State Agencies Prepare for Staffing Shortages

Over 8,000 state employees have not, as of Thursday afternoon, proved they have complied with an order by Governor Ned Lamont to either be vaccinated or meet weekly Covid-19 testing requirements. They face a deadline of 11:59 pm on Monday to avoid being placed on unpaid leave as soon as Tuesday.

The 8,000 employees represent about 25 percent of the state workforce. According to the governor’s office, some 20,000 workers — about 63 percent of the force — say they are fully vaccinated. Another 4,000 have started weekly testing.

Although the number of non-compliant employees dropped by over 2,000 in the past two days, Governor Lamont today directed state agencies to prepare for staffing shortages, and instructed Major General Francis Evon to begin planning for activation of the Connecticut National Guard.

If agencies that provide critical health and safety services need assistance, Guard members may be deployed in active duty to support operations until replacement employees can be hired or those on leave become compliant and return.

“I continue to remain optimistic that our employees will submit their testing and vaccination information quickly,” said the governor. “But as we have done throughout the pandemic, we will prepare for the worst to prevent impacts to the critical services the state provides. The health and safety of our employees and the people of Connecticut remain our top priority.”

“We have provided most state employees with the option to get tested weekly instead of getting vaccinated, providing more flexibility than our neighboring states. We have also provided our employees with a compliance grace period. There is no reason all our employees should not be in compliance. 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.”

Also in Weston Today...