When Restaurant Workers Can Get the Covid Vaccine: a State-by-State Guide

The latest on whether restaurant workers are vaccine-eligible, in all 50 states.
March 11, 2021, 09:56 PM UTC
When Restaurant Workers Can Get the Covid Vaccine: a State-by-State Guide

Hope for the restaurant industry has arrived, literally as a shot in the arm. After a long road with little promise, restaurant owners and workers can finally look to Covid-19 vaccines as the start of a real revival.

In almost every state, healthcare workers and older people get first dibs on the vaccine. Some states are also giving priority to essential workers such those in food service and hospitality.

The rollout “phases” change regularly, so we’ve compiled every state’s restaurant worker status as well as how to receive the vaccine. Check back for updates, to stay in the know, and track our updated guide to indoor and outdoor dining guidelines, while you're at it.

ALABAMA

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

Alabama is in Phase 1C, meaning additional essential workers, including those in food service, are eligible to receive vaccines.

How to make an appointment: Visit AlabamaPublicHealth.gov.

ALASKA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Alaska has moved to Phase 1b, Tier 1. That makes the following people vaccine-eligible:

  • Alaskans age 65 and above 
  • Healthcare workers 
  • Long-term care residents and staff 

The next 1b phase, Tier 2 will offer the vaccine to other frontline essential workers, including those in food and agriculture. The state hasn’t announced when that will begin.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

ARIZONA

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

Arizona recently entered the “B” stage of Phase 1, which makes “Essential Services/Critical Industry Workers” — including workers in food service — eligible for the vaccine.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Arizona Department of Health Services.

ARKANSAS

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Arkansas began Phase 1B on January 18. That offers vaccine eligibility to residents age 70 or older, education workers, and health care workers, residents, and staff at long-term care facilities.

The next phase, Phase 1C, is slated to begin in April and will offer the vaccine to food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Arkansas Department of Health

CALIFORNIA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Already in progress, California’s Phase 1A permits healthcare workers and long-term care residents to receive the vaccine. State officials, who according to reports are prioritizing age over essential workers, just announced a move into Phase 1B (Tier 1); this means the individuals 65 and older are also eligible as well as those at risk of exposure at work in the following sectors:

  • Education and childcare
  • Emergency services
  • Food and agriculture

How to make an appointment: Visit the California Department of Public Health portal.

>>>RELATED:

COLORADO

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Colorado’s Phase 1A, well underway, offers eligibility to frontline health care workers that have direct contact with COVID-19 patients for 15 minutes or more as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities. Phase 1B, just getting started, includes the following: 

  • Everyone 70 and older
  • Health care workers who have less direct contact with COVID patients
  • First responders
  • Funeral service workers
  • Frontline essential workers
  • Essential state government workers
  • Essential frontline journalists

Phase 2, which is slated to begin in the summer, will include remaining essential workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit Colorado’s vaccine website.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Denver?

CONNECTICUT

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

During Phase 1b of Connecticut’s statewide rollout plan, the state is scheduling people 75 and older. At a date yet to be announced, the state will expand to those 65 and older, followed by frontline essential workers and people with underlying medical conditions. 

How to make an appointment: Visit the Connecticut Covid Response website.

DELAWARE

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

After completing Phase 1A, which included healthcare workers with direct patient contact and care, EMS agencies, and long-term care staff and residents, Delaware moved to Phase 1B. This group includes:

  • Everyone 65 and over
  • Frontline essential workers, including fire, police, correctional officers, and teachers and education staff (including child care providers)
  • U.S. postal workers
  • Workers in food manufacturing and agriculture
  • Transportation workers
  • Grocery store workers

The final part of Phase 1, slated to roll out by early March, will include more essential workers, including food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit Delaware’s Covid-19 vaccination website.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

D.C. is in Phase 1C, Tier 1 which has expanded vaccine eligibility to people in the following groups:  

  • People age 16-64 years and older with a chronic medical condition with increased risk of complications for COVID-19 and/or a chronic medical condition
  • Staff working in food service 
  • Essential employees in local government agencies
  • Essential employees of public utilities 
  • Essential employees in non-governmental health, human, and social services organizations/agencies 
  • People working in commercial and residential property maintenance and environmental services

How to make an appointment: Visit D.C.’s vaccination portal.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Washington D.C.?

FLORIDA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Florida is prioritizing 65 and older to receive the vaccine, with more than 1 million vaccinated so far. Other priority groups include long-term care facility residents and staff, healthcare personnel with direct patient contact, and persons deemed to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 by hospital providers. The state hasn’t offered a timeline yet for food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Florida Covid-19 portal.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Miami? Likewise: Is indoor dining allowed in Tampa?

