HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The schedule for state-mandated fingerprinting has been expanded to Friday to accommodate roughly 630 health care workers at long-term care facilities and other entities hired during the pandemic who still need to be fingerprinted for required criminal history checks.
The Department of Public Health said expanded and extended schedules for fingerprinting services will be provided at Connecticut State Police Barracks A, G, H and I through Friday. Appointments are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Troops B, C, D, E, F, K and L will continue to fingerprint people on a walk-in basis between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Health care workers across the state who were hired during the coronavirus pandemic have faced termination if they didn't meet a July 20 deadline to get fingerprinted for state-mandated background checks. An estimated 7,500 people were hired between March 23, 2020 and May 19, 2021 when Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order suspending the required fingerprint checks to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Workers hired under the executive order who were not fingerprinted by Tuesday's deadline are not eligible to work in direct-access positions, DPH said in a statement. The employees can return to direct access positions immediately after being fingerprinted, while they await the results.
District 1199 New England, SEIU, the union that represents nursing home workers, recently called on state officials to “provide leniency” to the employees and postpone the deadline until Sept. 20. Rob Baril, the union's president, noted that the workers have already passed a background check and other verification processes, but were specifically told not to submit fingerprints because of the pandemic.
He warned that terminating the employees would negatively impact the care in nursing homes, which have been facing staffing shortages. Some workers have said it's been difficult to get fingerprinted given the backlog of people and their inability to get to the State Police barracks.