© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Conn. Extends Deadline For Long-Term Care Workers To Get Mandated COVID-19 Vaccines

The state has extended its deadline by three weeks for workers in Connecticut’s long-term care facilities to get a COVID-19 vaccine under a recent state mandate.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office confirmed Friday afternoon that an executive order requiring employees at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other kinds of centers to be vaccinated against the virus will now take effect Sept. 27.

Originally, staff and their employers had until Tuesday to comply with the mandate. Workers who remain unvaccinated without a medical exemption risk losing their jobs. Their employers face a fine of $20,000 per day.

State officials did not provide reasons for the extension on Friday afternoon. But federal data as of Aug. 22 show that about 57% of Connecticut facilities have vaccinated at least three-quarters of their staff, leaving the rest to fall below that level.

At a small number of facilities, less than half of all employees are immunized.

Health care workers labor union District 1199 SEIU was among the organizations that have asked the governor for a delay on the mandate and its penalties.

In an Aug. 17 letter addressed to Lamont, union president Rob Baril praised the vaccines but wrote he was concerned that facilities that failed to comply with the mandate by the earlier deadline would suffer staff shortages or be forced to shut down.

“Many caregivers have worked tirelessly through COVID-19, staffing multiple shifts under mandation, working at multiple facilities, and forgoing vacation days altogether,” Baril said. “A fractional reduction of this workforce could prove to be extremely harmful for workers and patients as we try to re-staff facilities with a small pool of certified candidates.”

Lamont signed an executive order Friday night with the mandate’s new deadline. The executive order also revives a program used earlier in the pandemic that allows nursing homes to hire temporary nurse aides to support adequate staffing levels.

Nicole Leonard joined Connecticut Public Radio to cover health care after several years of reporting for newspapers. In her native state of New Jersey, she covered medical and behavioral health care, as well as arts and culture, for The Press of Atlantic City. Her work on stories about domestic violence and childhood food insecurity won awards from the New Jersey Press Association.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content