Connecticut legislators granted Gov. Ned Lamont‘s request to extend his emergency powers — the House on Monday, Sept. 27, and the Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 28 — with both chambers voting along party lines (although 10 Democratic state representatives and one Democratic state Senator did vote with Republicans).
The votes allowed the governor to renew the COVID-19 emergency orders, reauthorizing nine previously issued executive orders to remain in effect through Feb. 15, 2022. This is the sixth extension of his emergency powers since the start of the pandemic.
In his request to the legislators, Lamont said extending the executive order beyond Sept. 30, the date that the declarations had been set to expire, was necessary due to the continued threat of the COVID-19 virus.
“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,” Governor 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.”
Among the most impactful — and contested by opponents — are the orders requiring masks in schools, childcare facilities, and certain higher-risk settings; and the orders mandating state employees and people who work in long-term care facilities, state hospitals, schools, and childcare facilities get vaccinated, with test-out options for those not working in long-term care facilities and hospitals.
“There is something called Delta. It hit and hit hard, forcing a lot of changes in the rules coming from the federal government, new vaccines for boosters, and probably something for kids so we need to be able to act quickly,” Lamont said on Tuesday, according to WFSB-TV news.
In Wilton, the CT Department of Public Health reported three more COVID-positive cases and a 2.18% test positivity rate on Tuesday. Wilton Public Schools‘ most recent daily tracker showed only one confirmed positive case in the district, with 16 people quarantining after close contact.