Residents testing positive for COVID-19 totaled 389,177 up 1,444 since Friday; the positivity rate is 2.23%, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reported.
The state reported 11,068,450 COVID tests completed, up 64,771. Hospitalizations declined by 18 to total 264 since Friday. Of the total hospitalized, 75.8% are not fully vaccinated. The state reported 36 deaths since Sept. 16, bringing the death total to 8,483. COVID deaths are reported weekly on Thursdays.
For a county-by-county breakdown of cases, go here and click on “Daily Data Report.”
Go here for the most up-to-date state information.
People 65 And Older, Those At High Risk Can Get A Pfizer Booster Shot; Residents With Compromised Immune Systems Can Get A Third Dose
As of Sept. 24, people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care facilities are eligible for a Pfizer booster shot, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said.
Walensky, in a press release, also recommends:
• People aged 50-64 with an underlying health condition, such as, asthma, diabetes, liver disease, HIV, should receive a booster shot;
• People aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot;
• People aged 18 to 64 who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 due to their job, such as health care workers, and teachers, may receive the booster shot.
Walensky’s decision on who is eligible differed slightly from a CDC panel, which did not recommend booster shots for those at risk of COVID exposure due to their jobs. Walensky’s decision is final.
The booster shot can be administered six months after completing the Pfizer 2-shot series. In the weeks ahead, the FDA and the CDC will be reviewing data on booster shots for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
A third dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is available to people with moderate or severe compromised immune systems, DPH said recently. This in line with guidelines approved by the CDC. The CDC’s latest guidance on the third dose does not apply to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
People are considered moderately to severely immunocompromised if they are/have been receiving cancer treatments, received an organ transplant, or a stem cell transplant, have advanced or untreated HIV infection, or on high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.
For appointments: Individuals who are eligible for a booster can go to ct.gov/covidvaccine to find a location or go to your local hospital website.
Yale New Haven Health is offering Pfizer booster shots and third doses of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine by appointment only. To schedule an appointment go to the YNHHS website: www.ynhhs.org/covidvaccine. An explanation on the differences between a third dose and a booster can be found here.
Hartford HealthCare has information on vaccines, a third dose and booster shots and how to make an appointment here: https://hartfordhealthcare.org/health-wellness/covid-vaccine/vaccine-home
Today (Sept. 27), Is Deadline State Employees, Childcare And School Staff To Be Vaccinated
State employees, K-12 teachers and staff, and childcare workers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by today (Sept. 27).
The state is reviewing information provided by workers and will know in a few days how refused vaccination or weekly COVID-19 testing. The state will consider religious and medical exemptions.
You can read the governor’s executive order here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Office-of-the-Governor/Executive-Orders/Lamont-Executive-Orders/Executive-Order-No-13D.pdf
Masks Required In Schools, Governor Says
Indoor masking is required in all schools, the governor said last month.
The masking requirement is for all students in grades kindergarten through 12. Lamont said he hopes that the requirement will only last a month or so, “but time will tell.”
Municipalities Can Impose Mask Requirements
The governor signed an executive order allowing municipal leaders to impose masking indoors in public places, regardless of a person’s vaccination status. Hartford, Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven all imposed mask mandates recently. (There is no master list of all community-imposed mask mandates so check local websites.)
The emergency order, Executive Order No. 13A, means that municipal leaders will now have the option of moving beyond the minimum requirements in the statewide policy on masks implemented in May.
The statewide policy, which remains in effect and has not changed, is as follows, according to the governor’s press release:
• Unvaccinated people must wear masks while in indoor public places.
• Mask-wearing is required – regardless of vaccination status – in health care facilities, facilities housing vulnerable populations, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools and child care centers.
• Businesses, private property owners, and state and local government offices may require masks to be worn by everyone inside of their facilities.
COVID-19 Variant Cases
On Sept. 23, the state reported that the number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) totaled 3,433. For the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), the state reported 3,987 cases. You can track the variants here: https://covidtrackerct.com/
On variants, read the CDC report here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html
COVID-19 Vaccine Info/Where To Get A Shot?
