COVID-19 Update Jan. 12: Vaccines for 75+ Start Next Week, with More Info to Come

As Connecticut’s numbers continue to rise, it’s a good thing that the state is getting Phase 1.b. of its vaccination plan started next week. Gov. Ned Lamont announced at Monday’s press briefing that residents age 75 and older can begin getting vaccinated beginning Monday, Jan. 18.

In her nightly update to residents, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice updated the latest information on vaccine distribution.

  • Residents aged 75 and above can receive vaccines by appointment starting Jan. 18.
  • Information on how to register for an appointment by phone or online will be available this Thursday, Jan. 14. 
  • Initially, appointments will be made with existing vaccine providers through the appointment system, (VAMS) used for Phase 1.a.  On Thursday, the CT Department of Public Health will release a phone number and a special website for booking an appointment.
  • Vaccines will be available at local pharmacies in a few weeks, and information on how to sign up with the drugstores will be released later this month.
  • It’s estimated that there are 275,000 CT residents in this age group who are expected to register for an appointment during this phase. It will require several weeks before everyone can receive their first vaccine.
  • Wilton Social Services will reach out to clients and Wilton-based partners to share information after it becomes available on Thursday.
  • Hospitals will reach out to patients.
  • Personal physicians and other medical doctors will not have vaccines during this phase.
  • Residents are not required to provide social security numbers or a credit card number to receive a vaccine. Officials warn that if anyone asks for this information, it is likely a scam.

Timeline information for other groups in Phase 1B should be available on Thursday, Jan. 14 as well.

Vanderslice also provided information from the CDC about current vaccine distribution data.

  • Connecticut:  246,875 doses of vaccines delivered; 147,174 initial doses administered; 4.2% of the state’s population has received an initial dose.
  • Connecticut ranks number five nationally in the percentage of population vaccinated to date.
  • Monday afternoon the Governor shared a slightly lower number, of which 7,865 were second doses. Last week, just over 71,000 residents received a first dose or an average of 10,175 vaccinations per day. The daily rate is suppressed due to low supply. President-Elect Joe Biden indicated he will release held second doses for use as first doses. That, combined with increased manufacturing capacity and soon-to-be-approved new vaccines, should increase the supply.

Youth Sports

Also Monday, Lamont announced that new K-12 sports guidance will be released later this week. The guidance is subject to stability in COVID-19 metrics. Low and moderate risk sport practices are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19, subject to restrictions, and competitions are expected to begin on Feb. 1.

Vanderslice said that decisions on town Parks and Recreation youth sports will be made after the new guidance is released and reviewed.

Current Wilton COVID Case Data

The CT DPH reported 20 new positive cases for Wilton as of Sunday, Jan. 10, bringing the town’s to-date total to 673.

There were six new cases in the school district reported by Superintendent Dr. Kevin Smith–two new cases each at Miller-Driscoll, Cider Mill, and Middlebrook Schools, as well as increases in the number of students and staff in quarantine due to exposure.

Smith wrote in his message to the school community, “It is my hope that as we progress through this week we will see the number of active cases decline.”

According to COVID Act Now, Connecticut’s risk level is at the Severe level, with an average of 81.3 daily new cases per 100,000 people, and a test positivity rate of 13%.

Department of Public Health issues guidance to colleges and universities on spring semester

Over the weekend, CT DPH issued guidance to the state’s universities and colleges regarding the upcoming spring semester. The guidance includes a recommendation that testing and quarantining of all residential students be done prior to fully opening campuses. The department is also advising universities and colleges to implement weekly testing of all residential and off-campus students who attend class in-person through the end of February 2021.

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