COVID-19 Update April 16: Lamont: “Vaccinations are Working” as Wilton Leads in Vaccine Rate–But Cases Continue

Gov. Ned Lamont was a bit more upbeat on Thursday, touting the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate as “the lowest it’s been in weeks,” at 2.04%.

There were other metrics he was optimistic about as well.

“We’re slowly getting back to a new normal, and the vaccinations are working,” Lamont said, pointing to just six fatalities and a drop of 13 hospitalizations in the last reported 24 hours. While the total number of patients statewide who are hospitalized with COVID-19 is still over 500 (at 505), nonetheless, it’s an encouraging data point for Lamont.

But “that’s not good enough,” he added, worrying about small hot spots of high case rates across the state. On Lamont’s “Case Rates by Town” map, darker towns have higher infection rates. He said the southwest part of the state–where Wilton is–is generally a worrisome area for him.

More encouraging to Lamont is the vaccination rate across the state, with a map (below) showing the “mirror image” to the case rates (above). In the vaccination rate map, the darker-colored towns have better vaccination rates. The governor noted the “great variability” town to town and region to region–”and what that means in terms of infection.”

Statewide, the vaccination rate is generally strong:

  • 55% of all adults 16-and-up have received the first dose
    • 65-and-up:  87%
    • 55-64:  73%
    • 45-54:  56%
    • 16-44:  34%
  • Over 1 million residents are fully vaccinated

Lamont pointed out that an 87% vaccination rate (seen in the 65-and-up age group) is close to herd immunity. “If we can replicate what we do in the older demographic, if we get that in the rest of the state, get those 16-44-year-olds up there, we’re going to have a really nice summer,” he said. “We want to catch up, it’s really important.”

Lamont added there’s “really strong demand” for vaccines across the state. While last week 280,000 doses were available, this week there are only 179,000 doses available due to the CDC’s pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In fact, Wilton is one of the statewide leaders for vaccinating residents. First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice shared the GOOD news in her update email to residents Thursday night, that Wilton has the highest vaccination rate in Fairfield County as of Monday, April 12, according to data from the CT Department of Public Health. With 63% of all residents having received at least a first dose, Wilton ranks 18th in Connecticut.

Even better, Vanderslice said that town health officials estimate approximately 84% of residents who are eligible to be vaccinated (aged 16-and-up) had received at least a first dose as of Monday.

She shared her gratitude for the role many people in town have played in Wilton’s vaccination success.

“Thank you to everyone who has assisted residents in obtaining the vaccine, whether by taking a resident to a clinic or assisting with online registration or alerting fellow residents about availability. Also, thank you to the employees and volunteers with the Town, the employees and volunteers with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and the leadership and membership of St. Matthew’s Episcopal and Wilton Presbyterian Churches for your important roles with the Wilton Health Department vaccine clinics.

However, Wilton does continue to experience new cases, at an average of four new COVID-19 cases reported per day for the past two weeks.

1 COMMENT

  1. Wilton’s Public Health Official, Jennifer Zbala, is a star. She’s been so incredibly helpful and available for our questions as my family has been dealing with COVID.

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