WECAN Initiative COVID report Dec. 28: positivity rate remains steady, Gov. Lamont ‘Economic help is on the way’

Gov. Ned Lamont at a press conference discussing federal aid to Connecticut on Monday, Dec. 28.
Gov. Ned Lamont at a press conference discussing federal aid to Connecticut on Monday, Dec. 28.

Headlines: positivity rate remains steady, Gov. Lamont says “Economic help is on its way”

In a press conference held on Monday, Dec. 28, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said that the state’s COVID positivity rate remains stable at 6.05 percent. This is after a three day break in reporting statistics due to the Christmas holiday and the weekend.
“It’s a good sign, but we’re watching the rate like a hawk,” Gov. Lamont said. “New York and Rhode Island’s rate flared up, and we are not an isolated island. But so far, so good.”

Currently, there are 1,219 residents hospitalized due to COVID, which is an increase of 19 residents since Thursday, Dec. 24.
“That’s over several days, so that number is very stable,” Gov. Lamont said. “We feel good about that so far.”

Vaccine update: Gov. Lamont said that 36,276 vaccine doses have been administered throughout the state. There are currently 76 locations now administering vaccines to healthcare workers, with eight more locations to be added this week. The state has completed 72 nursing home clinics.

“We expect two-thirds of our nursing homes to be completed with the first dose by the end of this week, and all nursing homes to be completed with its first dose clinics by the end of January,” Gov. Lamont said. “We feel very good about this. Residents are lining up to get the vaccine because they know how important it is, especially considering the demographics. I continue to urge the nurses and the folks who are working at the nursing homes to get the vaccine. There is some hesitancy there. Maybe some of you are saying that you had COVID before and I shouldn’t worry about it because I have antibodies. Get the vaccine, it’s much safer for you, your family, and the residents you are taking care of.”

Gov. Lamont said that the Centers for Disease Control is expected to issue formal guidance on Phase 1B for vaccinations in early January. Phase 1B is scheduled to include first responders and other groups.

On Sunday, Dec. 27, President Donald J. Trump (R) signed the bipartisian relief bill that, according to Gov. Lamont, will include $4 billion in direct relief for the state.
According to Gov. Lamont, the direct relief funds will include $695.1 million in unemployment assistance, $1.6 billion in stimulus checks, and $237 million in rental assistance.
“No evictions through February 9,” Gov. Lamont said. “Hopefully we will be able to negotiate [with landlords] for longer than that. We are doing everything we can to make sure that you can stay in your home or apartment.”
Gov. Lamont said that the state will receive $745.5 million in education funding.
“I think the feds were very generous when it came to education funding,” he said. “This is mainly for COVID related expenses. This is for everything we need to keep people safe, to apprentice teachers.”
Gov. Lamont said $492 million would go for the state’s Kindergarten through 12th grade programs, and $225 million for colleges and universities.
The relief funds also include $312 million to fund vaccines, additional COVID testing and tracing.
“We’ve done about $250 million worth of testing already,” Gov. Lamont said. “We test more than just about any state in the country so we can get ahead of the curve. So far, we’ve had some success.”

COVID rates for mid-December
According to the state, from Dec. 6 to Dec. 19, these were the total new cases for the following areas:

Winsted: 65
Torrington: 214
Barkhamsted: 13
Colebrook: 4
New Hartford: 34
Norfolk: 6

Hospitalization statistics:
According to statistics as provided by National Public Radio, as of Monday, Dec. 28, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington is using 15 percent of its adult inpatient beds for COVID cases, with 67 percent of its adult inpatient beds being used for all cases. The hospital has seen 18 COVID patients on average in the past seven days.

Sharon Hospital in Sharon is using seven percent of its adult inpatient beds for COVID cases, with 48 percent of its adult inpatient beds being used for all cases. The hospital has seen 4 COVID patients on average in the past seven days.


On Monday, Dec. 28 the state reported that the COVID-19 total case rate is now 181,200, an increase of 8,457 cases since Dec. 24.

There are currently 1,219 patients hospitalized, an increase of 19 since Dec. 24.

A total of 5,904 residents have died due to COVID, an increase of 113 residents since Dec. 24.

Litchfield County:
Dec. 28 total cases: 7,303

Dec. 28 total cases: 345

Dec. 28 total cases: 1,895

Dec. 28 total cases: 84

Dec. 28 total cases: 26

New Hartford:
Dec. 28 total cases: 182

Dec. 28 total cases: 46

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): as of Dec. 28, there are 19,055,869 COVID cases in the United States, an increase of 145,959 new cases since yesterday. There are now 332,246 deaths in America due to COVID, an increase of 1,345 since yesterday.

Testing: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s drive-thru testing is at 211 High Street in Torrington from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Community Health and Wellness in Torrington will continue with its free COVID testing on Fridays in December, except for Christmas Day. The testing will take place from 9:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. at 469 Migeon Avenue. The testing is a walk-in with no appointments or referrals necessary.

Mental health resources: 24-hour crisis hotline: 1-888-444-3339 or text “LISTEN” 741-741
Greenwoods Counseling Referrals: Mental health and substance use assessments, treatment, and referrals. Financial assistance available 860-567-4437
Addiction: Community Outreach and Recovery Navigator Sarah Toomey 860-309-3845. Free and confidential support, resources, NARCAN, harm reduction for the entire family.
Western CT Mental Health: Higher level of psychiatric and substance abuse care 860-496-3700.

To send community information, including resources for residents, email winstedphoenix@gmail.com