Governor Lamont COVID-19 and Vaccine Update- 3/11/2021

 In Covid-19

Governor Lamont held a press conference today on the state’s response efforts to COVID-19. The Governor was joined by Chief of Staff Paul Mounds, Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe, Acting Commissioner of the Department of Education Charlene Russell Tucker, and Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Miriam Delphin Rittmon.

COVID Metrics:  Hospitlizations continue to trend down, and the state’s positivity rate is currently at 2.36%. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 289,392 COVID positive cases have been reported, over 7 million tests administered, and 7,761 COVID related fatalities.

Vaccine Update:  1,258,847 total doses have been administered, 29% of all adults ages 16+ have been vaccinated. In addition, 76% of those age 75+, 67% in the 65 – 74 age range, and 32% of adults aged 55 – 64 have received a vaccine. All three vaccines in circulation have shown effectiveness in combating the variant strains of COVID-19.

Schools: A total of $1.1 billion is being provided to CT schools through the American Rescue Plan. The administration has signaled now is the time to think broadly and go big when it comes to education. The State Department of Education Acting Commissioner Charlene Russell Tucker has indicated the major goals in the coming months will be to enhance summer learning and enrichment, providing students who are learning with college credit, expanding access to summer internships, and putting students in an environment that allows them to socialize. They will be working alongside various stakeholders and superintendents on how to best utilize the resources in the best way to benefit students. In addition, focusing on learning recovery and acceleration; social and emotional learning; and safety.

Mental Health: The pandemic has exacerbated the need for access to mental health programs. The administration utilizing the American Rescue Plan is planning on increasing school behavioral programs, support for substance abuse programs, providing funding for youth suicide prevention, and addressing issues that have stemmed from COVID-19.

Public Option for Health Insurance:  The Governor was asked if he supported the Comptroller’s Public Option plan currently before the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and indicated that he is skeptical about a plan that would need the taxpayer to underwrite the risk. However, would be interested in the Public Option means having a preferred network that incentives high-value plans at less cost to the consumer.

Furthermore, Governor Lamont is in support of state workers filing whistleblower complaints regardless of whether they are in a union or not.

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