Is vaccination or testing required for workers at health-care facilities and other high-risk congregate settings?
As of Monday, October 18th, all workers in preschool through Grade 12 schools and all workers at state agencies, authorities, and colleges and universities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or subject to regular COVID-19 testing.
In addition, all new state contracted workers to be fully vaccinated or subject to testing. New and potential state contractors to demonstrate that all of their employees who enter, work at, or provide services in any state agency location are fully vaccinated or otherwise undergo weekly testing.
By November 1st, all workers in child care facilities must be fully vaccinated or subject to testing. And as of September 18th, all workers in certain state and private health care facilities and high-risk congregate settings must be fully vaccinated or subject to testing. Those facilities and settings include:
- Acute, pediatric, inpatient rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, including specialty hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers
- Long-term care facilities, including the state Veterans Homes
- Intermediate care facilities, including the state developmental centers
- Residential detox, short term and long term residential substance abuse disorder treatment facilities
- Clinic-based settings like ambulatory care, urgent care clinics, dialysis centers, Federally Qualified Health Centers, family planning sites, and Opioid Treatment Programs
- Community-based healthcare settings including Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly, and pediatric and adult medical day care programs
- Licensed home health agencies and registered health care service firms operating within the State
- State and county correctional facilities
- Secure care facilities operated by the Juvenile Justice Commission
- Licensed community residences for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Licensed community residences for adults with mental illness; and
- Certified day programs for individuals with IDD and TBI
Workers are considered “fully vaccinated” for COVID-19 two weeks or more after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series or two weeks or more after they have received a single-dose vaccine. Vaccines must be currently authorized for emergency use or approved by the FDA or the WHO.
Both antigen and molecular tests are acceptable for weekly testing.
Employers can impose more stringent vaccination or testing requirements on workers, including any requirement for more frequent testing, for testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, and for mandatory vaccinations without a testing alternative.
Private facilities are strongly encouraged to consider instituting requirements above and beyond the baseline that will be required by the State.
This requirement does not impact a setting’s ability to impose more stringent vaccination or testing requirements on workers, including any requirement for more frequent testing, for testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff, and for mandatory vaccinations without a testing alternative.
Receive Tax Credits for Providing Paid Leave During Vaccinations
Businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees can receive a tax credit for providing paid time off for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. For example, if an eligible employer offers employees a paid day off in order to get vaccinated, the employer can receive a tax credit equal to the wages paid to employees for that day (up to certain limits). Learn more about federal tax credits.