Close to 200 Connecticut long-term care providers could be hit with fines of up to $20,000 per day for not complying with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate that went into effect in late September.
The state’s Department of Public Health on Friday said that, as of Oct. 13, 167 facilities — about a quarter of all SNFs statewide — have yet to comply with the reporting requirements. That’s down from 226 facilities, or about 35% of all providers subject to the mandate, that had failed to report staff vaccination data to health officials by the mandate’s initial effective date of Sept. 28.
The state will begin issuing notices of civil penalties this week to facilities that fail to report by the deadline or have not reported at all. Non-compliant providers are subject to up to $20,000 in fines per day, making Connecticut’s rule one of the most expensive to violate.
State officials on Friday did note that some of the non-compliance issues “may have resulted from the decision by facilities [that] share buildings and staff to report all covered [long-term care] workers under a single facility so as not to double-count the number of workers subject to the order,”,the CT Mirror reported.
The state also said that nearly three-fourths of all long-term care facilities that are subject to the mandate have reported 95% of workers were either fully vaccinated or partially vaccinated. Overall, a total of 89% of long-term care staff are fully vaccinated and 7% are partially vaccinated. Connecticut ranks in the top 15 states of current and staff vaccinations, according to federal data.
Additionally, 2,851 workers are unvaccinated due to medical or religious exemptions. About 61,220 staff are subject to the executive order.
“We commend the long-term care community for achieving such high vaccination rates,” DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani, M.D., said in a statement Friday.