Lamont orders state agencies, National Guard to prepare for staff shortages due to vaccine failure

HARTFORD, Connecticut (WTNH) – Gov. Ned Lamont orders the state executive branch agency to prepare for employees to be placed on unpaid leave starting next week due to non-compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Lamont asked Major General Francis Evon to begin planning the activation of the Connecticut National Guard. Lamont’s office says the National Guard can be deployed as part of the state’s active duty to support operations until replacement employees can be hired or non-compliant employees come into compliance.

As of Thursday afternoon, more than 20,000 employees, or 63%, said they were fully immunized. There are nearly 4,000, or 12%, who will do weekly tests.

RELATED: State Employees Have Until October 4 to Get Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccine

“I remain optimistic that our employees will promptly submit their testing and vaccination information,” said Lamont. “But as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to avoid impacts on essential services provided by the state. The health and safety of our employees and the people of Connecticut remains our top priority. We have offered most state employees the option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated, providing more flexibility than our neighboring states. We have also given our employees a grace period for compliance. There is no reason why all of our employees should not be in compliance. I continue to count on government employees to lead by example and respect their colleagues and the public in complying with this decree, which is the law.

According to Lamont’s office, just over 8,000, 25 percent, are still in non-compliance. His office says that’s a reduction of more than 2,000 over the past two days.

The National Guard issued a statement saying:

“Members of the Connecticut National Guard have stepped up to support this state throughout this pandemic in capabilities ranging from inspecting skilled nursing facilities to distributing food to those in need of providing PPE. to health districts and first responders. Now, in this phase of the pandemic, we may need to support critical activities. Usually, it’s about protecting life / limbs / eyesight and property, but the past two years have taught us to be flexible and that we can be called upon to support the state in new ways. We, along with our other agencies and the governor’s office, are closely monitoring critical areas and key positions that may be affected by a labor shortage and are examining options to address critical gaps in the workforce. capabilities. At this time, we have not been asked to support a particular function, but we will continue to monitor and prepare as necessary. As an organization, we have a variety of different types of units and our members have a variety of different civilian skills. “

State employees have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 4 to provide proof of vaccination or compliance with weekly testing requirements. If they do not, they will be placed on unpaid leave as of Tuesday October 5, but no later than Monday October 11.

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