Governor Lamont COVID-19 and Vaccine Update- 11/12/20

 In Covid-19

Governor Lamont COVID-19 and Vaccine Update- 11/12/20

Governor’s Update:

  • Metrics- The positivity rate is 4.8%. There were 33 hospitalizations and 10 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
  • Red Alert Towns- There are now 100 of 169 towns that have 15 or more positive cases per 100,000 residents. That is about 80% of the state’s population in these towns.
  • Introducing COVID Alert CT- This is a smartphone application that provides notifications if someone you’ve been near in the last 14 days tests positive.
    • 98% of new positive cases have been contacted within 48 hours.
      • 65% of those new cases have been connected and engaged with by state contact tracers.
    • It is completely anonymous, no personal or location information is ever shared.
    • If you get an alert, you’ll get instructions on how to quarantine, get tested, and ask you to call a contact tracer.
    • Apple Users- Go to Settings -> Exposure Notifications -> follow instructions to activate.
    • Android Users- Download the COVID Alert CT App from Google Play.
    • All CT residents are urged to do this.
    • In response to a question on resident buy-in, the governor replied that this will only work if people are willing to use it.
  • 14 Days to Thanksgiving- Take extra precautions if you or a loved one will be traveling.
    • 14-day quarantine, either prior to leaving or on arrival.
    • Students should get tested before leaving college and on day 7 of quarantine.
    • Complete 14-day quarantine even if test results are negative.
    • Avoid quarantining with a family member at high risk.
    • Avoid large gatherings and reunions.
    • Stay safe and stay home.
    • Over 60 or with risk factors should stay home as much as possible.
    • 10-person limit on private gatherings.
  • Travel Advisory- In response to a question on a more targeted travel advisory, Dr. Gottlieb replied that he thinks travelers need to be prudent and seek to avoid traveling to states with a high prevalence of COVID-19.
  • Testing Wait Times- State Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe reported that the state is aware of increasing wait times. The state is working with its testing partners and has added 30 testing locations around the state to bring the total to more than 200 testing locations statewide. The bottleneck is in gathering samples. There is a lot of testing capacity at lab locations.
  • COVID-19 Clusters- A Department of Public Health study of COVID-19 clusters has found that restaurants and workplaces are the two highest locations for outbreak clusters.
    • Dr. Scott Gottlieb commented that restaurants are going to be a high risk of spread, because of the large number of people in a location without masks.
  • Vaccines and Therapeutics- Dr. Gottlieb, a board member of Pfizer, noted that vaccine development continues with Pfizer making their announcement on Monday and more details coming from Moderna soon. He also anticipates that Lilly is developing an effective drug that is expected to be effective against COVID-19.
    • Required Infrastructure for a Pfizer Vaccine- In response to a question on what vaccine infrastructure for distribution of a Pfizer vaccine will be required, Dr. Gottlieb noted that Pfizer is setting up all parameters around shipping and storage.
  • Interstate Youth Sports- The recent announcement applies to the suspension of interstate youth hockey, but the policy will be ultimately applied to interstate sporting events for all sports.
  • Potential for Another Shutdown- In response to a question on why the governor has not decided to shut down the state, the governor replied that his team has found that most of the spread is related to social interactions. As the spread moves further into the community, hospitalizations will continue being a key metric in determining whether another shutdown is warranted. No decision has been made at this time.
    • The governor does not believe that there is much appetite for another extended shutdown, but more stringent actions may be necessary if the pandemic is not able to be contained.
  • Infections Rising in Schools- The infection rate has continued to rise in schools over the last several weeks and the state is monitoring this very closely in order to balance the benefit of in-person instruction with public health.
  • School Education Models- In response to a question regarding unions asking for uniformity in education model application, the governor replied that while universities are shutting down before Thanksgiving and will not be reopening until February. As for Pre K-12, the high schools are more at risk than younger grades. Pre K-5 a majority of students are going to school either fully in-person or using a hybrid model.
    • Dr. Gottlieb replied that the education model needs to be determined by transmission rates within the community. He remarked that schools should be planning for spring semesters. Dr. Gottlieb added that unlike the flu, COVID-19 spread is not starting in schools. It is being driven by congregate settings that are for entertainment purposes only.
  • School Staffing Issues- In response to a question, the governor acknowledged that there is an issue with keeping schools properly staffed. He noted that with the new Binex test, there is a chance that quarantine periods can be shortened. He added that there are options including recruiting students from teaching colleges to fill staffing gaps.

 

This update was brought to us by…

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