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Connecticut Vaccine Mandate Extends to Child Care, Schools, State Employees

  • Governor Ned Lamont issues COVID-19 vaccination requirement for state employees, schools, and child care facilities
  • Workers and contractors with these entities must receive at least one dose of a vaccine by Sept. 27
  • Order follows a similar mandate for long-term care facility workers

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Connecticut state employees, along with workers and contractors for the state’s schools and child care facilities, must get a COVID-19 vaccine under a new executive order issued by Governor Ned Lamont.

The order states that these workers must receive at least one dose of a vaccine by Sept. 27. The entities covered in the order are barred from employing or contracting with any unvaccinated individuals after this point unless they have received an exemption, and school boards violating the order are subject to a forfeiture of up to $10,000 in state funds.

“I have also emphasized for well over a year the importance of keeping our kids in the classroom, full-time, and making sure it is as safe an environment as possible for learning for everyone in the school building,” said Lamont. “Ensuring all of our educators, including early childhood educators, and school staff are vaccinated will keep students in the classroom and keep childcare open for families. Getting vaccinated keeps yourself safe, keeps your community safe, and will help beat back the ongoing spread of this virus.”

The order comes in response to the spread of the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 as well as a significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in Connecticut. COVID-19 hospitalizations in Connecticut have more than doubled in two weeks to 344, although hospitalizations also decreased on Thursday for the first time since Aug. 5. Thirty-four COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the past two weeks.

In child care, the order applies to child care centers, group child care homes, family child care homes, and youth camps in operation during school year. The order also extends to any full- or part-time workers, contractors, providers, assistants, substitutes, and other individuals working in or with state agencies, schools, or child care facilities.

On Aug. 6, Lamont issued a similar vaccine mandate for long-term care facility workers, including those employed by or contracting with nursing homes, residential care homes, assisted living services, intermediate care facilities for people with intellectual disabilities, managed residential communities, and chronic disease hospitals. These employees are required to get first dose by Sep. 7, and facilities that fail to comply with the order are subject to a civil penalty of $20,000 per day.

The order allows people to claim medical or religious exemptions to avoid getting a vaccine. Anyone who doesn’t get vaccinated due to certain exemptions must be tested weekly for COVID-19, although this option is not available to state hospital or long-term care employees.

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