ARPA: Health and Human Services Commission Should Advise Town on Future Allocations, Members Say

An appointed body that oversees New Canaan’s Health and Human Services departments should be doing more to help the town set priorities on spending what remains of $6 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, its members say. The Town Council last month approved about $2 million in “ARPA” spending, including allocations for “premium pay” for school and town workers, greenlink sidewalks, year-round public bathrooms, a generator and marketing. Yet the Health and Human Services Commission “should be giving more assistance and support to our elected officials on priority funding,” Russ Barksdale Jr., a member of the Commission, said at its Jan. 6 meeting. “I did not see any priority funding given to our local or town Health Department, as an example,” Barksdale said at the meeting, held via videoconference.

Moynihan: Town Employee Holiday Party Canceled Due To Lack of Response, Not COVID-19

Hours after a staffer in his own office notified municipal workers this week that their holiday party had been canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan denied the report, saying instead that it was “due to lack of response from Town employees who wished to attend.”

“We do NOT have a concern about local increase in COVID cases, which continue to be very modest in size compared to our population and produce very mild illnesses for those who are vaccinated,” Moynihan said in an email sent Tuesday to department heads, the Board of Selectmen and his office staff. “We continue to urge all Town employees who are not vaccinated to get vaccinated unless there is a medical condition due to which an employee’s medical provider advises against vaccination,” he said in the email, obtained by The party had been planned for Dec. 16 at Waveny House. It was to include appetizers, dinner and dessert, as well as beer and wine, and a $10 “donation” from attendees was due Dec.

Health Director: 1,000 Kids Aged 5 to 11 Registered for Nov. 11 COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic [CORRECTION] 

More than 98% of 12- to 17-year-olds in New Canaan have been vaccinated against COVID-19 virus, according to the town’s health director. And 100% of town residents aged 18 to 44 also are vaccinated, Jenn Eielson told members of the Health & Human Services Commission during their regular meeting, held Thursday via videoconference. 

The 45- to 64-year-old age bracket stands at about 89%, while 100% of those aged 65-and-over are vaccinated, Eielson said during an update to the Commission. “The percentage of the total population with at least one dose—this includes those that re not currently eligible, is 80.12%,” she said. Eielson added that 72.9% of the total population is fully vaccinated. 

The town’s Health Department was scheduled to run a booster clinic Thursday of Moderna and Pfizer shots, she said, and 350 people registered for that. A booster clinic for teachers will be held Nov.