Monroe Health Department inoculates first responders, medical professionals against coronavirus

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This picture of the coronavirus was posted on the Centers for Disease Control's Facebook page.

MONROE —Monroe Health Department staff gave over 100 health care workers and first responders vaccinations against the coronavirus during Connecticut’s first phase of shots, according to First Selectman Ken Kellogg.

“We have another clinic planned this week for up to 80 more eligible individuals,” he told the Town Council in his update Monday. “All of Monroe’s eligible emergency services personnel have been offered vaccination at these clinics and others in our region. The system that governs the vaccination efforts allows eligible individuals to make an appointment at any available clinic.”

He said town health department personnel were assisted in Phase 1A by the Monroe Community Emergency Response Team, the Medical Reserve Corps and Monroe’s Emergency Management Team.

The next phase, Phase 1B, will include individuals over age 75 and certain “frontline essential workers.”

“The town was provided preliminary information today regarding the rollout of this phase, expected to begin next week,” Kellogg said. “We have been advised that those over 75 will be the first target group in phase 1B.”

For those age 75 and older, he said the town anticipates a direct enrollment process to be available on a state website by Thursday, as well as a 211-based phone scheduling system.

“Certain healthcare systems will be contacting their patients directly as well,” Kellogg said. “We will be getting more information out shortly.”

“While there is no specific information on future phases at this time, the state indicates that vaccine availability for everyone will start this summer,” he added.

Links to Connecticut vaccination information are on the town’s website.

Free drive-thru testing

Kellogg said a testing site for COVID-19 will be returning to Monroe. Community Health Center, Inc, a state testing vendor, will offer free drive-thru testing at Masuk High School every other Wednesday, starting on Jan. 20.

“Overall, COVID-19 case rates have risen statewide,” Kellogg said. “After a couple of weeks of decline, our case rate in Monroe has unfortunately risen again, and is now averaging just over eight-and-a-half new cases per day.”

Monroe’s two-week case rate is now 44.4 cases per 100,000 population, he said.

“Our total number of cases as of today’s DPH report was 815 —confirmed and probable since the beginning of the pandemic,” Kellogg said Monday.

The state has reported that hospital and ICU capacity levels remain within safe limits.

Community updates

In a copy of his update sent to reporters, the first selectman included links to information. “We will continue to update the community, specifically on the vaccine rollout, as information is provided,” Kellogg said.

Among the links are:

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