Good evening. It is 6:00 pm on Tuesday, January 19th and this is First Selectman Kevin Moynihan with a coronavirus update.
Last week we saw a slight decline in positive COVID test results with 76 cases, down from the previous week high of 89. Our Health Director urges residents to eliminate all unnecessary social gatherings to continue to bring our case numbers back down and control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. In addition, we’ve had 17 new cases reported thus far this week.
Most cases continue to be college-age young adults, teenagers, and middle-age parents. For updated information on the weekly cases, by age brackets, visit the red COVID-19 alert box on the town website at www.newcanaaan.info
Our community testing at Lapham Center continued last week with 6 days of testing. With all results back from last week’s Monday through Saturday testing there were 3 positives out of 284 tests for a positivity rate of 1.06%. These test results are included in the above-reported numbers. Our local testing data continues to trend well below the fluctuating State of CT positivity rate that varies around 7% daily.
We will continue our community testing in collaboration with Waveny LifeCare Network at Lapham Center this week Tuesday through Saturday (January 19 - January 23), 7:00 am to 10:00 am. Starting next week testing days will be reduced to three days a week -- Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 7:00 am to 10:00 am -- until further notice because of decreased demand due to ample testing facilities in the area. We would like to thank Waveny LifeCare for their continued partnership in providing this service to our residents.
The link for this week's upcoming Thursday to Saturday testing and next week's Tuesday testing (January 21-23 and January 26) is contained in the email version of this outcall or you can find it in the red COVID-19 alert box on the town website at www.newcanaan.info. (The SignUpGenius link for testing this Thursday through Saturday and next Tuesday is: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/COVIDtestingJan21-23and26). Please note that we cannot accommodate walk-ins at the test site.
For the Waveny LifeCare testing at Lapham Center you must sign up each person in the household under their own name and date of birth. Please be sure to include complete insurance information in the text box in the SignUpGenius registration. Results will be provided within 72 hours by email with a message notifying you the results are ready in your portal so please provide your cell phone number as your contact number. Please note every individual being tested must have their own unique email in order to receive the results via email through the patient portal with the lab. Parents may have to create free email accounts (such as Gmail) for minor children in order to receive the results. The same email address cannot be used for multiple family members or the lab portal will have an error with the results.
As reported last week, our Health Department is beginning to focus their efforts on vaccination of our residents. The State is completing its Phase 1a vaccinations for First Responders and seniors in congregate living facilities. The State also began Phase 1b with vaccination of seniors age 75 and over only; additional categories such as those age 65 to 74 will be vaccinated in later waves of Phase 1b. The State DPH has given explicit directions to vaccinate only those in Phase 1a and seniors age 75 and over at this time. We cannot deviate from this schedule until directed by the State.
This week, the State DPH allocated only 100 doses of Moderna vaccine to our Health Department, all of which were administered today at Lapham Center to New Canaan seniors age 75 and over. We will continue to ask for higher allocations for New Canaan but ultimately the State decides the number of doses each town will receive. Our priority will be seniors 75 and over as directed by the State. We ask for patience from residents while this process unfolds in the next few weeks.
Stamford Hospital this week also began an expanded community vaccination roll out at their Bennett Medical Center Campus with the goal of vaccinating 1000 people a day, with seniors age 75 and over having priority. With this increased capacity in the area we are hopeful that New Canaan senior residents will be able to get vaccinated sooner. (For more information please visit: https://www.StamfordHealth.org/Covid19Vaccine.)
The state has set up a Vaccine Assistance Line 1-877-918-2224 and if a senior needs help with the VAMS website they can call the Vaccine Assistance Line for guided instructions.
If you are a Registered Nurse, Medical Doctor, Physician Assistant, or other qualified vaccinator and would like to help in our local vaccination clinics by being a vaccinator please email our Health Director at firstname.lastname@example.org. The vaccination process is projected to last several months under the current allocation schedule so we will gladly accept assistance with volunteer vaccinators.
We also remind residents that if you travel to any of the states or countries on the CT Travel Advisory list (except for less than 24 hours), you must quarantine for 10 days upon your return home or fulfill the testing requirements outlined in Executive Order 9S and also complete the travel form found on the state’s coronavirus website (https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/travel).
Finally, we again urge you to please do your part in controlling the spread of the virus by wearing a mask anywhere where you cannot social distance, wash hands frequently and avoid any large gatherings where you will be exposed to non-family members.
Stay safe, New Canaan.