Senior living workers hired during the pandemic in Connecticut will not be able to provide direct care until they undergo fingerprinting as part of a required background check. But they will not necessarily lose their jobs, as previously was announced by state public health officials.

The fingerprinting requirement was waived for workers hired from March 23, 2020, to May 19, 2021, in senior living communities and other long-term care and healthcare facilities, to allow providers to fill needed positions during the pandemic. That waiver expired Tuesday.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health previously announced that the employment of workers who did not fulfill the fingerprinting requirement by Tuesday would be terminated. 

After long-term care and other healthcare industry groups asked for a postponement, fearing staffing shortages, the state health department said this week that although it would not change the deadline, workers could keep their jobs, but those workers not yet fingerprinted would be barred from providing direct care services.

Connecticut Assisted Living Association President Christopher Carter told McKnight’s Senior Living that although he didn’t have specific numbers of senior living workers affected, he estimates that most providers already are in compliance. CALA, he added, continues to assist with informing providers about the requirement. 

As of Tuesday, approximately 630 of the 7,500 workers hired under the waiver still needed to be fingerprinted, according to the Connecticut Mirror