‘That’s What Makes New Canaan Great’: High Praise for Health Officials, Volunteers Doing COVID-19 Vaccinations


Lapham Community Center. Credit: Michael Dinan

Members of the Town Council last week gave high praise to New Canaan’s health director as well as the municipal staff members and volunteers who are working hard and effectively to ensure that residents are receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 virus in the phases outlined by the state.

Councilman Steve Karl said he’s been hearing “a lot of positive statements out of our Lapham Community effort and how organized they are and how smooth it is over there.”

“They have turned Lapham Community Center into a really efficient” facility for administering vaccine shots, Karl said during the legislative body’s regular meeting, held Feb. 24 via videoconference.

“And they went from 100 a day to 300, like just overnight,” he continued. “[New Canaan Health Director] Jenn [Eielson] has done an unbelievable job getting that facility up and running and getting our residents through there. So just want to let her know that we really like what she’s doing and hopefully she can keep up the pace. It’s not easy, for sure. But she’s done a great job over there.”

The comments came during First Selectman Kevin Moynihan’s general update to the Town Council, which touched on COVID-19 virus-related matters, as it has since the pandemic set in here one year ago. 

Next Thursday will mark one year since New Canaan Public Schools closed its buildings in order to limit the spread of coronavirus following the first confirmed case in town. Three days later, then-Emergency Management Director Mike Handler announced in a town-wide outcall that there would be no more indoor dining and that The Playhouse movie theater, commercial gyms and playgrounds at town parks also are closed (all parks would be closed entirely by month’s end).

Since then, state officials have reported 40 New Canaan deaths tied to the virus and more than 1,000 cumulative confirmed cases.

As Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi noted Monday night, a shift in focus from the virus to vaccinations is a significant milestone.

Eielson herself on multiple occasions has thanked several volunteers and workers for their help during the pandemic, including Tracey Karl, Anna Valente-Krolikowski and Jenny LaFond, calling them her “biggest help.”

Councilman Sven Englund during the meeting noted that he’d gone through Lapham that day and “got to say hi to everybody and now I’m out.”

“Thanks to your wife,” Englund said, referring to Tracey Karl.

Steve Karl said, “It’s definitely a team and that’s what makes New Canaan great. I mean, everybody pitches in and does what they need to do. It really has run well over there. So great job by everybody.”

One thought on “‘That’s What Makes New Canaan Great’: High Praise for Health Officials, Volunteers Doing COVID-19 Vaccinations

  1. High praise should also go to Director of Human Services Bethany Zaro who has done an extraordinary job with communicating information about the vaccine rollout to the community; especially for her outreach to the seniors in New Canaan, making sure they had access and the ability to navigate the online sign ups. Bethany and her team are turly town heroes.

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