Gov. Ned Lamont announced Thursday that all state employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 27. 

This mandate includes teachers in public and private schools as well as early childhood care providers. Healthcare workers at state hospitals must also be vaccinated.

As of Aug. 20, five of Connecticut's eight counties exceed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's high transmission threshold for COVID-19—more than 100 weekly cases per 100,000 residents, or a positivity rate of 10% or higher.

If an employee isn’t vaccinated, Lamont said they must be tested weekly. The tests will not be provided by the state and religious and medical exemptions will be available.

“We’ve made it very easy for you," Lamont said. "We have 300 vaccination sites, all over the state. Go get vaccinated if you haven’t been vaccinated."

The Lamont administration last week mandated vaccinations for all nursing home workers.

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday nursing homes will lose their federal funding if employees aren’t vaccinated. 

Schools

In addition, the Lamont administration announced students and teachers in grades K-12 must wear masks regardless of vaccination status to start the school year.

Connecticut joins a growing list of states, cities, and companies mandating employee vaccinations as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant.

“The Delta variant has shown that the public health crisis will not subside without higher vaccination rates,” said CBIA president and CEO Chris DiPentima. “We won’t have a robust economic recovery until COVID-19 is under control.

"Given the surge in COVID-19 cases, it's clear more needs to be done to increase the rate of vaccinations and protect residents, schools, workplaces, and our communities."

Connecticut ranks second nationally when it comes to vaccinations, with 74% of those aged 12 and older having received the vaccine.

A number of Connecticut cities have also reimposed indoor mask mandates, regardless of vaccination rates, with smaller towns following their lead.