GEORGIA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Georgia is in Phase 1A, offering vaccine appointments to healthcare workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, adults 65 and older, caregivers to the elderly, and law enforcement officials.

The state hasn’t said when food service workers will be eligible.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Georgia Department of Public Health.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Atlanta?

HAWAII

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Hawaii has two major phases in the vaccination plan. The first phase, underway now, includes the following:

  • Healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents
  • Frontline essential workers
  • People who are 65 and up, people 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in the other categories

Phase 2, slated to begin in the summer, will cover everyone 16 and older.

How to make an appointment: Visit Hawaii’s Covid portal.

IDAHO

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

After starting Group 1, Idaho is up to vaccinating Group 2, which includes: 

  • Healthcare personnel who are unable to telework
  • Home care providers for older adults and people with high-risk medical conditions
  • Emergency medical services
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Dentists and staff
  • Pharmacists and staff
  • Public health and emergency management response workers who are unable to telework
  • Frontline essential workers
  • People 65 and older

Group 3, slated to begin in the spring, will cover remaining essential workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Idaho Public Public Health Point of Contact for Covid-19.

ILLINOIS

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Phase 1b, underway, includes people 65 and older as well as frontline essential workers, inmates, and people over 16 with high-risk medical conditions.

Illinois is also in “draft form” of Phase 1c, with plans to begin on March 29, that will cover other essential workers, including food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Illinois Department of Public Health.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Chicago?

INDIANA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Indiana is in Phase 1b: Along with healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, and first responders, people 60 and older are also eligible to receive the vaccine. No word yet on the next phase and which groups it includes.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Indiana Department of Health.

IOWA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Iowa is in Phase 1b, which makes the following people eligible for the vaccine:

  • People at least 75 years old
  • People with disabilities who live in home settings and who depend on attendant care staff, along with those staff
  • Correctional facility staff and incarcerated people
  • Staff of and individuals living in congregate settings such as shelters, sober living homes, behavioral health treatment centers, and detention centers — but not college dorms
  • Where public health data indicates outbreaks or clusters of disease among food, agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing workers who live or work in congregate settings
  • Pre-K through high school staff, early childhood education, and childcare workers.
  • First responders, health inspectors, and government officials

How to make an appointment: Visit the Iowa Department of Public Health.

KANSAS

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

Kansas is in Phase 2, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Residents or patients in long-term care 
  • People in senior housing or long term care-supported independent living 
  • Workers critical to pandemic response continuity
  • People 65 and older
  • People in congregate settings 
  • High-contact critical workers, including those in food service

How to make an appointment: Visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

KENTUCKY

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

Kentucky is in Phase 1c, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • People in long term care facilities and assisted living facilities
  • Anyone 60 or older, and anyone age 16 or older with CDC highest risk Covid risk conditions
  • All essential workers, including first responders, health care personnel, child care workers, and K-12 school personnel

How to make an appointment: Visit Kentucky Public Health’s Vaccine Map.

>>>RELATED: Here's how to reopen your restaurant during the pandemic, safely

LOUISIANA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Louisiana is in Phase 1b, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • People 65 and older
  • Dialysis providers and patients
  • Ambulatory and outpatient providers and staff
  • Professional home care providers (including hospice workers) and home care recipients
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and foreign language interpreters and Support Service Providers (SSPs) working in community and clinic-based settings, and clients who are both deaf and blind
  • Health-related support personnel
  • Schools of allied health students, residents, and staff
  • Law enforcement and other first responders
  • Louisiana Unified Command Group
  • State and local essential Covid emergency response personnel
  • Some elections staff ahead of March and April elections
  • Teachers and any other support staff working on site in K-12 or daycare
  • Pregnant people
  • People over 55 with any conditions listed by the CDC as placing them at increased risk from Covid

How to make an appointment: Visit Louisiana Department of Health.

MAINE

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

By May or June, Maine plans to enter Phase 1c, which will include food service workers. Currently, in Phase 1b, the following people have priority for the vaccine:

  • Many health care workers
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Public safety and Covid response personnel
  • People 70 and over

How to make an appointment: Visit the State of Maine Covid-19 Response.

MARYLAND

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Maryland’s current Phase 1c covers the following people: 

  • Health care workers
  • Residents and staff of nursing homes
  • First responders and some essential workers
  • People who have intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Residents of assisted living, independent living, behavioral health, and developmentally disabled group homes, and other congregate facilities
  • People 65 and older

Phase 2, which includes food service workers, will begin once the majority of the Phase 1 has been vaccinated or the federal government increases the allocation of vaccines.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Maryland Department of Health.

MASSACHUSETTS

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Massachusetts is working through Group 2 in Phase 2, which includes:

  • People 65 and older
  • People with at least two underlying medical conditions
  • Residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing

Group 3 will include workers across food service, agriculture, consumer goods, and retail.

