Vaccine mandate begins in Connecticut

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ENFIELD, Conn. (WWLP) – The first deadline for Connecticut state workers and teachers to get vaccinated against covid-19 began today. In an effort to lower COVID-19 numbers, there is a new vaccine mandate in Connecticut. But there are many who still oppose it and that is already causing problems.

Gov. Ned Lamont is requiring 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. “I think that’s the only way we are going to combat this. Otherwise people who are not vaccinated are going to spread it around.” said Christine Meads, Enfield resident.

There’s a concern that there will be a lack of bus drivers in the state due to the mandate. Currently, 1,500 Connecticut bus drivers are unvaccinated. 1,300 have agreed to weekly COVID-19 testing instead of getting the vaccine. The remaining are refusing to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing.

After announcing plans to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for skilled nursing home staff in Massachusetts last month, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is expanding the requirement to a range of workers who interact with the state’s oldest and most vulnerable residents. The state will require all staff at rest homes, assisted living residences, and hospice programs, as well as an estimated 100,000 home care workers, to get the COVID-19 vaccine by October 31.

The vaccine will also be required for tens of thousands of state government workers and contractors. Gov. Baker is also requiring all statehouse workers to get the vaccine in order to go back into the building.

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