Governor Ned Lamont has announced that in an effort to protect some of the most vulnerable residents of Connecticut from the impact of COVID-19, he has directed an executive order be issued to require employees of all long-term care facilities in the state to be vaccinated against the virus.
Executive Order No. 13B, which was filed yesterday and takes effect immediately, requires staff from these facilities to receive at least their first dose of the vaccines no later than September 7, 2021. Failure of a long-term care facility to comply with the order will subject the facility to a $20,000 civil penalty per day.
The definition of long-term care facilities includes:
- nursing homes;
- residential care homes;
- assisted living services agencies (i.e. agencies that provide staff to certain long-term care facilities);
- intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities;
- managed residential communities; and
- chronic disease hospitals.
“We know for a fact that COVID-19 presents increased risk of severe illness and death among older adults, particularly those who have chronic conditions and compromised immune systems,” Governor Lamont said. “Now that vaccines are widely available and scientifically proven to be safe and the most effective method for preventing hospitalization and death, it would be absolutely irresponsible for anyone working in a long-term care facility to not receive this protection that could prevent widespread infection among those who are most vulnerable from dying of this communicable disease, some of whom for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated themselves. I applaud the staff of our long-term care facilities for everything they do to protect our older populations.”
Approximately one-third of COVID-19 deaths in the United States have occurred among residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Recently in Connecticut, the state has seen a significant increase in cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes among staff and residents. In the past three weeks, there have been 51 resident cases, a sharp increase compared to the 6 cases reported over the previous three-week period. There have also been several deaths in recent weeks of residents who tested positive for COVID-19, which followed a period of 7 consecutive weeks without a death relating to COVID-19.
To date, approximately 55% of all nursing homes in Connecticut have a staff vaccination rate of lower than 75%. Only 21% of nursing homes in the state have a staff vaccination rate higher than 85%.
To find a location in Connecticut to be vaccinated against COVID-19, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.
Executive Order No. 13B was signed by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz in her capacity as acting governor at the request of Governor Lamont.