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Nearly two dozen state employees are out of work for non-compliance with COVID vaccine mandate

COVID Vaccine First Responders
Ryan Caron King/Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public
HARTFORD, CT - January 13, 2021: A HealthCareworker vaccinates a Hartford firefighter at a clinic at the Connecticut Convention Center. (Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public)

Twenty-two state employees in the executive branch who are subject to a COVID-19 vaccination mandate have left or were dismissed from their jobs, Gov. Ned Lamont’s office said Friday.

Another 25 workers are on unpaid leave, and an additional 70 are in the process of being placed on unpaid leave “due to their ongoing non-compliant status,” the administration said.

Overall, 95% of executive branch staff have complied with the requirement to show proof of full vaccination or have chosen to submit to weekly testing and are up to date on handing in their test results. The number is more than 99% when factoring in those who are “temporarily out of compliance” because of incomplete or late test result submission, officials said.

The employee vaccination rate is 80.8%, up slightly from 78.5% on Oct. 7.

The Department of Correction and Department of Education / CT Technical Education System had the highest rates of non-compliance among state agencies, at 9% and 7%, respectively, according to data released Friday.

Three agencies – the Office of Early Childhood, Office of the Attorney General, and the Division of Criminal Justice – reported 100% compliance rates.

The state has only released disaggregated data for agencies with more than 100 employees.

The administration settled earlier this month with state employee unions over the procedures for suspensions and weekly testing. The union has said that the administration agreed to pay for weekly tests for the duration of the pandemic emergency.

Proof of testing must come from a state-licensed clinical laboratory, pharmacy-based testing provider or other approved health care provider. Employees may use vacation, sick leave, comp time and personal leave to get tested. Home tests are not acceptable.