Because of teachers’ emails, ongoing CEA advocacy, the petition, and the CEA awareness campaign featuring five Connecticut Teachers of the Year, CEA’s efforts to prioritize educators for vaccinations have been successful. Governor Ned Lamont announced today that the state’s goal will be to vaccinate all school employees during the month of March—beginning the first of the month.
CEA and a coalition of unions representing school employees shared a plan—calling for school district-based vaccination clinics—with the governor’s office and other state officials. Today, the governor is urging superintendents to set up school district clinics to help vaccinate all school staff in the month of March. (It is anticipated that school employees may still seek appointments online, but it is likely that the district-based clinics will provide quicker access.)
During a news conference today, Lamont and his staff said that the first vaccine clinics for school staff will open the week of March 1—though it will take most of the month to arrange for clinics for all of the 160,000 Connecticut residents who work in public schools and childcare centers.
“It’s important that we do everything we can to say thank you to that community that has been educating our kids and making sure our schools can stay open,” Lamont said.
Josh Geballe, chief operating officer for the State of Connecticut, said that the state will be working with superintendents and local health directors to organize clinics for school staff. How those clinics will be organized will depend on district size, with smaller rural districts liking working together to plan a shared clinic.
“We’re hoping most school staff will take the opportunity to participate in a dedicated clinic,” said Geballe. “Those clinics will take pressure of our mass vaccination sites that will be available to the rest of the vaccine eligible population.”
Lamont acknowledged that many schools have had to shutter on one or more occasions due to the need for school staff to quarantine after a possible COVID exposure. CDC guidelines state that individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after a potential exposure.
“I believe it’s important that we keep our schools open and keep them open for our kids,” the governor said.
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