During his Thursday press conference, CT Governor Ned Lamont said the State’s 7.13% positivity rate that day was the highest it had been since March. On Friday it decreased to 5.52%.
The good news was that Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines were almost ready.
The Governor said although the vaccine timeline was subject to change, and the State just got notice Pfizer might a delay due to the supply chain issues, he anticipated that a week from Dec 3, the FDA would do its review, and hopefully approvals of the Pfizer vaccine would take 48-72 hours.
He said shipments of about 31,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine would tentatively be shipped to CT on Dec 14.
The Moderna vaccine has a separate approval process and timeline. It is scheduled for FDA review on Dec 18, and shipments of about 63,000 doses to arrive in CT on Dec 21.
“Merry Christmas,” Lamont said.
As for priority populations, he said first would be 204,000 healthcare workers, 22,000 nursing home residents and 6,000 medical first responders. He said the numbers were based on an anticipated 80% take up.
Governor Lamont gave a timeline for the initial phases of the vaccine rollout.
Starting with the week of Dec 14th, 31,000 first doses (the vaccines require two doses) will be administered, and then ramp up, with 94,000 doses administered the week of Dec 21 (both Pfizer and Moderna). By Jan 25, he anticipates 380,000 doses will have been administered.
Phase 1a. Vaccines will go to 202,000 healthcare workers, 22,000 nursing home residents (not staff), and 6,000 Medical first responders.
Second doses are anticipated to begin Jan 4th and by Jan 25th, 212,000 people will have had both doses.
“These are the folks most likely to suffer complications,” he said of the nursing home residents. “These are the folks who most likely suffer fatalities, and these are the folks most likely to go into the hospital. Not only are we hopefully saving lives, but we’re keeping these folks out of the hospitals – and that adds to capacity.”
Phase 1b: Mid Jan to Late May. Critical workforce (people from food services workers to daycare workers, teachers, and people who can’t telecommute), other congregate settings (group homes, correctional facilities), Adults 65+ and those at high risk under 65.
Phase 1c: Early June: People under 18 and the remainder of people over 18.
Revised CDC recommendations for Quarantine
Lamont shared the updated CDC quarantine guidelines. He said although 14 days is recommended quarantine period for high risk situations, if there are no symptoms, the new recommended time is shortened to 10 days, or just 7 days if the person has no symptoms and a has negative PCR test.
Asked what life might be like after June, Dr. Deirdre Gifford, Commissioner of the Dept of Social Services, warned,”Don’t get rid of your masks yet.”
“We don’t anticipate full vaccination, even according to this to this schedule,” she said. “We have to wait and see if there is widespread adoption.”
When the vaccine is available, and when a person’s ‘population group’ is up, vaccinators will be able to bill insurance companies for the vaccine itself and administration costs.
People will have the option to choose which vaccine they get – Pfizer or Moderna – but the second dose must be from the same maker because they can’t be mixed.
Lamont was asked whether the State might create a protocol to exclude the immigrant community – specifically people who might be concerned their information would make its way to ICE.
“This is confidential to the degree to which ICE, nobody else will be notified of any of this,” Lamont said. “I don’t want to do anything to discourage anybody – documented or undocumented, to come in and make sure you can get this vaccination safely and confidentially.”
Expanded Unemployment Benefits in CT
On Friday, Governor Ned Lamont signed an executive order (9P) expanding unemployment benefits for Connecticut workers who previously were ineligible for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program.
To qualify for LWA, unemployed workers had to earn a minimum of $100 a week. This disqualified 38,000 mostly low wage earners.
Lamont said the extra $100 weekly benefit will help get funds into the hands of residents who need it, and into the economy.
“Who are these 38,000 people earning less than $100 a week?” Lamont asked. “They’re often single parents, single mom, maybe working two or three jobs around the minimum wage. Maybe at fast food, at a restaurant, maybe in home healthcare. She loses one or two of those extra jobs, she’s down to under $100 a week, and she was frozen out of any unemployment support, and that was wrong.”
“This pandemic is wreaking havoc with our health, and wreaking havoc with family budgets, and small businesses,” Lamont said. “We have to maximize support for working families in the State as we wait for the federal government to figure out what they’re going to do.”
Greenwich Covid Update
On Friday Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo announced the total number of positive cases in Town rose from 1,656 on Wednesday to 1,760 on Friday, and increase of 104.
In one week – Friday, Nov 27 to Friday, Dec 4 – Greenwich had an increase of active 224 cases.
Of that increase, the age group 41 to 55 has the most with 55 cases, followed by age groups 11 to 20 (38 cases) and 21 to 30 (39 cases).
Greenwich’s death toll increased by three, bringing the total to 58 this week.
As of Friday, Greenwich Hospital was treating 38 patients with COVID-19, with 3 on ventilators in the ICU. That is an increase of 14 patients since Wednesday.
Nov 30, 2020
Dec 2, 2020