Friends and neighbors,
What a year it has been. Already.
I know you have all been waiting to hear about the vaccine rollout. Honestly, we have too.
Over the last two weeks, we have been getting constantly shifting, unclear information from the State Department of Public Health and the Governors office on how this rollout will be implemented. As of last night, when all municipal CEOs and Emergency Management Directors had our weekly call with the Governor's leadership team, the DPH Commissioner, and other State agency heads, there continues to be more confusion than clear guidance.
Here's what we know right now, as of the Governors press release just a few minutes ago:
Phase 1b is prioritizing those who are 75 years old and older to begin registering today through these three options:
Your Healthcare Provider: Many residents have already been or will be contacted to schedule an appointment by their healthcare provider if their provider is participating in the state’s vaccine program. Not all providers are administering the vaccine. A list of participating providers is available at ct.gov/covidvaccine. Residents are urged not to contact their physician or healthcare provider directly for COVID vaccine appointments.
Online: A form can be accessed online at ct.gov/covidvaccine that allows individuals to schedule an appointment through the web-based Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line at 877-918-2224. The phone system was created in partnership with the Department of Public Health and United Way of Connecticut and is specifically targeted to provide support for eligible vaccine recipients who have limited technology access, or who have language, disability, or other barriers that could prevent them from using existing self-scheduling options successfully. The line will take calls on Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.
It is likely this phase will last for many weeks, and the mantra we are passing along that has been the message from the Governor's team is "please be patient".
Our state's allocation is 40-50 vaccines each week (we received a one-time bonus of 44,000 this week because we met federal benchmarks for getting people vaccinated). Estimates are that there are approximately one million people to be vaccinated in this Phase. This illustrates the massive scope of this undertaking.
UPDATES ON INFECTION RATES AND TESTING:
Below is our daily case rate, which is based on a rolling two-week average - going back to the beginning of November:
ending 11.12 - 12.9
ending 11.26 - 28.3
ending 12.10 - 25.7
ending 12.24 - 33.4 *spike attributed to uptick at South Kent School
ending 01.07 - 10.8
While the fall-off is great news, the numbers at the state aggregate level are more realistic as to what to expect to see in the coming weeks as we start to see the new COVID-variants arrive and spread. We have been told these variants are much more contagious than the original virus.
This leads back to the message that has been consistent throughout the pandemic: