Covered workers and requirements
What is the effective date of the requirement?
As of September 27, 2021 the Executive Order requires compliance with the vaccination requirement including meeting all documentation requirements. Programs should work with their staff immediately to achieve compliance. The Order is effective through September 30, 2021, and may be extended or modified based on whether the Governor’s emergency authorities are extended beyond September 30, 2021.
Which staff are “Covered Workers” under Executive Order 13D?
“Covered Worker” refers to:
- All employees, both full and part-time
- Other individuals working in a public or non-public pre-K to grade 12 school or Child Care Facility, including individuals providing operational or custodial services or administrative support, or any person whose job duties require them to make regular or frequent visits to any such schools or child care facilities. Those who fall into this category of making regular or frequent visits may include consultants who are present in the program on a recurring basis.
“Covered Worker” does not include:
- Contractors or employees of an outside vendor who visits a public or non-public pre-K through grade 12 school or Child Care Facility only to provide one-time or limited-duration repairs, services, or construction
- Parents and volunteers
- Household members residing in a family child care home
Leaders are encouraged to seek legal counsel if uncertainties arise regarding whether an individual(s) should be considered a covered worker(s) subject to the Order.
What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated?”
“Fully vaccinated” means at least 14 days have elapsed since a person has received the 2nd dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or as otherwise defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Individuals who have not achieved fully vaccinated status are required to submit to weekly testing.
Are programs required to pay staff for the time necessary to obtain the vaccine or test?
Programs should treat this requirement as they do other health requirements staff need to meet to maintain eligibility to work. Programs should follow their own policies with regard to how they expect staff to meet these requirements.
How do covered workers access testing?
Those individuals who need to be tested for COVID-19 will find information on locations at the Connecticut COVID-19 Response webpage. Testing locations are found by typing a zip code in the search box on the right side of the page.
Payment is based on the individual’s insurance coverage or is self-pay. Individuals should check with their insurance carrier or the testing site regarding cost and payment for testing.
What kind of test satisfies the testing requirement?
Any type of valid COVID-19 test is acceptable.
Are child care staff able to access expedited testing?
No. There are no longer priority lines for testing of providers.
For staff who will undergo a weekly COVID-19 test, will they need to be excluded from the program in between their weekly testing day and when they get the results?
No. Individuals are required to undergo weekly testing on an ongoing basis and provide the tests to the employer. However, if an individual tests positive, exclusion and all other requirements for addressing a COVID-19 exposure must be followed. This includes reporting to the DPH Epidemiology and Emerging Infection Program (860-509-7994) and the local department of health in the town of residence of the patient.
Compliance and exemptions
What documentation is required to prove compliance?
Operators of programs are required to have readily available for inspection either:
- Proof of vaccination status, which includes:
- (1) CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the Vaccination Record Card
- (2) Documentation from a health care provider or electronic health care records
- (3) State Immunization Information record. Personal attestation will not be accepted as an acceptable form of proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
- Documented proof of each weekly testing result
How does a program handle and document a medical or religious exemption?
With respect to medical exemptions, the Order requires that a physician, physician’s assistant, or advance practice registered nurse (“APRN”) determine that the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine is detrimental to the covered worker’s health.
With respect to religious exemptions, the Order requires that the covered worker object to vaccination on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief.
A covered worker who has not demonstrated proof of full vaccination, including those with religious or medical exemptions, must undergo COVID-19 testing one time per week on an ongoing basis.
What happens if Covered Workers do not comply with the Executive Order?
Programs should follow their own policies with regard to how they will address individuals’ refusal to comply with the vaccine requirement, as they would with any other violation of program policy. If, however, a covered worker refuses to obtain a vaccine or receive weekly testing, that worker shall not be allowed on the licensed premises. Further consequences for a covered worker’s refusal to receive weekly testing are to be determined by the program and its legal counsel.
OEC will monitor licensed program’s compliance with the Executive Order during licensing visits similarly to how the agency currently monitors health records. Depending on the number of staff, this may include a sampling of records. Programs shall maintain on site verification of compliance with the vaccine requirement for each covered worker. Instances of noncompliance with the vaccine requirement will be cited and programs will be asked to submit a corrective action plan addressing the violation. Individuals not in compliance with the requirement will not be allowed on the premises of a licensed child care facility until compliance with the vaccine requirement is met. Licensed child care facilities will be subject to disciplinary action including civil penalty, or suspension or revocation of a license if a violation is not corrected.