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HARTFORD, CT – Recent medical graduates and retired medical professionals who want to help during the COVID-19 pandemic will be allowed to immediately under an executive order signed Tuesday by Gov. Ned Lamont.

“During this emergency Connecticut needs every bit of assistance we can get,” Lamont said. “Thank you to every health care worker for the jobs you are doing.”

The executive order mandates that temporary permits for certain health care providers be extended and fees waived. It also waives fees for temporary permits for the health care professions administered by the Department of Public Health.

The order also extends temporary permits for the duration of the public health and civil preparedness emergency, unless the governor makes other changes.

In addition, recent medical school and other graduates of other medical professions who are not yet licensed are able to participate in the state’s COVID-19 response. The exemption was necessary now because required examinations and other requisites to become licensed in Connecticut have been suspended during the emergency.

Perhaps most importantly for many, the executive order guarantees the medical professionals protection from civil liability for actions or omissions in support of the state’s COVID-19 response.

Ken Ferrucci, senior vice president of government affairs and acting executive director of the Connecticut State Medical Society, said while CSMS wasn’t directly involved in crafting the executive order, the need is certainly there to reinforce the overly taxed medical workforce battling the pandemic that has taken 277 lives so far.

“Liability protection was certainly a key component of this coming all together,” said Ferrucci, referring to the fact that physicians and others who were anxious to volunteer their services needed to have full protection from being sued before heading to the front lines.

The order further allows medical practice before licensure for marital and family therapy associates and professional counselor associates.