At least 98 nursing homes in Connecticut had staff COVID vaccination rates under 100 percent as of Oct. 3, six days after the state\u2019s vaccination mandate deadline passed, data released Thursday by the state Department of Public Health show. The mandate threatened that nursing homes with unvaccinated staff could be fined up to $20,000 a day, but the agency has not announced penalties for any of the state\u2019s nursing homes. The state did not specify vaccination rates for individual nursing homes, but it said fewer than 40 nursing homes reported staff vaccination rates under 90 percent. The lowest reported rate verified by DPH was 77 percent. But not all those with rates under 100 percent are necessarily non-compliant with the state\u2019s mandate. Staff were allowed to cite religious and medical exemptions to vaccination. Employees were supposed to be immunized or claim an exemption by Sept. 27. The state has yet to publicly release any information about employee participation at more than 600 long-term care facilities \u2014 including nursing homes, assisted living centers, residential care homes, chronic disease hospitals, intermediate care facilities and managed residential communities \u2014 that were subject to the coronavirus vaccine edict. Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, said \u201ca more detailed review of the facility-specific circumstances is needed to understand what\u2019s behind the numbers.\u201d \u201cA higher number of medical or religious exemptions will always mean a lower staff vaccination rate,\u201d Barrett said. \u201cThe vaccine offers the highest level of protection, and the highest rates possible is what nursing homes strive for, but nursing homes can keep residents protected when small numbers of staff are not vaccinated with more aggressive COVID-19 testing and enhanced infection prevention and control measures.\u201d More than two weeks after the deadline, it is unclear whether any facilities have been issued fines. DPH spokesperson Chris Boyle said that an update on mandate compliance will be released Friday. Some nursing homes have approved \u201cpockets\u201d of religious exemptions, said Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut, which represents nonprofit nursing homes. She said some nursing homes were having trouble reporting their vaccination data. About 5 percent of the state\u2019s nursing homes missed the deadline for reporting their vaccination rates, sources in the nursing home industry said. As of last Wednesday \u2014 nine days after the due date \u2014 there were still seven nursing homes that hadn\u2019t provided vaccine data for their employees. There haven\u2019t been many reports of workers quitting because they refuse to get vaccinated, Morelli said. \u201cOverall, I\u2019m hearing one or two [workers] have left, but not some mass exodus from any facilities.\u201d There also were 31 assisted living facilities that didn\u2019t meet the deadline, and 23 still hadn\u2019t reported last Wednesday. DPH officials told providers during a private conference call last Wednesday that they still were investigating why the facilities had missed the mandate. Six hundred and fifty-one long-term care facilities fall under the mandate, and 231 of them didn\u2019t report by the Sept. 27 deadline, health officials said on the call. DPH requires that all employees \u2014 including contractors who may enter the building or others that are not nursing home staff \u2014 be vaccinated, said Athena Healthcare spokesman Tim Brown. For example, Northbridge Health Care in Bridgeport, which doubled as a COVID relief facility, has more than 490 people who are required to be vaccinated, far higher than the number of staff that regularly work there. Brown said Northbridge is over 97 percent vaccinated. \u201cStaffing was tough before, but the vaccine mandate has just made it that much more difficult,\u201d Brown said. DPH\u2019s silence so far about penalties for missing the mandate has been at odds with the way Gov. Ned Lamont\u2019s administration reported how executive branch employees responded to the vaccination-or-test mandate. When the deadline passed for state workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face termination, the administration quickly disclosed how many employees in the executive branch had failed to report their status or opted for weekly testing. It has not yet disclosed data on compliance among the state\u2019s health care workers at Solnit Psychiatric Center, Connecticut Valley Hospital, UConn\u2019s John Dempsey Hospital and Whiting Forensic Hospital, stating that the numbers are expected next week. State health care workers are subject to a more restrictive vaccine mandate that also went into effect Sept. 27, which does not allow a test-out option unless a religious or medical exemption is approved.