Bob Duff

Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

July 30, 2021

Senator Duff Calls for State, Municipal, Some Medical Staffs to Receive Covid-19 Vaccine or Receive Weekly Testing

Also recommends medical offices disclose vaccination among staff

Following announcements this week at the federal level that federal employees will need to complete COVID-19 vaccination or be subject to increased testing and other steps to track and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, especially with the increased infectiousness of the virus’s delta variant, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) this week called for similar standards to be applied to state and municipal employees as well as employees under state funding or contracts as well as medical staff. Specifically, Sen. Duff said, those employees should have standards requiring vaccination, and if they decline the COVID-19 vaccine, they should be tested for the virus twice a week, plus be required to wear masks at all times and physically distance.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that all federal employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to strict protocols. Employees who have not been vaccinated will always be required to wear masks on the job, physically distance from other employees and visitors, comply with weekly or twice-weekly COVID-19 testing screenings, and be subject to restrictions on official travel. The requirement is not a mandate, and employees who do not get vaccinated will not lose their jobs.

Additionally, on Thursday, the Department of Defense announced all military and civilian personnel will be asked to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, with those who do not subject to the same additional guidelines federal employees would be subject to. New York State has also said employees must be vaccinated or tested weekly.

“The concerning trend of COVID-19 infections rising across the country, including, to a thankfully lower extent at this time, in Connecticut, is a reminder that this disease remains infectious and dangerous, especially to the unvaccinated,” said Sen. Duff. “With federal and military employees subject to these restrictions announced by the President and Defense Department, it would make sense to apply a similar framework to Connecticut’s state and local employees. This would not be a mandate. It’s a common-sense way to restrict the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines work, and data continues to prove that COVID-19 vaccination lowers one’s risk of hospitalization or death many times over. We should encourage vaccination among as many individuals in our state as possible, and this is another way to achieve that goal.”

Sen. Duff also recommended that medical offices, including doctors, dentists and other patient-facing professionals, disclose if their office staff, as a group, is fully vaccinated. Such a move would allow patients access to important information, allowing them more freedom to make choices aligning with their beliefs.

“Many medical offices routinely experience patients who could be at higher risk of serious complication from COVID-19,” said Sen. Duff, “and those patients should be able to make choices based on information made available to them. By informing individuals if an office is fully vaccinated, medical offices can improve the confidence and security of their patients.”