the community. Providing RIDOH with timely and accurate information is critical to prevent continued spread of this virus.

Reporting tips

  • Employers sometimes learn about lab-confirmed, positive cases before a laboratory result is received at RIDOH.
  • When this happens, it’s helpful if an employer finds out which test site the case used and on what date.
  • When possible, get a copy of the positive lab result from employees to expedite the RIDOH contact-tracing process.

Support RIDOH investigations of clusters of positive cases

Rhode Island businesses, institutions, and organizations can help limit the spread of COVID-19 by taking the following steps when RIDOH has identified that there were two or more cases within a business within a 14-day period that may be linked to each other: 

  • Cooperate fully with RIDOH when a cluster of cases is detected within any given setting. This includes the requirement to provide critical information to RIDOH to evaluate and assess the severity of any detected cluster of cases.
  • In partnership with RIDOH, implement control measures to prevent further disease transmission in a cluster of cases scenario.
  • Maintain communication with RIDOH until confirmed clusters of cases have been fully resolved.

The following resources and tools can help employers assess whether a staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 may have exposed others in the workplace. RIDOH encourages practices to use these tools to identify and inform other staff who are close contacts and should quarantine, and to instruct them to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from exposure.

Key Resources

If you test positive for COVID-19, you can end isolation and return to work after these three things have happened:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared and
  • You have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and
  • Your other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving (a loss of taste or smell may take longer to improve so should not delay the end of isolation)

If you tested positive but never had symptoms, you must isolate for 10 days from the date that you were tested.

People with severe COVID-19 or with weakened immune systems (immunocompromised*) may need to isolate for more than 10 days. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are immunocompromised.

*Review more detailed guidance on quarantine and isolation for different populations.

Except for rare situations, after testing positive, you do not need to get another test for COVID-19 to end isolation.

Learn more about quarantine and isolation.

On-Site Business Vaccination Clinics

On-Site Business Testing Program

  • This program supplies rapid COVID-19 test kits to Rhode Island businesses, first responder agencies, and community organizations so they may conduct regular testing of employees. RIDOH will provide training materials and guidance so you may train your team, conduct the tests, and report all test results to RIDOH. For information about how to enroll in the on-site business testing program, email [email protected]
  • On-site rapid testing is a fast and easy way to protect your workplace and the broader community from COVID-19. By participating in this program, you will be able to quickly identify whether someone needs to isolate at home. This will prevent other employees from getting sick and help keep your workplace open safely.
    • This program does not provide staffing to support on-site testing. Each test kit comes with instructions for self-swabbing. Test results are easy to read and ready in 15 minutes.
  • This program is currently accepting new enrollments, and groups that were formerly testing who would like to re-enroll. If you choose to enroll, you will have a designated point of contact on the RIDOH testing team. That person will help you order test kits and ensure you are reporting all test results.

Talk to your employees about resources that may be available to them during COVID-19.