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COVID-19 update: Vaccinations, 200 deaths

Volunteer inoculator Donna Haupt, a physician assistant, gives a second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Norwalk firefighter David Pignataro during a second-dose clinic at the Norwalk Health Department on Wednesday. About 50 people were vaccinated. (Claire Schoen)

NORWALK, Conn. — Nearly 10% of Norwalk citizens have been diagnosed with COVID-19; 42.5% of Norwalk citizens who are 75 years old or older have been vaccinated. Norwalk has lost 200 citizens to the disease.

These are among the latest Norwalk statistics from the pandemic. The Norwalk Health Department has vaccinated approximately 1,700 people, Norwalk Communications Manager Josh Morgan said Wednesday. Of those, approximately 150 were second doses.

“We had five clinics last week and have four this week,” he said. “… Just to be clear these are numbers from JUST the Norwalk Health Department, and do not include other providers, like the Hospital or NCHC.”

The Health Department is vaccinating seniors who are 75 years old or older as part of the State’s “1b” group, Norwalk Director of Health Deanna D’Amore said. Soon to be scheduled are:

  • Front line essential workers
  • Individuals and staff in congregate settings
  • Individuals between the ages of 65 and 74
  • Individuals between the ages of 16 and 64 with comorbidities

 

“The City of Norwalk now has a waiting list for residents who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” Mayor Harry Rilling’s Thursday update reports. “In the instance a Norwalk Health Department vaccination clinic has extra doses or appointments available due to cancelations or no-shows, residents will be called at random to fill open appointment slots. This is not an appointment request, and submitting information does not guarantee someone will be contacted to receive a vaccine. A person must be eligible at the time of vaccination to receive a vaccine through this wait list. Complete the form at norwalkct.org/waitlist.”

Thursday’s update reports 23 new positive cases in Norwalk, bringing the total to 8,581. There are 88,599 people in Norwalk, according to a 2019 Census estimate, so that’s 9.7% of the population.

The city’s most recent death was reported Monday. Since Jan. 17, when the total was 193, the updates show:

  • One person in his or her 40s died from COVID-19
  • Two people in their 60s died from COVID-19
  • One person in his or her 70s died from COVID-19
  • Three people who were at least 80 years old died from COVID-19

“Now, 200 of our neighbors and friends have passed because of this terrible virus. It’s hard to fathom the loss in the community in less than a year’s time. Let us all think of these 200 families, loved ones, and friends, who are no longer with us,” Rilling said in the release.

 

 

Police and fire departments report

Five Norwalk firefighters have contracted COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, Norwalk Fire Chief Gino Gatto said last week.

“I think we’re pretty lucky,” he said to Common Council members. “…We do have one member that’s still out with type of respiratory problem, but he’s getting better little by little. So he’s on his way to recovery.”

“We were able to get our first vaccine shot by the end of December,” Gatto said. “So we had 71 members get the shot, 38 said no, they didn’t want to get it, and 28 said they wanted to wait…. But I think that little by little they’re beginning to change their mind.

Second shots were scheduled Tuesday.

Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said the department has been down eight to 12 officers at some points of the pandemic, but things have improved and last week it was only three.

Second vaccinations were administered Jan. 26, he said.

“We’re similar to the fire department. It’s about 50-50 that volunteered for the vaccine on the first go around,” he said. “But we did speak to the health department, we’ve uploaded all of our officers into the VAMS system. So as time has gone on, more and more officers now have seen people take the vaccine and you know, learn more about it. And we’re seeing more people take advantage of the vaccine. So I think the numbers are going to continue to improve in that regard.”

 

 

More from the Mayor’s Office

  • “Residents who wish to receive email or text updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccine from the City can now sign up online. Residents can enter their email address and/or cell phone number to be alerted of changing news, updates, and eligibility requirements. This is an alert system, not an appointment system, and residents must opt-in to receive notifications. Sign up at norwalkct.org/vaccineupdate.”
  • “This Sunday is the Super Bowl, and traditionally is a day of large gatherings at homes or spending time at bars and restaurants. Officials strongly urge residents to stay home and celebrate the Big Game safely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends hosting a virtual Super Bowl party, avoiding large gatherings, and not cheering in enclosed spaces. More details can be found at cdc.gov.”
  • “The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launched new services that will enable residents to renew their driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards online without having to visit an office in-person. The department’s efforts to modernize and expand online services to allow residents to safely and securely apply, renew, reinstate, and pay for credentials more efficiently became more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more details, visit ct.gov/dmv.”
  • “The City of Norwalk has partnered with the Norwalk Senior Center and Senior Services Coordinating Council to launch phone assistance lines for Norwalk seniors seeking information regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Seniors may call the Norwalk Senior Center at (203) 847-3115 (English) or (203) 299-1500 (Español), or Senior Services Coordinating Council at (203) 434-3085 or (203) 434-1876 for assistance.”

 

“We’ve seen over the last several months that holidays and significant events where people gather correlate to a spike in cases,” Rilling is quoted as saying. “Public health guidance doesn’t change because it’s Super Sunday. Please do not host large Super Bowl parties with friends and family. If you go out, please keep a face covering on and watch your distance. We can all root for – or against – Tom Brady safely.”

Copy edit, 12:20 a.m.

6 comments

Sue Haynie February 5, 2021 at 6:18 am

Norwalk is lagging in its 75+ vaccinations which means everyone else has to wait. Most of our neighboring towns are doing significantly better than Norwalk, why is Norwalk 2nd fiddling the vaccination rollout?

And things like signing up for COVID email notifications, a no-brainer, were JUST added? “Residents who wish to receive email or text updates regarding the COVID-19 vaccine from the City can now sign up online. Residents can enter their email address and/or cell phone number to be alerted of changing news, updates, and eligibility requirements. This is an alert system, not an appointment system, and residents must opt-in to receive notifications. Sign up at norwalkct.org/vaccineupdate.”

Bryan Meek February 5, 2021 at 1:19 pm

Norwalk loses on around 600 to 800 residents a year from all causes. Can those numbers be reported on for 2020?

JustATaxpayer February 5, 2021 at 9:06 pm

Our city has a blinking sign in front of city hall wishing me Happy Holidays. At least the water shortage message isn’t still blinking.

Hope of us getting the vaccine process right is pretty dim

TomInEastNorwalk February 6, 2021 at 12:18 am

OPPS…. I think there is a typo in this line > “Thursday’s update reports 23 new positive cases in Norwalk, bringing the total to 8,581. There are 88,599 people in Norwalk, according to a 2019 Census estimate, so that’s 96.8% of the population.” I am weak at math, but I believe that correct percentage should be 9.68% – some how the pesky decimal point moved. Small error, big difference.

Claire Schoen February 6, 2021 at 8:46 am

@Sue Haynie – your statement that “Norwalk is lagging” is misleading. Norwalk can only administer as many doses as it is given by the state. My understanding is that we are a regional center – so our suburban neighbors can actually thank Norwalk for vaccinating their residents.
As someone who has been volunteering at these clinics, I can tell you that the Health Department is doing a damn good job given the circumstances.

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