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Lamont Extends Certain Connecticut COVID-19 Executive Orders as Emergency Powers Renewed

  • Governor Ned Lamont retains nine previously issued COVID-19 executive orders and revises two others
  • Action follows an extension of Lamont’s emergency powers to Feb. 15
  • Certain mask and vaccine requirements among the extended orders

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Governor Ned Lamont has retained nine previously issued COVID-19 executive orders and revised two others following the Connecticut General Assembly’s decision to extend his emergency powers through Feb. 15.

Lamont’s emergency powers, which were set to expire on Thursday, will continue into next year after the legislature voted to extend the civil preparedness and public health emergency declarations related to COVID-19. The Connecticut House of Representatives voted 80-60 in favor on Monday, while the Senate approved the extension in an 18-15 vote on Tuesday.

The legislature’s vote to extend Lamont’s emergency powers occurred largely along party lines, with Republicans opposed and all but a handful of Democrats in support. Supporters say retaining Lamont’s emergency powers is necessary to respond to COVID-19 conditions and issues, especially with the Delta variant driving a spike in cases. Opponents say pandemic conditions in Connecticut have eased and that a state of emergency no longer exists.

Connecticut lifted its business restrictions in May and say its COVID-19 infections plummet after vaccines became widely available. Cases rose again with the Delta variant, but the rolling average of daily new cases has declined by about one-third over the past two weeks.

Lamont’s extended actions include the authority to require masks in schools, child care facilities, and some high-risk settings, along with permitting municipal authority require universal masking in certain settings; requiring landlords to file an application with UniteCT before initiating summary process for eviction; and a vaccine mandate for state employees as well as workers in long-term care facilities, state hospitals, pre-K through grade 12 schools, and child care facilities.

The two repealed and revised executive orders involve the state’s emergency procurement of essential goods and services. The revised version restores most statutory contracting procedures and requirements, but retains emergency authority for agency heads to use expedited non-competitive procurement processes. This provision enables a more flexible process for obtaining goods and services essential for the COVID-19 response, but requires agency heads to certify in writing that the expedited process is necessary.

“I believe Connecticut has been smart in our response and we’ve been taking the right steps to help mitigate the spread of this virus to the best of our abilities,” said Lamont. “That’s why we’ve gotten to a place where we currently have among the best results in the nation, and I’m just asking people to be cautious just a little bit longer until we can get this behind us.”

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