Gov. Lamont pushes Step Up Connecticut program, urging volunteers


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Remember the notion, “We’re all in this together?” As the pandemic surges, it is probably more true than ever before.

Now, Governor Ned Lamont is asking for help. He said he needs manpower to get through the rest of the pandemic. When schools have to close, the governor said that it would not be due to high positivity rates in the classroom. Rather, it’s due to a shortage of teachers and staff who might be in quarantine.

With college students about to head home, Lamont is looking for students to pitch in.

“Look, you could binge-watch Netflix for three weeks, but we have some other ways you could really be of assistance, helping your entire community getting through this pandemic,” Lamont said.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the governor said we were able to pull healthcare professionals from other states who were seeing less positive cases. With cases now surging across the country, Lamont is looking for people with healthcare experience.

Also, more people are looking to get tested. Again, the need for volunteers.

“We have the lab capacity, but we are trying to expand our capacity for people to take the swabs, and expand the lines we have there the best we can, and the way we do that is with more people.”

Dr. Suzanne Legarde, the CEO of Fairhaven Community Health, acknowledged that calls from people looking to be tested have quadrupled in recent weeks.

“We’re here, we’re doing our best. We’re also testing in eight nursing homes as part of your Care Partners Program, where all nursing homes are getting tested on a weekly basis. It’s a lot of work, but I think everyone recognizes the importance of it.”

Some national guardsman will arrive next week to provide additional help. In “Step Up Connecticut,” there are both paid and volunteer opportunities. More information can be found online.

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