How to make an appointment: Visit Mass.gov.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Boston?

MICHIGAN

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

For now Michigan is only vaccinating health care workers and long-term care residents and staff.

How to make an appointment: Visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus

MINNESOTA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Minnesota is in Phase 1a, with Phase 2a to start in the coming weeks. Phase 1a is divided into three priority groups, including:

First Priority:

  • People working in dedicated COVID-19 units, ICU, emergency departments, and designated COVID-19 urgent care
  • Long-term care facility workers
  • EMS workers and first responders
  • Covid testers and vaccinators

Second Priority:

  • Hospital workers who provide direct patient services or handling infectious materials
  • Workers in urgent care and dialysis centers

Third Priority:

  • Other health care workers, in a variety of settings

How to make an appointment: Visit the Minnesota Department of Health.

>>>RELATED: Is indoor dining allowed in Minneapolis?

MISSISSIPPI

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

The following groups in Mississippi are eligible to receive a vaccine:

  • Teachers, staff, and employees in K-12, preschool, or childcare settings
  • Public safety personnel, including law enforcement, fire services, and emergency management officials
  • Adults 65 and older, and anyone 16 or over with a high-risk chronic health condition
  • Long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Healthcare personnel and EMT/paramedics

How to make an appointment: Visit the Mississippi State Department of Health.

MISSOURI 

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Missouri has reached Tier 3 of Phase 1B, which protects "those who keep the essential functions of society running." Workers in these sectors include:

  • Education (K-12)
  • Childcare
  • Communications infrastructure
  • Dams
  • Energy
  • Some food and agriculture
  • Government
  • Information technology
  • Nuclear reactors
  • Transportation systems
  • Water and wastewater systems

How to make an appointment: Visit Mississippi State Department of Health.

MONTANA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

After completing Phase 1A, which provides vaccines to healthcare workers and long-term facility residents, Montana has moved into Phase 1B, which makes the following groups eligible: 

  • Anyone 70 or older, and people 16 and up who have high-risk conditions
  • American Indians and other persons of color who may be at elevated Covid risk

Phase 1C will include essential frontline workers, including those in food service.

How to make an appointment: Visit Montana’s state website.

NEBRASKA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Nebraska is Phase 1B, which vaccinates health care workers, long-term care residents, and people 65 and older.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

NEVADA

Restaurant workers status: Eligible

Once Nevada’s “Tier 1/Phase 1a — Health Care Workforce & Support” is complete, vaccinations may begin in two lanes: workers and general population. The groups in each lane will be vaccinated in priority order.

Food service and hospitality workers are included in the “Frontline / Essential Workers” priority lane.

How to make an appointment: Visit Immunize Nevada.

>>>RELATED: Is outdoor dining allowed in Las Vegas?

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

New Hampshire is in Phase 1b, which makes the following people now eligible for the vaccine:

  • Everyone 65 or older
  • Medically vulnerable people
  • Residents and staff of residential facilities 
  • Officers and staff of correctional facilities 
  • More first responders, long-term care residents and healthcare workers

Phase 3, scheduled to begin in May, will include food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

NEW JERSEY

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

New Jersey is in Phase 1b, which made the following groups eligible for vaccination: 

  • Paid and unpaid healthcare workers
  • Residents and workers of long-term care and high-risk congregate care facilities
  • First responders, including sworn law enforcement and fire professionals
  • People 65 and over, or 16 and over with certain high-risk medical conditions

How to make an appointment: Visit the New Jersey Covid-19 Information Hub.

NEW MEXICO

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

The following groups in New Mexico are eligible for vaccine:

  • Hospital personnel
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Medical first responders
  • Congregate setting workers
  • Persons who provide direct medical care and other in-person services
  • Home-based healthcare and hospice workers
  • People 75 and older
  • People 16 and older at risk of Covid complications

How to make an appointment: Visit the New Mexico Department of Health.

NEW YORK 

Restaurant workers status: Eligible 

New York is in Phase 1a and 1b, which includes vaccinations for restaurant workers and restaurant delivery drivers.

How to make an appointment: Visit New York State’s Covid-19 site.

>>> RELATED: Is outdoor dining allowed in New York City?

NORTH CAROLINA 

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

North Carolina has begun to roll out Group 3, which covers in-person frontline essential workers who must be in-person at their place of work.

Anyone working in child care or in PreK-12 schools is eligible for vaccines as of Feb. 24. Beginning on March 10, other eligible workers will include those in critical manufacturing, education, essential goods, food and agriculture, government and community services, health care and public health, and public safety and transportation.

How to make an appointment: Visit NCDHHS Covid Response.

NORTH DAKOTA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

North Dakota has entered Phase 1C, covering essential workers and people of any age at increased risk for COVID-19.

