Winchester Public Schools seal
Winchester Public Schools seal

Headlines: Winchester School district moves to distance learning

On the Winchester School District’s Facebook page on Wednesday, Jan. 14, Superintendent of Schools Melony Brady-Shanley announced that the district has moved to distance learning.
“This decision has been made in partnership with the Torrington Area Health District,” Brady-Shalney wrote. “At this point, we have a significant number of direct contacts and positive cases. In addition, the community spread numbers are increasing. These cases/direct contacts have impacted the number of in-person learners and staffing levels throughout the district. My number one priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. This decision has been made with that in mind. Please know that I understand the impact this has on families, and I do not take this decision lightly.”
Brady-Shanley wrote that the school district would return to in person learning on Monday, Feb. 1, which will provide for 18 days of separation to help lessen the spread and impact of COVID-19.
On Monday, Jan. 11 and Tuesday, Jan. 12, two separate COVID-19 cases were announced in the school district

Hartford HealthCare starts vaccinations for residents 75 and older

Residents 75 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations as part of the state’s vaccination Phase 1B.
Hartford HealthCare has started with vaccine clinics in the state.
According to a press release, walk-ins are not allowed at the upcoming clinics and appointments are required. 
Residents in the 75+ age group with an existing MyChartPlus account can log in and make an appointment at a Hartford HealthCare vaccine clinic.
If a resident does not have a MyChartPlus account, one can be set up on Hartford HealthCare’s website.
A hotline has been set up at 860-972-4993 or email:
Currently, there are clinics scheduled for Wethersfield; Norwich; Shelton; and Hartford, with further sites to be added in the future. For more information go to

School district prepares for vaccine distribution
At the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 12, Superintendent Brady-Shanley said that the district is preparing for administering COVID-19 vaccines to teachers and educators, who are part of the state’s Phase 1B vaccination group.
Brady-Shanley said that vaccinations would begin at the end of the month.
“I don’t anticipate that this will be a fast process because of the sheer numbers versus the number of vaccines,” she said. “Despite this, we will begin the process.”

Positivity rate comes back down
According to the state, as of Jan. 13 the daily test positivity rate is now at 6.23 percent, which is down from the rate on Jan. 12 which was 10.72 percent.


Statewide cases:
Jan. 10: 213,358 cases – 7,364 new cases
Jan. 11: 217,047 cases – 3,689 new cases
Jan. 12: 220,576 cases – 3,529 new cases

Patients hospitalized:
Jan. 10: 1,142 patients – 33 new patients
Jan. 11: 1,154 – 12 new patients
Jan. 12: 1,148 – down by six patients

Jan. 10: 6,416 – 92 new deaths
Jan. 11: 6,449 – 31 new deaths
Jan. 12: 6,536 — 87 new deaths

Litchfield County:
Jan. 10: 8,496
Jan. 11: 8,631
Jan. 12: 8,750

Winsted total cases:
Jan. 10: 388
Jan. 11: 393
Jan. 12: 400

Torrington total cases:
Jan. 10: 2,170
Jan. 11: 2,201
Jan. 12: 2,233

Barkhamsted total cases:
Jan. 10: 98
Jan. 11: 103
Jan. 12: 106

Colebrook total cases:
Jan. 10: 31
Jan. 11: 31
Jan. 12: 31

New Hartford total cases:
Jan. 10: 212
Jan. 11: 219
Jan. 12: 221

Norfolk total cases:
Jan. 10: 53
Jan. 11: 53
Jan. 12: 53

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 be continuing to offer free weekly walk-up/line up COVID-19 testing on Fridays throughout the month of January at its Torrington facility on 469 Migeon Avenue from 9:30 a.m. until noon and another pop-up testing site on Monday January 11th at Salisbury Visiting Nurses Association, 30A Salmon Kill Road, from 9:30 until 12 p.m.
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.
To send community information, including resources for residents, email