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Redding Public Health Advisory

Town of Redding, Health Department
P.O. Box 1028
Redding Center, CT  06875
Tel: 203-938-2559                                              Fax: 203-938-8816

Public Health Advisory  12/21/20

As anticipated the COVID case numbers in Redding increased over Thanksgiving. According to the CT Department of Public Health the averaged positivity rate data from before, during and after Thanksgiving went from 4.5 to 5.6 to 4.9 and likewise the rate per 100,000 from before during and after Thanksgiving went from 25.8 to 34.4 to 26.6. These numbers indicate there’s a lesson to be learned with this past Thanksgiving, and we all need to grasp and realize our role in minimizing the spread with the upcoming holidays. Additional data can be found at townofreddingct.org.

The Vaccine

Hope is on the horizon as we all will have access to a vaccine that could cut down the spread of COVID, especially with 75% of the public inoculated. It’s difficult to speculate if we’ll reach the needed numbers to obtain herd immunity. Obviously all health departments would like all who are eligible to get the vaccine, when available, which will help us move towards putting this virus in our past.

It was reassuring to read where Dr. Fauci said the vaccine could diminish coronavirus as successfully as the polio vaccine did for polio.

The vaccine according to CDC will be distributed in three phases:

Phase 1a – This includes healthcare personnel, residents of long-term care facilities and first responders who face a risk of exposure to COVID-19. This group also includes our school nurses. Hospitals will vaccinate their own workers while CVS and Walgreens will vaccinate those living in long-term care facilities. Group 1a alone statewide includes approximately 232,000 people, and administering the vaccine and completing both doses could go up through January and February.

Phase 1b – Although to date no firm guidance from CDC has been issued, it’s estimated this category will likely include those deemed to be in the “critical workforce” along with those over the age of 65, people who are considered high risk and under 65, and those who live in congregate settings. This group statewide includes approximately 1.5 million people.

Phase 2 – This includes the general public. Predictions vary from spring to fall of 2021 as to when this group will receive the vaccine. This very much depends on how many take it.

More Vaccine Options on the Way

Along with the Pfizer and Moderna, two vaccines are in the FDA review queue to follow. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be ready by February and AstraZenaca starting in March. The demand for vaccine is currently outpacing the supply, however once the other vaccines are available the supply will eventually outpace the demand.

Redding and Bethel Partnered

The Redding Health Department is partnered with the Bethel Health Department and the joint effort is known as the Bethel-Redding Covid Vaccination Program. The Departments are working together on making this large task happen, once the vaccine is made available to us. Information will be disseminated on how, when, and where the vaccine will be administered. The Redding Community Center will be the likely primary vaccination site used for Redding.

Updated Travel Information

The new travel advisory applies to all travelers except those entering Connecticut from New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Governor Lamont stated “Given the current high rates of COVID-19 throughout the United States and internationally, Connecticut continues to strongly discourage all nonessential, interstate travel at this time as the risks are too severe. Visitors to Connecticut and residents returning from any location beyond the immediate region – including New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island – should self-quarantine for a period of 10 days in order to reduce the risk of any further spread of this virus”.

The new rule allows those who have tested positive and has clinically recovered within 90 days to avoid quarantine, if they have not been symptomatic for a period of 10 days and has submitted the test results to the Commissioner of Health. Travelers can also avoid the 10-day quarantine if they test negative 72 hours before they arrive or afterward.

Future Travel

From the Wall Street Journal the president of Quantas Airways stated he “anticipates his airline will require passengers to show proof of vaccination when making international flights. The Australian government has said it may require visitors and returning travelers to show proof of vaccination as a condition of entry”. It goes on to say that other governments are considering the same.

We Need Your Cooperation

For those who test positive we need your cooperation when receiving a call from our contact tracer. The purpose of this interview is to stop the spread. When COVID positive around friends and family, they too could get sick and unknowingly spread it to others. We’re looking to break the chain of transmission. The interview is brief, and honest candid answers help the tracing be effective.

Where to Get Tested

The Greater Danbury Community Health Center – walk up & drive up – visit their website for their testing calendar at ct-institute.org/greater-danbury-community-center-health-center   203-456-1413 – 120 Main St Danbury

CVS 7 Durant Ave in Bethel drive up – by appointment – testing prioritized 866-389-2727 or 203-794-9500 or visit the CVS.com website

You can also consider a home COVID-19 test kit that can be purchased off the internet. We’ve told that supply is limited and like other locations they are now prioritizing. Be sure it’s a PCR test and double check to confirm results will be acceptable for situations requiring test oversight for clearance, such as work, school, or travel. This test is best for personal use.

Doug Hartline, RS, Health Officer
Dr. Lawrence Leibowitz, Director of Health
Redding Health Department