Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that he plans to order nursing home workers and contractors with significant contact with residents to be boosted by February 11, noting rising rates of COVID-19 infection among staff in the state.
The order, which the Democrat was slated to sign Thursday night, will also apply to staff at other long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and boarding schools, as well as 3,600 government employees who work in public hospitals for chronic conditions such as Connecticut Hospital. Valley and Whiting Forensic Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Connecticut Hospital Association announced that it is revising its policy of mandating statewide vaccinations for hospital and health care workers and clinical staff, requiring them to be boosted as well. Other private hospital systems in the United States, including the Boston area, required an additional dose.
Connecticut is one of the first states to introduce such a mandate for nursing home staff. In California, an estimated 2.5 million healthcare workers must get a booster shot for coronavirus by February 1, or they risk losing their jobs. New Mexico also requires workers in certain categories to receive an additional vaccine.
New data released Thursday shows that staff had 2,148 cases of COVID-19 between December 22 and January 4, compared with 242 cases between December 8 and December 21. period. Over the past month, 26 residents have died, but no personnel have died.
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Lamont predicted that “dramatic dividends” would come from the need for nursing home workers and others to receive a third dose.
“This will expand the capacity of our hospitals, and it will be easier for us to transfer people from hospitals to nursing homes,” he said.
Dr. Deirdre Gifford, Lamont’s health advisor and commissioner for the Department of Human Services, said employees affected by the governor’s new order would not be able to take the test as an alternative.