Vaccine supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent to Hartford HealthCare. Photo submitted.
Vaccine supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent to Hartford HealthCare. Photo submitted.
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Vaccine doses may be available by next week
Hartford HealthCare is scheduled to receive 1,950 doses of the first COVID vaccine shipment this weekend, according to Eric Arlia, Director of Systems Pharmacy for Hartford HealthCare
Arlia, along with other officials at Hartford HealthCare, spoke at a press conference on Friday, Dec. 11 to discuss the company’s plans for a COVID vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech.
Hartford HealthCare is an affiliate of Torrington’s Charlotte Hungerford Hospital.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, a panel recommended to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that it would be authorized for emergency use.
Arlia said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FDA has advised Hartford HealthCare to prepare to receive shipments of the vaccine within 24 hours of emergency use authorization.
As of press time, the FDA has not granted formal emergency use authorization for the vaccine.
Arlia said that the shipments will come from Chicago where cold storage facilities have been organized.
He said that he expects to receive further shipments of the vaccine over the next few weeks, but he did not know how many.
As previously stated by both state and Hartford HealthCare officials in the past two weeks, the main focus for the first vaccinations will be healthcare workers and nursing home residents.
Arlia said that Hartford HealthCare has more than 30,000 employees throughout its network of hospitals and health care facilities.
“We have identified 7,000 employees who are in high-risk areas where they care for COVID patients regularly,” Arlia said. “We have been preparing our early clinics for vaccination.”

Lack of contact tracers
According to the website Covid Act Now at https://covidactnow.org/, there is a serious lack of contact tracers in the state.

According to the website: “With 2,400 new daily cases on average, Connecticut needs an estimated 12,000 contact tracers on staff to trace each new case to a known case within 48 hours of detection. Per our best available data, Connecticut has 860 contact tracers, fulfilling only 7% of this staffing requirement. With insufficient contact tracing staff, Connecticut is unlikely to be able to successfully identify and isolate sources of disease spread fast enough to prevent new outbreaks.”

Statistics

New cases over the past two weeks: The state released its weekly extended data report on Thursday, Dec. 10.
According to the report, from Nov. 22 to Dec. 5, these were the number of new cases by town:
Winsted: 110
Torrington: 330
Barkhamsted: 12
Colebrook: 10
New Hartford: 35
Norfolk: 13

On Friday, Dec. 11 the state reported that the COVID-19 total case rate is now 146,761, an increase of 3,782 cases.

The daily test positivity rate is now 6.97 percent, an increase of .34 since yesterday.

There are currently 1,210 residents hospitalized, which is down by 4 residents since yesterday. This number includes 24 patients hospitalized in Litchfield County.

The death rate is 5,363, 36 more deaths since yesterday.

Litchfield County:
Dec. 10 total cases: 5,796, an increase of 86 cases since Dec. 9.

Winsted:
Dec. 10 total cases: 271 – no increase in cases.

Torrington:
Dec. 10 total cases: 1,615, an increase of 17 total cases since Dec. 9.

Barkhamsted:
Dec. 10 total cases: 68 – no increase in cases.

Colebrook:
Dec. 10 total cases: 21 – no increase in cases.

New Hartford:
Dec. 10 total cases: 141 – no increase in cases.

Norfolk:
Dec. 10 total cases: 33 – an increase of one case since Dec. 9.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of Dec. 10, there are 15,474,800 COVID cases in the United States, an increase of 203,229 new cases since yesterday. There are now 291,522 deaths in America due to COVID, an increase of 2,760 since yesterday.

Testing: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s drive-thru testing is at 211 High Street in Torrington from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Community Health and Wellness in Torrington will continue with its free COVID testing on Fridays in December, except for Christmas Day. The testing will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. at 469 Migeon Avenue. The testing is walk in with no appointments or referrals necessary.

Mental health resources: 24 hour crisis hotline: 1-888-444-3339 or text “LISTEN” 741-741

Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: Mental health and substance use assessments, treatment and referrals. Financial assistance available 860-567-4437

Addiction: Community Outreach and Recovery Navigator Sarah Toomey 860-309-3845. Free and confidential support, resources, NARCAN, harm reduction for the entire family.

Western CT Mental Health: Higher level of psychiatric and substance abuse care 860-496-3700.

Schools: The Winchester School District has moved sixth grade to distance learning “due to a positive COVID case that has impacted staffing at the sixth grade level.” See story at this link. https://www.winstedphoenix.org/index.php/2020/12/08/winsted-positive-covid-test-forces-sixth-grade-to-distance-learning-2/

The Gilbert School has moved to remote learning throughout the rest of December until January.

To send community information, including resources for residents, email winstedphoenix@gmail.com

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