From Gov. Ned Lamont's press conference on Thursday, Jan. 28.
From Gov. Ned Lamont's press conference on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Expanded vaccine appointment assistance line: 877-918-2224
Bowing to various criticisms from residents concerning the state’s version of its Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), Gov. Ned Lamont announced at his press conference on Thursday, Jan. 28 that the state would be expanding its vaccine appointment system.
Gov. Lamont said that the state would be hiring 80 employees to take calls for scheduling appointments and that wait times would be down to three minutes.
He said that there will be additional vaccines statewide next week, including at 14 Walgreens and CVS locations.
Gov. Lamont said that the Department of Corrections will begin vaccinations at its facilities starting on Monday, Feb. 1, with corrections officers and inmates over 75 years-old to be the first to be vaccinated.

Connecticut is currently third in the country when it comes to administering vaccination doses, with 299,876 first doses administered, and 64,379 doses administered.

He said that 35 percent of the state’s population 75 years and older have been vaccinated.

Positivity rate down

According to Gov. Lamont, the state’s positivity rate for Covid in tests is now down to 3.55 percent. He said that the state’s positivity rate is now the lowest that it has been in months. He said that the rate’s seven day average is now 4.4 percent.
“But we still have a lot of work to do,” Gov. Lamont said. “The trend is good on that front and we have good capacity in our hospitals. Given some of the good news in trend lines, there is more urgency and pressures when it comes to reopening. We will give clear guidance on that next week.”

Gov. Lamont said that he is specifically looking at loosening restrictions on attendance in churches and other houses of worship, and possibly restaurants.

However, Gov. Lamont noted that deaths from Covid are now at 7,020.

State statistics:
According to state statistics, the positivity test rate continues to drop. As of Wednesday, Jan. 27 the positivity rate was 3.55 percent.
The rate of patients hospitalized for Covid also continues to decline, with 995 residents across the state hospitalized as of Jan. 27.
Residents who have died of Covid are at 7,020 as of Jan. 27.
The total number of residents diagnosed with Covid is at 248,765 as of Jan. 27.

Local statistics:
According to state, the following are new cases within the past two weeks, from January 10 to January 23:
Winsted: 34
Torrington: 240
Barkhamsted: 16
Colebrook: 0
New Hartford: 29
Norfolk: 4

Total cases locally:
LItchfield County Jan. 21: 9,842 cases, 253 deaths.
Winsted Jan. 27: 445 cases, five deaths.
Torrington Jan. 27: 2,487 cases, 122 deaths.
Barkhamsted Jan. 27: 122 cases, one death.
Colebrook Jan. 27: 30 cases, no deaths.
New Hartford Jan. 27: 250 cases, three deaths.
Norfolk Jan. 27: 57 cases, no deaths.

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.

Vaccinations: The Torrington Area Health District is hosting a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic on Monday, February 1st from 9AM to 3PM. The clinic will be held at their office located at 350 Main Street in Torrington. Appointments are still available and can be made through the VAMS system.
Please see below for information on eligibility. (Individuals from Phase 1A and 1B).

Phase 1A:
Healthcare Personnel: All paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients of infectious materials. Healthcare personnel should contact their Employer Coordinator, who has been designated to ensure access to the vaccine. Vaccine administration for healthcare workers will be available at hospitals, outpatient clinics, and local health departments.
Long-Term Care Facility Residents: Adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently. Residents of long-term care facilities should ask facility leadership about reviewing vaccine. All vaccine clinics in long-term care facilities will be administered by CVS and Walgreens.
Medical First Responders: High risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their response to medical emergencies such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Police, and Fire.

Phase 1B:
Individuals 75 years of age or older.
According the Walgeens website, the Walgreens on 28 Elm Street in Torrington is offering Covid vaccines to residents 75 years and older. Click on the link for further details and other participating stores.

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