Gov. Ned Lamont has extended Connecticut’s state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic until April 20.
On Monday, Lamont said he planned to ask Connecticut lawmakers to extend his public health emergency powers, noting that the state is beginning to see more cases of a highly infectious COVID-19 variant.
The Democrat’s special executive authority, originally granted by leaders of the General Assembly last year to help speed up the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, was already extended once and was set to expire on Feb. 9.
“We think by April 20, we’re going to have a really good handle on where we stand in terms of vaccinations, where we stand on the supply of vaccinations, where we stand on bending the curve, where we stand compared to that super contagious variant of the germ that’s out there hitting us every day right now,” Lamont said Monday.
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In a statement on Tuesday, Lamont said that while the recent development of several vaccines provides great hope that the pandemic will soon be under control, the virus continues to rapidly spread and emergency measures are still needed to help mitigate its impact.
“The people of Connecticut are to be commended for their actions to prevent the further spread of this virus, and I truly believe that the steps they’ve taken have made an impact,” Lamont said in a statement. “That said, the virus is not going to suddenly end on February 9, and to eliminate all of these preventative measures on that day would be irresponsible and in many cases life threatening. Our administration remains committed to working in collaboration with the legislature on these emergency orders as we’ve done throughout this pandemic so that we can provide the best protocols needed to protect the residents of our state.”
Lamont previously said that if lawmakers have issues with any of the dozens of executive orders he has signed, they can always pass legislation that addresses them “on a one-off basis.”