Lamont issues executive order extending mask, COVID vaccine mandates through next year

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Ned Lamont issued a new executive order Tuesday after state lawmakers approved the extension of his COVID-19 pandemic executive powers through next year.

Lamont’s latest executive order has extended the deadline for nine previously issued COVID-19 orders through the duration of his renewed pandemic powers, which is now Feb. 15, 2022. It has also revised and narrowed the scope of two previously issued executive orders.

The orders that were extended include the mask mandates in schools, childcare facilities, and at-risk settings, as well as the COVID vaccination/weekly testing requirements for long-term care facility workers, childcare facilities, state hospital workers, state employees, and school employees.

READ FULL: Executive Order No. 14 

If the governor had not extended the deadline for those orders, they were set to expire on Sept. 30, 2021.

“I believe Connecticut has been smart in our response and we’ve been taking the right steps to help mitigate the spread of this virus to the best of our abilities,” Lamont said. “That’s why we’ve gotten to a place where we currently have among the best results in the nation, and I’m just asking people to be cautious just a little bit longer until we can get this behind us.”

On Thursday, Gov. Lamont signed a new executive order that makes slight revision’s to the executive order he issued Tuesday. It is nearly identical to Tuesday’s order, but it corrects an error to the date listed in Section 2 and restores a statutory reference in Section 4(b).

Republicans said the divisiveness around COVID has become dangerous, that Connecticut’s low positivity rate should be enough, and people should be free to live.

Democrats said the pandemic is still in full swing.

State lawmakers have 72 hours to decide whether they want to challenge any of these orders. They can meet to veto any of them or do nothing, and the orders will stand.

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