Health Department Anticipates Uptick in COVID-19; 23 Confirmed Seasonal Flu Cases in New Canaan

Town officials say they’re expecting the number of positive COVID-19 virus cases to rise in the next two weeks, based on historical data. New Canaan had a total of 14 reported positive cases in the week prior to Thursday’s Health and Human Services Commission meeting—the same figure as the week before that, according to Health Director Jenn Eielson. “Historically, looking back at old charts, it’s next week and the week after where cases really begin to go up,” Eielson said during the appointed body’s regular meeting, held in a board room at Town Hall. “So we’ll see what happens this year.”

The comments came during Eielson’s regular update to the Commission. Overall, cases of COVID-19 in New Canaan are down significantly from a peak in the first half of 2020, data show.

COVID-19: 55.3% of New Canaanites Have Received a Booster Shot

Though just 55.3% of all New Canaanites have received at least one booster shot for COVID-19 virus, that percentage is still is relatively high compared to the rest of the state, according to Health Director Jenn Eielson. One reason may be that New Canaan is still holding clinics routinely, whereas many towns and even pharmacies have gotten away from the practice, Eielson said during the June 2 meeting of the Health & Human Services Commission, held via videoconference. 

“And a lot of people are holding out for the fall and seeing if there’s going to be a different Omicron-specific booster because they don’t want to get it in May and be told in October they can’t get another one,” she said. She spoke in response to Commissioner Jim Lisher, who asked whether there’s anything the town could do to encourage more residents to get at least a third dose of vaccine. “I know a lot of people at all ages that are saying ‘Oh, I don’t need a booster, I didn’t need the first booster let alone the second booster,’ “ Lisher said. “Is there anything we can do or anything anyone is doing around the state to get these people who are rational, educated people, and the reason they don’t want to do it is because they know they’ll have a reaction for a day maybe two days?” He said. 

Lisher added, “Is there anything anybody is using as a campaign to get up to 90-plus (percent) on demographic cohorts?”

The discussion came during Eielson’s general report to the Commission.

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.