Union asks Lamont to extend workers vaccination deadline
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s largest health care union said Monday it will ask Gov. Ned Lamont to give nursing homes another 30 days to ensure that all of its employees are being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Lamont signed an executive order this month that prevents nursing homes from employing anyone who has not received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 7. Those found in violation of the order face fines of $20,000 a day.
Pedro Zayas, a spokesperson for SEIU 1199, said without the extension, nursing homes will face staff shortages that will compromise care.
“We think that 30 days will allow enough time for all employers to get on board and run their program,” Zayas said. “We feel we could use that time, along with the employers, to educate workers who are on the fence or who need some other kinds of supports.”
Max Reiss, the governor’s spokesman, did not say whether the governor would extend the deadline, but noted that Lamont’s emergency executive authority expires Sept. 30.
The number of people hospitalized in Connecticut with COVID-19 continues to rise.
There were 285 such patients on Monday, an increase of 26 over the weekend, according to the governor’s office.
The state recorded another 1,581 positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total to 363,417 since the start of the pandemic.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Connecticut has risen over the past two weeks from 328.29 cases per day on July 31 to 537.14 new cases per day on Aug. 14, according to research from John’s Hopkins University.
Manchester Road Race officials still plan to hold an in-person event this year, but say that will depend on the state of the pandemic in November.
Registration for the annual Thanksgiving Day race, which typically draws more than 10,000 runners to downtown Manchester, will open on Sept. 1, race officials announced Sunday.
“Obviously, we will be guided by the state and local pandemic protocols and regulations that will be in place in November, and how the race will be conducted will depend on conditions that exist then,” said Dr. Tris Carta, President of the Manchester Road Race Committee said in a statement. “But we are enthusiastically looking forward to seeing the runners back on Main Street this Thanksgiving.”
Race officials said runners will be given the option of participating virtually using an app that was introduced last year when the race could not be held as an in-person event. The app will record how fast a runner completes the unique 4.748 mile distance anywhere in the world.
That will allow virtual runners to be credited with completing the race, but only those who run the official course on race day will be eligible for awards or record times.
Those who run on the Manchester course on race day will not have to use the app, and their times will be recorded, as usual, with a chip in their race bib.