The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced that all employees, interns, and volunteers in RIDOH-licensed healthcare facilities and all RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers must receive their final dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 1, 2021, effective August 18th.

“The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, is vaccination,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH in a statement. “For the safety of our healthcare workers, patients, and for our healthcare system overall, today’s announcement is a very important step.”

The regulation applies to staff at RIDOH-licensed health care facilities, including those with direct patient contact and those who may not be involved in patient care. It also applies to individually licensed providers who utilize their license as part of their position in a healthcare facility. Prior to October 1st, any worker in a RIDOH-licensed healthcare facility who is not vaccinated is required to wear a face mask and be tested at least twice weekly.

RIDOH-licensed facilities

Workers in RIDOH-licensed facilities must be vaccinated before October 1st. Workers in RIDOH-licensed facilities who are not vaccinated by October 1st will not be allowed to enter a healthcare facility unless they provide proof of a medical exemption. Employees in violation of this regulation may face financial penalties and/or suspension/revocation of the facility’s license, in addition to disciplinary action by the affected employer against individual employees who do not comply.

RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers

All RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers who work in a healthcare setting must be vaccinated as of October 1st. Those who are not vaccinated by October 1st may be subject to financial penalties and/or suspension/revocation of their license (unless they provide proof of a medical exemption).

The COVID-19 healthcare worker vaccination regulations and additional resources are available online.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.