Connecticut May Replace Unvaccinated Workers with National Guard Troops A US Army National Guard Soldier takes a phone call as he stands next to high-water rescue trucks while he waits for his fellow soldiers in a supermarket parking lot. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty)
By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 01 October 2021 01:36 PM
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont may use National Guard troops to replace state workers who refuse to get vaccinated or receive weekly tests for COVID-19, Business Insider reports.
According to the governor’s executive order, all state workers must either get fully vaccinated before midnight on Monday or agree to undergo weekly tests for COVID-19.
The governor’s office said about one-fourth of state workers, or about 8,000 people, have refused to follow the mandate, and added that any staff that did not comply with the order will be placed on unpaid leave, which could create “possible staffing shortages,” prompting Lamont to instruct Connecticut’s major general to start preparing for “Connecticut National Guard activation.”
"In the event agencies that provide critical health and safety services need assistance, members of the Connecticut National Guard may be deployed under state active duty to support operations until replacement employees can be hired or non-compliant employees come into compliance," the governor's office said.
“I continue to remain optimistic that our employees will submit their testing and vaccination information quickly,” Lamont said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
He added: “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.”