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A State-by-State Guide to COVID-19 Vaccination Policies

Posted by Alexa Rivera on Feb 22, 2022 9:00:00 AM
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A State-by-State Graphical Guide to Vaccine Mandates

The Supreme Court’s overturn of the Biden Administration’s Employer Vaccine Mandate is not the end of vaccination mandates for all employers. Vaccination mandates have been enacted by numerous states and municipalities in the United States. 

It is important to note that while federal laws and policies apply to all states, each state is free to make its own policies that add to established federal law. Furthermore, privately-owned companies also have the liberty to create policies for their organizations as they see fit regarding vaccination, testing, and other COVID-19 safety protocols.  

So, what is the status of vaccination requirements anyways in your state? How do you ensure your company is compliant? 

Federal Mandates 

Even though the federal OSHA vaccination mandate is rescinded, there are other federal vaccination mandate requirements that you may need to follow.  

Federal Employees and Federal Contractors: 

Federal government employees are required to be vaccinated without the ability to opt for testing unless they have received an approved exemption. At this time, there is currently no booster requirement for federal government employees.  

Federal contractors are obligated to follow federal vaccination rules unless exempted with accommodations for specific extenuating circumstances. 

Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Requirements:  

The Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (“CMS”) requirement covers the at-risk population with specific guidelines. Vaccination is required for employees in healthcare settings including, hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies, to continue to receive federal funding.

While twenty-four of the fifty states filed legal challenges, these challenges were ultimately overturned. As a result, the twenty-four states do not require proof of vaccination until February 28th.  The graphic below outlines deadlines for implementation of the “Phase 1” CMS requirement by state.

implementation deadline by state

With the expectation that broad federal regulations would soon be made into law, several states opted not to impose any additional employee vaccination or testing requirements for their citizens. These states are as follows:  

Alabama                                           Nebraska

Alaska                                               New Hampshire

Arkansas                                          Ohio

Arizona*                                           Oklahoma

Florida*                                            Rhode Island    

Georgia                                            South Carolina*

Indiana                                             South Dakota

Idaho                                                Tennessee

Iowa                                                  Texas

Kansas                                              Utah

Louisiana*                                        Virginia

Maryland                                          West Virginia

Michigan*                                         Wisconsin

Montana                                           Wyoming

Missouri                                            Mississippi


*These states may have localities with more extensive provisions or specific nuances 


Additional Requirements by State

The following is a list of state requirements for COVID-19 legislation. We also provided information regarding some local COVID-19 laws in the state list below but this information is by no means a fully inclusive search. Be certain to verify with local experts that your organization’s COVID-19 policies are compliant as the COVID-19 regulations are situational and are changing rapidly.

Arizona: Phoenix previously held a state employee vaccine that is no longer active. Yet, Tucson continues to carry this vaccine mandate. All other Arizona cities have dropped mandates.  

California: Vaccinations are required for all personnel working in healthcare, state, and local correctional facilities, detention centers, adult care facilities, direct care, and with the public school system in any capacity. Additionally, healthcare workers must acquire a booster dose from February 1st to March 1st.

Los Angeles, San Diego, Long Beach, and Sacramento have adopted their own COVID-19 legislation.

Colorado: All state workers and state contract workers must be fully vaccinated. Those with applicable exemptions must participate in twice-weekly COVID-19 tests. 

Connecticut: Testing weekly is required if you have been exempted from federal requirements. State hospitals and long-term care employees must be fully vaccinated and boosted and do not have the option of testing in lieu of vaccinations. All state employees, including K-12 school workers, must also be vaccinated or undergo regular testing for exemptions. 

New Haven, Stamford, and Norwalk have adopted their own COVID-19 legislation.

Delaware: Requires educators, school staff, and volunteers working in Delaware schools (both public and private K-12 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. All state employees and contractors must also be vaccinated. 

District of Columbia: Vaccination mandates are in place for employees, contractors, interns, and grantees with no testing option available unless qualified for exemption. The District of Columbia also requires a COVID-19 booster shot when eligible.

Hawaii: An executive order is in place requiring contractors and visitors at state facilities and on state property to provide their vaccination or testing status prior to entry. State employees must be vaccinated. 

Honolulu has adopted its own COVID-19 legislation.

Illinois: All government workers in any capacity, K-12 teachers, preschool workers, as well as higher education students and employees must be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. Workers in prisons and veterans' homes must also receive vaccinations. Healthcare workers must receive a booster COVID-19 shot.

Chicago and Cook County have adopted their own COVID-19 legislation.

Kentucky: Contractors and state employees working in state-operated facilities must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless there is a religious or medical reason they cannot be vaccinated. If any staff is unvaccinated, it is a requirement that they are tested twice weekly.

Massachusetts: Full vaccination and boosters by February 28th are required for all rest homes, hospice programs, assisted living facilities, home care workers under state contract or program, and nursing home staff. There is currently no option to opt out for testing. 

Boston has adopted its own COVID-19 legislation.

Michigan: Lansing and Detroit have required school district employees to receive vaccinations.

Minnesota: State employees are to be vaccinated or face weekly testing. St. Paul and Minneapolis have adopted their own COVID-19 legislation.

Mississippi: One example of more extensive provisions is the policy adopted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center requiring students and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The city of Jackson also requires city workers and contractors to be COVID-19 vaccinated.

Nevada: Currently has no state provision. Healthcare and prison temporary mandates as well as a proposed vaccine mandate for college students was never permanently implemented. 

New Jersey: Childcare center personnel, preschool through year 12 schools, and all state employees require vaccinations or weekly testing.  The state requires certain healthcare and high-risk congregation workers to get vaccinated with no alternative testing option. Booster doses are required for eligible candidates.

New Mexico: State employees, hospital workers, nursing home workers, juvenile justice facility employees, rehab staff, state correctional personnel, and more must be vaccinated with limited exceptions. Booster shots are required no later than January 17 or 4 weeks within becoming eligible based upon current medical guidance for the vaccination type you have received.

New York: New York City, New York state, public transport employees, and long-term care facilities employees must be vaccinated. Public and charter schools require testing or vaccination for all staff as well. 

New York City and Syracuse have adopted their own COVID-19 legislation.

North Carolina: All state cabinet agency employees must be vaccinated and boosted when appropriate.

Oregon: Permanent rules are in place for healthcare, state, and K-12 school employees to be vaccinated. Weekly testing may be possible with an approved exemption. 

Pennsylvania: Healthcare and high-risk congregate care workers require full vaccination or weekly testing. Philadelphia has adopted its own COVID-19 legislation.

South Carolina: The city of Charleston requires city employees to be fully vaccinated.

Vermont: Correctional facilities, veterans' homes, and psychiatric hospital staff must be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and masking. 

Virginia: While some cities previously had provisions in place requiring vaccinations, the governor has since banned vaccine mandates statewide.

Washington: COVID-19 vaccine required for employees working in K-12 schools, most childcare, and early learning centers, and in higher education facilities. State employees, school staff, coaches, bus drivers, school volunteers, and others working in school facilities are included in the provision as well.  Seattle has adopted its own COVID-19 legislation.

Wisconsin: Be advised that some large businesses and municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin require vaccinations for workers.  

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This blog was written by Alexa Rivera and may not be copied or published without PeopleGuru's express written consent.


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