Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont Prepares National Guard to Replace Unvaccinated State Employees

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont speaks at a press conference at Pfizer Groton on the companies research to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, Wednesday, July 22, 2020, in Groton, Conn. The federal government has agreed to pay nearly $2 billion for 100 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine being developed …
AP Photo/Stew Milne

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has notified his National Guard troops to prepare for a possible scenario in which they replace state workers who defy the state’s impending coronavirus vaccine and testing mandate.

Lamont issued an executive order which directed state workers to receive a vaccine by Monday or undergo weekly tests. Roughly 25 percent of the state’s employees, which amounts to 8,000 individuals, are “non-compliant” with the coming requirements, Business Insider notes.

“I continue to remain optimistic that our employees will submit their testing and vaccination information quickly,” Lamont said in a statement. “But as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to prevent impacts to the critical services the state provides.

“We have provided most state employees with the option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated, providing more flexibility than our neighboring states,” the Democrat governor continued. “We have also provided our employees with a compliance grace period.”

“There is no reason all our employees should not be in compliance,” he added. “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.”

The Connecticut National Guard said it is prepared to assist the state in case of staff shortages.

“Connecticut National Guard members have stepped up to support this state throughout this pandemic in capacities ranging from skilled nursing facility inspection to distributing food to those in need to delivering PPE to health districts and first responders,” it said in a statement. “Now, in this phase of the pandemic, we potentially may need to support critical activities.”

“We, in concert with our other agencies and the Governor’s office, are closely monitoring critical sectors and key positions that may be affected by a labor shortage and we are looking at options for filling in critical capability gaps,” the statement read.

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