While this does include grocery workers, it does not include restaurant workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit North Dakota’s Covid-19 portal.

OHIO

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Ohio is in Phase 1b, which makes the following groups now eligible to receive the vaccine:

  • Ohioans 65 and older
  • Some people with developmental or intellectual disabilities 
  • Some Ohioans with high-risk medical conditions

How to make an appointment: Visit the Ohio Department of Health.

OKLAHOMA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Oklahoma is in Phase 2, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • First responders
  • Health care workers providing direct Covid outpatient care and services
  • People 65 and older
  • Teachers and staff in Pre-K-12 schools and educational settings
  • Staff and residents in congregate locations and worksites
  • Public health staff and government officials

How to make an appointment: Visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

OREGON

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Oregon’s in Phase 2, which is divided into five groups. Group 4, underway, includes:

  • Childcare providers, early learning and K-12 educators and staff 
  • People 65 and older

How to make an appointment: Visit the Oregon Health Authority.

PENNSYLVANIA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Pennsylvania is in Phase 1a, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Many health care personnel
  • People 65 and older, or at least 16 with high-risk conditions

How to make an appointment: Visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Health.

RHODE ISLAND

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Rhode Island is vaccinating Phase 1, which includes healthcare workers, first responders, Covid vaccinators and staff, and everyone 75 and older. 

How to make an appointment: Visit the Rhode Island Department of Health.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

South Carolina is in Phase 1A, providing vaccines to healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, anyone 65 and older, as well as Covid vaccine testers and government employees.

Phase 1C, set to commence in late spring, will include food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

SOUTH DAKOTA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

South Dakota is in Phase 1D, which offers vaccines to the following:

  • People 65 and older
  • High-risk patients and high-risk residents of congregate settings
  • Residents of independent living facilities and group homes

The second half of Phase 1D includes people under age 65 with high-risk medical conditions, funeral service workers, and teachers and other school/college staff.

Phase 1E will cover remaining essential workers, including food service workers.

How to make an appointment: Visit South Dakota’s COVID portal.

TENNESSEE

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Tennessee has entered Phase 1b, which offers vaccines to people 65 and older, as well as K-12 and childcare staff, and first responders.

How to make an appointment: Visit the State of Tennessee's COVID information site.

TEXAS

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Texas is vaccinating front-line healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities as well as people 65 and over or people 16 and over with a health condition that increases their risk of severe illness.

How to make an appointment: Visit Texas Health and Human Services.

>>>RELATED: Is outdoor dining allowed in Austin?

UTAH

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Utah is vaccinating the following groups:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • First responders
  • People 65 and older
  • K-12 teachers and school staff
  • People 16 and older with certain underlying medical conditions 

How to make an appointment: Visit Utah’s COVID-19 vaccination portal.

VERMONT

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Vermont is vaccinating the following groups:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • First responders
  • People 70 and older

How to make an appointment: Visit the Vermont Department of Health.

VIRGINIA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

Virginia is on Phase 1b, which makes the following groups eligible for the vaccine:

  • Healthcare personnel 
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Frontline essential workers 
  • People 65 or older, or 16 and older with an underlying medical condition 
  • People living in correctional facilities, homeless shelters, or migrant labor camps

How to make an appointment: Visit the Virginia Department of Health.

WASHINGTON

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Washington is in Phase 1B tier 1 of vaccine distribution, which covers the following groups:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • Anyone 50 and older who lives in a multigenerational household

This is in addition to health care workers at high risk for Covid infection, first responders, people who live or work in long-term care facilities, and all other workers in health settings who are at risk of Covid.

How to make an appointment: Visit the Washington State Department of Health.

WEST VIRGINIA

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible

West Virginia is vaccinating residents at community events in all 55 counties and at select Walgreens locations across the state for West Virginians age 65 and older.

The state hopes to vaccinate everyone between March and October.

How to make an appointment: Visit the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources.

WISCONSIN

Restaurant workers status: Not eligible 

Beginning March 1, the following groups become eligible for the vaccine (listed in priority order):

  • Education and child care staff
  • People in Medicaid long-term care programs
  • Some public-facing essential workers
  • Non-frontline essential health care personnel
  • Facility staff and residents in congregate living settings

How to make an appointment: Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

WYOMING

Restaurant workers status: Eligible 

Wyoming is in Phase 1b, which means the following groups are now eligible for the vaccine:

  • Some frontline essential workers who interact with the public
  • People with specific medical conditions
  • People on the Wyoming Medicaid Community Choices Waiver and Developmental Disabilities Waiver
  • Caregivers of medically vulnerable persons 
  • People 65 and older

How to make an appointment: Visit the Wyoming Department of Health.

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