Governor Lamont COVID-19 and Vaccine Update- 5/25/2021

 In Covid-19

Governor Lamont held a press conference on May 25, 2021, on the state’s response efforts to COVID-19.

The Governor was joined by Chief of Staff Paul Mounds, Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe, and Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford.

COVID-19 Metrics: The positivity rate is at 0.9 percent, hospitalizations are at the lowest rate in months, and there have been 8,219 COVID-related fatalities.

Vaccine Update: There have been 3,759,798 total doses administered, with 1,782,586 individuals fully vaccinated.

  • 90 percent of adults 65 and older have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 80 percent of adults 55 – 64 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 70 percent of adults 45 – 54 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 65 percent of adults 35 – 44 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 50 percent of adults 25 – 34 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 45 percent of adults 18 – 24 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 50 percent of adolescents 16 – 18 have been vaccinated with their first dose.
  • 30 percent of adolescents 12 – 16 have been vaccinated with their first dose.

Department of Public Health Acting Commissioner Deidre Gifford discussed potential booster shots for specific populations, however, no timeline or specific information has been released by the Center for Disease Control as of yet.

Healthcare:  During today’s press briefing the Governor highlighted some of the steps his Administration has taken to make healthcare more affordable throughout the state. The Administration has made prices more transparent with cost and quality benchmarks, reduced insurers requested rates for 2021, challenged insurers to introduce more affordable plans, waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment, expanded telehealth, and signed into law the paid family and medical leave act.

CT Can Build on ARP: The American Rescue Plan reduced premiums, but not out-of-pocket costs. The Governor has stated that for the cost of expanding Medicaid to 8,000 people Connecticut can:

  • Eliminate premiums and out-of-pocket costs for 34,000 people.
  • Cover dental and other services for 34,000 people.
  • Provide prenatal care for undocumented women.
  • Extend Husky postpartum care from 2 to 12 months.

The expansion of Medicaid would be funded through a $50 million dollar assessment on insurance companies. The Governor continues to support the assessment and cites insurance companies receiving a $300 – $400 million dollar tax break from the federal government as justification for the assessment.

Reducing Prescription Drug Costs: The Administration does not believe that Americans should be paying three times more for medicine than people in other developed countries, and that manufacturers can recover their research and development costs without raising the prices of older drugs like Insulin and EpiPen’s year after year. The Governor has proposed bipartisan legislation that is before the legislature that would limit pharmaceutical price increases to inflation +2 percent.

Addressing Health Disparities: The Administration briefly discussed proposed investments utilizing the American Rescue Plan in universal home visiting, community health workers, mental and behavioral health, quality childcare, reducing unintended pregnancies, support for local health departments, and improved data systems.

Schools: The Center for Disease Control will be re-examining their guidelines for the Fall 2021 school year and the state will continue to await their updated guidance.

Transportation Climate Initative: The Governor is in support of TCI, and believes it is fair for polluters to pay a fee for polluting.

This update was brought to us by…

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