Governor Lamont Signs Orders Requiring All Long-Term Care Facility and State Hospital Employees To Receive COVID-19 Boosters
Connecticut Hospital Association Also Implementing Similar Requirement for All Hospital Employees
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced 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, leadership from the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) today 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. “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,” Connecticut Social Services Commissioner Dr. Deidre S. Gifford, whose agency administers Medicaid in the state, said. “This mandate will help ensure that our residents, staff and family members are as safe as possible through the remainder of the pandemic. I applaud Governor Lamont for issuing the executive order and look forward to working with our long-term care providers and partner agencies to increase booster vaccinations overall.”
“The science is clear. Immunity wanes and boosters are necessary to optimize your immunity to COVID-19,” Connecticut 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.”
“While much has been asked of Connecticut’s extraordinary long-term care workforce during this now two-years’ long pandemic, we firmly believe that they will once again respond to this latest call to action from Governor Lamont,” Mag Morelli, president of LeadingAge Connecticut, and Matthew Barrett, president and CEO of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, said in a joint statement. “Connecticut nursing homes are in full compliance with the original vaccine order, and there is every reason to believe that our staff booster compliance rates will track the same as we move to implement these updated vaccination requirements.”
“Taken together, CHA’s announcement today supporting a mandatory booster dose for hospital and health system employees and the governor’s executive order supporting the same for long-term care facility staff demonstrates our continued commitment to the safety and well-being of the healthcare workforce and patients across the state,” Jennifer Jackson, CEO of the Connecticut Hospital Association, said.
To find a location in Connecticut to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.