- Connecticut Gov. Lamont said he may be deploying the National Guard to replace unvaccinated state workers.
- A quarter of state employees have not yet complied with an upcoming vaccination or test mandate.
- Lamont’s office said this could lead to “possible staff shortages”.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said Thursday that he might bring in the National Guard to replace state workers who do not comply with a vaccination mandate.
According to an executive order, government workers must either be vaccinated at midnight on Mondays or start taking weekly tests. At present, about a quarter of government employees – or just over 8,000 people – do not follow the order, the office said.
If staff did not comply, they would be placed on unpaid leave, the governor’s office said.
This would cause “possible shortage of staff”, it said.
Lamont has ordered the state’s major general to begin planning “Connecticut National Guard activation,” his office said.
“In the event that agencies providing critical health and safety services need assistance, members of the Connecticut National Guard may be placed under the state’s active duty to support operations until replacement staff can be hired or incompatible staff join. compliance, “said Lamont’s office.
Lamont’s office said more than 20,000 government employees, or 63%, were fully vaccinated, and nearly 4,000 or 12% had started weekly testing Thursday afternoon. The remaining 25%, well over 8,000 workers, were “still in non-compliance status,” Lamont’s office said.
Other executives have warned that vaccination mandates could exacerbate the current labor shortage if employees stop or are fired because they refuse to be vaccinated. Houston Methodist Hospital, which mandated the shooting for its staff, said in June that 153 workers stopped or were fired over the policy.
Lamont said he was “optimistic” that state staff would soon submit test or vaccination information. He said the state provided “more flexibility than our neighbors” by letting staff choose to be tested weekly instead of being vaccinated.
“There is no reason why all our employees should not comply,” he said. “But as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to prevent the impact of the critical services the state provides.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has also said she is ready to call in medically trained National Guard members to replace health workers who are fired for failing to comply with the state’s vaccine mandate.
President Joe Biden announced on September 9 that he would require companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines or weekly tests. He has not said when it would start. Some companies, including AT&T, United Airlines and Facebook, have already set their own vaccination mandates.
Numerous polls suggest that more than half of Americans support coronavirus vaccination mandates.