As of this morning, Connecticut state employees have to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or those who are exempt need to begin getting tested weekly.
As of Monday afternoon, 23,000 employees, or 76%, of state employees were are fully vaccinated and 5,000, or 17%, will receive weekly testing, state officials said.
That leaves around 2,200 workers, or 7%, who were nevertheless non-compliant with the order.
State employees will need to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing by the end of the day Monday or confront unpaid furloughs.
“Some of those are unexpected and we treat them with leniency. Some of those are defiant just won’t do it and they’ve gotta go home,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Officials said the state expected most of the remaining non-compliant employees to get their documentation in by Monday night and that there would be minimal impact on operations.
The executive order Lamont issued requires all Connecticut state employees, childcare staff and staff of PreK-12 schools statewide to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and for people who are exempt to be tested on a weekly basis.
“No employer should mandate the injection of a vaccine into somebody’s body and that’s a pretty strong sentiment of our members, but that’s not the case here,” said Andy Matthews of the Connecticut State Police Union.
Matthews said the governor’s requirements are not really a vaccine mandate.
“Here in Connecticut we’re fortunate that it’s really a mandated testing option,” he additional.
The state will pay for the first four weeks of testing for those approved.
On Friday, the State Employees Bargaining Coalition, the union for state employees, sent a letter to Lamont requesting a 20-day extension and said these employees are providing basic sets at unheard of short staffing levels.
Josh Geballe, the governor’s chief operating officer, said anyone who chooses not to comply could confront being put on unpaid leave.
Those employees could be put on unpaid leave as early as today, but no later than Monday, Oct. 11, as last minute paperwork comes in, he additional.
Last week, Lamont asked the National Guard to be ready to step in if there are staffing shortages.
The governor has directed Major General Francis Evon to plan for an activation of the Connecticut National Guard to fill in at agencies that provide basic health and safety sets, if necessary. That activation would last until enough employees are compliant or new employees can be hired.
The mandate only applies to employees in the executive branch, not in the judicial or legislative.
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