October 23, 2021

Lamont calls special session to extend COVID emergency declarations

Citing a desire to extend the state’s emergency declarations amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont issued a proclamation Wednesday for the General Assembly to meet in a special session Monday.

In a letter to legislative leaders, Lamont said his intentions are to extend the emergency declarations to Feb. 15. The emergency declarations that were enacted March 10, 2020, are set to expire Sept. 30.

The Legislature passed a law, which Lamont signed, this summer that empowers Democratic and Republican leadership to reject any executive orders from the governor under emergency declarations. The state Legislature has not enacted that power to date.

Lamont wrote, “As we have discussed, there remain several reasons why it is prudent and responsible to renew the emergency declarations.”

The COVID-19 delta variant, Lamont wrote, “posed significant and unknown risks, and that our vaccination campaign remained critical to limiting those risks and protecting the vulnerable.”

Lamont cited “a prolonged surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from this new and more contagious variant” and the fact “some states have seen their highest rate of hospitalization and severe illness.”

“Connecticut saw case rates increase to levels not seen since early spring,” the governor wrote.

Lamont cited the state’s vaccination programs for limiting the severity “from this highly contagious strain of the disease” that would “have been much worse, and further increasing vaccination rates, along with continued use of masks and other protective measures holds the best hope of preventing or reducing effects of another surge” from the delta variant.

In an effort to stem the delta variant, Lamont wrote to the Legislature “several of the few remaining executive orders that remain in effect are critical to the State’s ability to continue our vaccination campaign and other critical safety measures, especially masking requirements in schools and certain high-risk settings.”

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