To schedule a vaccine call 211, the helpline run by United Way.
Text 438829 and put in your zip code to get a list of locations offering COVID vaccines near you.
Vaccine eligibility is now open to everyone 12 and older and there are many appointments available statewide.
Twelve- to 17-year-olds are reminded that Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for those ages by the FDA.
As of Sept. 23, 2,516,450 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and 2,325,396 people are fully vaccinated. As of Sept. 23, about 95% of people age 65 and older are fully vaccinated and 89% of those aged 55-64 are vaccinated. Also, 81% of those 45-54; 80% of those 35-44; 72% of 25-34; 68% of 18-24; 78% of 16-17 and 67% of those 12-15 are fully vaccinated.
The state has added a map outlining distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine by community. View it here: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/CoVP-COVID-Vaccine-Distribution-Data/bhcd-4mnv/
There are no out-of-pocket costs for those insured in Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant fully-insured plans and all self-funded plans, the state’s insurance commissioner said earlier this year.
In August, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. The Pfizer vaccine will be marketed as Comirnaty and is approved for those age 16 and older. Here is the FDA announcement: https://www.fda.gov/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/comirnaty-and-pfizer-biontech-covid-19-vaccine
Children age 12-15 are eligible for vaccine shots under the FDA’s emergency use.
The Moderna vaccine is still under FDA review for full approval.
Need A COVID Test?
A number of hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers are offering COVID-19 testing. If you need a test go to 211.ct.org to find a location near you. https://www.211ct.org/
Connecticut encourages anyone exposed to the virus to seek a free COVID-19 test.
Community Hot Spots
Community “hotspots” in red in this week’s COVID-19 map.
The CDC is also tracking COVID transmission by county. The designations include high, substantial and low are vary day-to-day. To view the CDC’s map on hot spot states and counties, click here.
Lamont Extends Deadline For Long-Term Care Staff To Be Vaccinated
Long-term care staff must receive their first vaccine dose by Sept. 27, the governor announced Friday (Sept. 3), in extending his initial deadline by three weeks.
The $20,000-a-day civil penalty for failure of long-term facilities to comply with the order remains.
In addition to nursing homes, the governor’s order covers residential care homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, managed residential communities and chronic disease hospitals.
You can read the governor’s new order here.
Assisted living facilities are no longer required to report to DPH. The last report with no new deaths was issued for the week of June 30-July 7. You can view the full report here.
Visitation Policy At Nursing Homes
Indoor visits are now allowed at nursing homes as long as there has been no new onset of COVID cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing. Indoor visits will be suspended if there is a positive COVID case among a resident or staff, DPH said in its order.
DPH said that facilities can limit the number of visitors per resident and can limit visitor movement inside facilities. You can read DPH’s order here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/20200925-DPH-Order-rescinding-restrictions-on-visitors-in-nursing-homes-residential-care-homes-and-c.pdf
Is It Safe To Attend A Football Game?
With football season starting on the professional, college and high school levels, Dr. Thomas Balcezak, chief clinical officer, Yale New Haven Health, was asked if it is safe to attend a game.
His response: There are things you can do to put in place layers of protection. They include: be fully vaccinated, practice good-sense hygiene precautions, and wear a mask. He suggested you might skip the food and drink during the game to keep your mask on for added protection.
Mental Health Services Call 211
State mental health services and programs are available by calling 211 for assistance.
Feeling anxious or depressed? You can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Connecticut (NAMI-CT) hotline at 860.882.0236. Workers are available to talk live, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NAMI Connecticut offers more than 70 FREE, confidential support groups across the state that are peer-led. They are facilitated by people who have experience with mental health issues. During the current COVID-19 crisis, the support groups have moved online: https://namict.org/find-support/support-groups/
A virtual Family Support Group is held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.; visit https://namict.org/find-support/support-groups/ for details.
The World Health Organization has information here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
John Hopkins University & Medicine’s experts in global public health and infectious diseases has compiled a website to help advance the understanding of COVID-19. View the website, which includes an interactive map of cases worldwide: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has a forecasting model of COVID-19 cases here.