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 stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations. Rhode Island regulations (216-RICR-20-15-7) require that healthcare workers or assisted living residence workers shall be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, meaning a person has received all recommended doses of COVID-19—including a booster dose when eligible—or wear a National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 mask while working in healthcare facilities during a period in which the COVID-19 prevalence rate in the State is greater than or equal to 50 cases per 100,000 people per week.

Who Is Covered by the Regulation? 

Healthcare workers: A healthcare worker is any person who is temporarily or permanently employed by a healthcare facility, or who volunteers in a healthcare facility, or any person who is compensated by a third party that has an agreement with a healthcare facility to provide staffing services, and has or may have direct contact with a patient in that healthcare facility. This may include, but is not limited to physicians, nurses, social workers, technicians, occupational speech therapists, laboratory personnel, dental personnel, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the healthcare facility, and persons not directly involved in patient care but who may be exposed to infectious agents (e.g., clerical, housekeeping, laundry, security, maintenance, administrative, billing, and volunteers).    

Healthcare facilities: A healthcare facility is a facility as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-17-2(9) and includes assisted living residences, as well as adult daycare programs, as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-1-52 and stations, as defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-16.2-2.

What Healthcare Facilities Should Do

RIDOH-licensed healthcare facilities shall develop the policies, procedures, and/or protocols to comply with the requirements listed in these regulations.  

These healthcare facilities shall also supply NIOSH-approved N95 masks at no financial charge to any healthcare worker.

Federal Regulations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) require that Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers, suppliers, and healthcare workers receive the primary series of COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., two doses of Pfizer or Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) or have an approved exemption. For more information on this regulation, please see Guidance for the Interim Final Rule – Medicare and Medicaid Programs; Omnibus COVID-19 Health Care Staff Vaccination at CMS.Gov.   

In addition, to meet the Rhode Island requirement, federally-certified facilities must also ensure that staff wear an N95 mask if they are not up to date on their COVID-19 vaccination (i.e., all recommended doses, including a booster dose when eligible) and the State has greater than or equal to 50 cases per 100,000 people per week. The requirement to wear an N95 applies to those who have an approved exemption under the CMS requirement as well as those who have only had the primary series. 

Additional Forms and Resources