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Lamont Directs State Agencies To Prepare for Staffing Shortages

Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has directed executive branch state agency heads to prepare for their employees to be placed on unpaid leave starting next week due to non-compliance with executive orders requiring COVID-19 vaccination or testing. State employees have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 4, 2021, to provide proof of vaccination or compliance with weekly testing requirements. State agencies will begin to place non-complaint employees on unpaid leave as soon as Tuesday, October 5, but no later than Monday, October 11.

Thousands of state employees have submitted their required documentation already this week. As of this afternoon, more than 20,000 (63%) have indicated they are fully vaccinated, nearly 4,000 (12%) have started weekly testing, and just over 8,000 (25%) are still in non-compliant status, a reduction of over 2,000 in the past two days.

To prepare for possible staffing shortages, Governor Lamont has instructed Major General Francis Evon to begin planning for Connecticut National Guard activation. In the event agencies that provide critical health and safety services need assistance, members of the Connecticut National Guard may be deployed under state active duty to support operations until replacement employees can be hired or non-compliant employees come into compliance.

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

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