Acting Commissioner of Public Health Deidre Gifford (CTNewsjunkie photo)
Commissioner of Department of Social Services Deidre Gifford gets vaccinated. (CTNewsjunkie photo)

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that state employees made significant progress in complying with the vaccination and testing requirement ahead of the Monday afternoon deadline. 

As of 4 p.m. Sunday about 23,000 or 74% of state employees were fully vaccinated, 5,000 or 15% agreed to weekly testing, and 3,000 or 11% were non-compliant, according to the Lamont administration.  

The Lamont administration said it continues to expect that most of the remaining non-compliant employees will submit the required documentation to the state by Monday and that there should be minimal impact to operations as a result.

Last week, the administration directed the Connecticut National Guard to plan for activation in the event that health care and safety agencies require support as a result of staffing shortages. Lamont said he was optimistic the contingency plans would not be necessary. 

The state employee vaccination and testing requirement only covers the executive branch and does not apply to the legislative or judicial branches.

Also testing will only be offered free of charge by the state for the first month. 

“We’ll pay for that for at least the initial month, make it easier for you to test. [But] we want you to get vaccinated to tell you the truth,” Lamont said last week.

Last week, SEBAC posted a notice to workers on its website saying that state employees should report to work this week unless directed otherwise. According to the labor group, several issues related to the requirement remain unresolved and some may ultimately be decided by a neutral arbitrator.

“Such issues include whether outside of mandatory testing facilities, testing should be paid for by the State and on State time, the exact nature of the consequence for not complying with the executive order, and whether there should be a cash incentive associated with being vaccinated,” the labor coalition wrote. 

On Friday the coalition asked for 20 more days to comply with the vaccination or testing mandate. The administration says no formal request was ever requested and they were not interested in granting an extension.