COVID-19: Health Director Urges Residents To Abide By Travel Guidance


Though the town primarily is seeing new positive COVID-19 virus cases among the unvaccinated, some “breakthrough” cases among those who have received vaccine also are being reported, according to New Canaan’s health director.

Those breakthrough cases are “associated with travel” and “they can transmit to the unvaccinated,” Jenn Eielson told

“So in some cases they have brought it home to under-12 unvaccinated children,” she said during an interview. Eielson said the main problem now is the Delta variant of the virus.

She encouraged families that are traveling to check a COVID activity tracker on the CDC website that includes a continuously updated “Integrated County View” page that people can use to understand transmission rates in specific areas where the virus is spreading while making plans.

Asked about her concerns as they relate to public health, Eielson said, “From our perspective, number one, we want to make sure that a month from now, we will be able to open schools safely and have all kids back in full learning, and number two, we want to make sure those who are unvaccinated get vaccinated so we can begin to curtail this pandemic.”

“The more bodies it has to mutate in, it is just going to keep mutating,” she continued. 

The comments came after First Selectman Kevin Moynihan reported in a town-wide outcall last Thursday that New Canaan had seen an uptick to total cases the prior week and 12 positive cases through Thursday of last week.

In all, 68% of New Canaan’s total population was full vaccinated as of the outcall, Moynihan said.

According to the state Department of Public Health’s most recent data, New Canaan has had a cumulative total of 1,390 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, and 40 deaths due to the virus.

Gov. Ned Lamont last month extended the duration of several executive orders related to the pandemic to Sept. 30. They include one that reads, in part, “[B]ecause of data showing that vaccinated people are highly unlikely to transmit or contract COVID-19 people who have been fully vaccinated need not wear face masks or face coverings except for in certain rare settings such as correctional facilities, transportation facilities, schools, healthcare facilities, and homeless shelters.”

Given rapidly changing guidance from the CDC, which filters down to the state DPH and then to local municipalities, it is unclear what will be required vis-a-vis masks in schools come the start of the academic year, or to what extent decisions will be left to individual districts, if at all, Eielson said. 

With respect to “sector rules” that govern requirements like social distancing at restaurants and shops—rules that largely started lifting in late-May—Eielson said she is not seeing new cases spread from instances where a couple goes out to a restaurant. The spread of COVID-19 virus likely has been helped by unseasonably hot and humid weather, as well as concentrated periods of rain and storms that force people inside, she said.

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