Vaccine rollouts deal blow to COVID-19, but public can’t let its guard down

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

MONROE, CT — Monroe offers vaccine clinics to protect seniors over age 75 from the coronavirus. Though First Selectman Ken Kellogg calls the vaccine rollout “great news,” public health officials warn it is too early for it to have a significant impact on the second wave of cases.

“The same mitigation strategies of masks, social distancing and routine handwashing remain extremely important,” Kellogg said in his COVID-19 update Friday. “Simply put, don’t let your guard down.”

Connecticut is focusing on older residents first, because, statewide, this group represents 18 percent of the population but 88 percent of deaths from COVID-19, according to Kellogg.

Residents over age 75 who need assistance may leave a message for the Monroe Health Department at 203-452-2818 and someone will return their call early next week.

Kellogg said the amount of vaccine the town receives is limited, but residents may find earlier appointments from a variety of other providers — which continue to grow in the area.

The list of options for registration is available through the town website. The statewide COVID Vaccine Appointment Assist Line is also available at 1-877-918-2224.

“Please remember that statewide, all vaccinations are being done by appointment only,” Kellogg said. “Do not show up at a site without an appointment.”

Earlier this week the state announced the general schedule for phase 1b, with shots for those over age 75 now, and vaccinations for those between age 65 and 74 likely starting by early February, Kellogg said.

The first selectman said scheduling for frontline essential workers and individuals with certain underlying medical conditions, who have an increased risk for severe illness, will likely start by late February or early March.

Infection rates

Kellogg said high infection rates continue, but the case rate and statewide test positivity percentage have come down since last week.

“For Monroe, we are now averaging just over seven new cases per day,” he said. “Our two-week case rate is now 36.7 cases per 100,000 population.”

Overall, he said the totals in Monroe are 894 cases and 12 deaths, confirmed and probable, since the beginning of the pandemic.

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