Local COVID-19 cases rise as vaccine distribution continues

Local COVID-19 cases rise as vaccine distribution continues

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Meriden reported an increase of 396 COVID-19 infections and uptick in its positivity rate from 9.9 percent to 10.4, Mayor Kevin Scarpati reported Tuesday.

The city also cited two additional deaths and a slight drop in its case rate at 76.2 per 100,000 residents for the week, in spite of the increased positivity rate. 

“We have lost two additional members of our community this past week,” Scarpati posted on social media. “Our total Covid related deaths stand at 111.”

The increased positivity rate mirrors statewide results which saw numbers climb from a 5.6 percent positivity rate to 7.6 percent over the past two days. Meriden now has had 4,675 residents test positive for the virus. 

The town of Wallingford reported 141 new cases on Dec. 13 and 139 new cases on Dec. 26. Cheshire reported 83 cases on Dec. 13 and 68 cases on Dec. 26. Southington also saw a decrease from 151 cases on Dec. 13 to 146 on Dec. 26, according to state public health numbers.

City and state officials expected a post-holiday spike reflecting travel and gatherings.  Reporting data for the individual towns is one week behind.

The state reported an additional 2,332 cases Tuesday reaching a  7.66 percent positivity rate. An additional 38 people were hospitalized bringing the total to 1,149, and 24 new deaths.

Before Monday, the state had maintained a 6.6 percent infection rate average over seven days, according to numbers released from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office.  

Lamont also announced that state hospitals and long-term facilities have administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to 75,180 workers. Both the Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines require two doses. State public health officials expect to complete the first dose of the vaccine by Friday. Assisted living facilities began administering vaccines at their facilities on Monday. 

Connecticut is among the first eight states in the U.S. to have administered the vaccine to more than two percent of its population. Vaccine distribution is done at 85 sites with hospitals set to rollout clinical centers at their testing sites.  Any thawed leftover vaccine is rerouted to an area of need to avoid any waste, Lamont said.

“We want to make sure every drop of vaccine is administered in a timely fashion,” Lamont said.

The Meriden Health Department began vaccinating first responders and healthcare workers last week. To date they have administered more than 200 vaccinations, Scarpati said. 

Hartford HealthCare, the parent of MidState Medical Center and the Hospital of Central Connecticut began dispensing the second doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine Monday to workers who received the first dose three weeks ago. 

The state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group met Tuesday to determine priorities in the next phase or, phase 1B, of the vaccine rollout.

Dr. Deidre Gifford, the acting public health commissioner, said Monday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization advisory committee recommends that frontline essential workers and people over the age of 75 be included in phase 1B. 

She added that the committee may chose to make some additions to that group but witheld speculation until after they met. 

 Lamont is expected to have the committee’s recommendations Thursday. 

mgodin@record-journal.com203-317-2255Twitter: @Cconnbiz

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