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State-specific COVID-19 training requirements (United States)

COVID-19 safety precautions are a good policy for the health and safety of your organization, and currently, several U.S states require COVID-19 employee training for businesses to reopen or remain open. Most of these specified states outline specific content that must be included in the employee training, and what industries it impacts. 

OpenSesame is here to support you every step of the way. Check out these specially curated courses on creating an infection control plan, keeping your workplace safe, and infection safety courses offered in multiple languages to keep your employees safe and compliant with new mandates. To learn more about how OpenSesame can help your organization meet your COVID-19 safety training requirements and keep your employees safe at work, contact us at today.

The following states require COVID-19 workplace safety training:

State COVID-19 training Requirement Additional Information
California All employees in California must complete COVID-19 workplace safety training.  California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”). 
Connecticut Specific requirements vary by industry, but all Connecticut employers are required to provide a level of COVID-19 workplace safety training. The training must be provided during working hours at no cost to employees and must be presented in the employees’ language and literacy level. 


State of Connecticut’s COVID-29 training resource guide



Illinois Businesses are to provide COVID-19 training to employees. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) 
Kentucky Kentucky requires every entity in the state to provide COVID-19 safety training to all employees on how to isolate individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, and how to report possible cases. 



The Kentucky Healthy at Work Guidelines provides that each business or organization allowed to reopen in the state meet certain “minimum requirements” before reopening. 


Maine Required per the Maine Department of Economic Development’s COVID-19 Prevention Checklist. These checklists specifically state that in order to reopen, businesses must commit to complying with the requirements of these checklists.  The Checklists require employee safety training in several industries, such as retail, lodging, restaurants, and fitness centers. The mandated training generally must include certain content, including:
  • Hand hygiene
  • Social distancing
  • Monitoring personal health and temperature
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Laundering of face coverings and uniforms
  • Cleaning protocols and how to safely use cleaning supplies
Massachusetts Massachusetts’ employers must provide employees with COVID-19 workplace training.  The state has issued Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces, which instruct all businesses to provide training for employees regarding social distancing and hygiene protocols.
Michigan Mandatory training for all employees.  Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued Emergency Rules implementing COVID-19 workplace safety requirements for businesses that resume in-person work, including employee training
Minnesota Mandatory for all employers.  Minnesota Industry Guidance for Safely Reopening: General Industry Guidance (MN COVID-19 Guidance) states that employers are required to pay for the training, and the training must be provided in a manner and language that each employee can understand.
New Hampshire New Hampshire employers must provide employees with COVID-19 safe workplace training.  COVID-19 Reopening Guidance 
New Mexico New Mexico mandates COVID-19 safe workplace training for all employees.  According to guidance issued by the state, employers are required to train all employees on daily cleaning and disinfecting protocol, hygiene, and respiratory etiquette (e.g., covering coughs).
New York New York State requires COVID-19 safe workplace training for all employees.  According to industry-specific guidelines issued by the state, businesses must train all personnel on the new protocols and frequently communicate safety guidelines.
Oregon  Oregon employers must provide COVID-19 safe workplace training to all employees.  The Governor of Oregon recently issued an Executive Order, which provides that businesses must train all employees in safety requirements and expectations at physical worksites. Training must be in the language understood by all employees.
Rhode Island Rhode Island requires that all employees receive COVID-19 workplace safety training. The Rhode Island Department of Health issued an Emergency Rule, stating all employees shall be trained to follow the standards and requirements of these regulations and new employees shall be trained as they are hired.” 
Vermont Vermont requires all employers to provide COVID-19 safe workplace training. Vermont’s Governor Executive Order
Virginia The Virginia Department of Labor and Industries issued a statement that the Department intends to adopt a Proposed Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention for COVID-19, within six months, with an effective date no later than January 27, 2021. The language of the Proposed Permanent Standard is based on the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), which was adopted on July 15, 2020. Find the Emergency Temporary Standard Infectious Disease Prevention here. Requires employers to provide all employees with job-specific education and training on preventing transmission of COVID-19, including initial and routine/refresher training. 
Washington Basic workplace hazard education about the coronavirus must be provided to employees in a language they best understand. Washington State of Labor and Industries – COVID 19

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