Governor Ned Lamont announced on Friday that he has signed two executive orders (Executive Order No. 14B and Executive Order No. 14C) requiring employees of all long-term care facilities and state hospitals in Connecticut to receive Covid-19 booster shots by February 11, 2022.
The orders are similar to ones he issued last summer (Executive Order No. 13F and Executive Order No. 13G) that required these employees to receive their initial Covid-19 vaccination doses by September 27, 2021.
In addition to the governor’s orders, on Friday leadership from the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) announced that they are implementing a similar mandatory booster shot requirement for all hospital and health system employees and clinical staff statewide.
Long-term care facilities include 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. Similar to the prior order, failure of these facilities to comply subjects them to a $20,000 civil penalty per day.
State hospital employees include anyone who is employed by, provides services in, or whose job duties require them to make regular or frequent visits to Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center-South; Whiting Forensic Hospital; John Dempsey Hospital; Connecticut Valley Hospital; and any Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services state-operated facility providing hospital level of care.
“Some of the people who are most vulnerable to the impacts of Covid-19 include those who live in long-term care facilities and receive services in our state hospitals, and we need to be doing everything we can to protect them from this virus,” Governor Lamont said in a release. “We know for a fact that the initial vaccinations significantly and immediately reduced the rate of hospitalizations and deaths that were occurring in these facilities. At the time, the staff of these facilities stepped up and did what was right to protect the residents for whom they were hired to care. Now, we need to fight against the impacts of waning immunity, and that is why everyone who is able should get a booster shot. I continue to applaud the staff of our long-term care facilities and state hospitals for everything they do to protect our older and vulnerable populations.”
“The extremely rapid spread of Omicron underscores the fact that booster vaccinations are absolutely essential to protect our dedicated long-term care staff and, by extension, the most vulnerable Connecticut residents in skilled nursing facilities and other long-term care settings,” said Connecticut Social Services Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford, whose agency administers Medicaid in the state.
“This mandate will help ensure that our residents, staff and family members are as safe as possible through the remainder of the pandemic,” she added.
“The science is clear. Immunity wanes and boosters are necessary to optimize your immunity to COVID-19,” CT Public Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said. “Nursing home residents are some of our most vulnerable residents, and those that care for them should be optimally protected. Especially with the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant, we must do all we can to protect this vulnerable population.”
To find a location in Connecticut to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.