49. DPH Connecticut COVID update

Today I received a very useful email from DPH, so I’m posting it here. Stay safe, everyone!

“Hello Connecticut Physicians, APRNs, PAs, and RNs: 

The Connecticut Department of Public Health would like to keep you all informed of the latest developments in COVID-19 on a weekly basis. You can expect weekly emails on Tuesdays with updates on COVID-19 epidemiology, vaccines, testing and evidence-based control measures. 

COVID-19 Epidemiology: COVID-19 rates remain high across Connecticut.  

  • CT DPH is ramping up efforts to obtain genetic sequences for a subset of patient specimens positive for SARS-CoV-2 to detect variants.  
  • 20 cases of the B.1.1.7 (“UK”) variant have been detected in Connecticut.  

For a series of interactive graphs and maps that provide additional data, including metrics related to age, gender, and race/ethnicity, as well as data broken down by every town and city in Connecticut, visit the Connecticut COVID-19 Data Tracker

COVID-19 Vaccines: This week, starting Thursday, February 11, individuals age 65–74 will be able to schedule appointments for COVID-19 vaccination.  

  • All eligible residents are required to make an appointment in advance of receiving the vaccine.   
  • To find available vaccination clinics throughout the state, residents can visit ct.gov/covidvaccine and enter their zip code.  

Appointments can made utilizing the following tools:

  1. VAMS online system: VAMS is the Vaccine Administration Management System and can be used to schedule appointments at multiple clinics across the state. To make an appointment using this system, click here
  2. Call Connecticut’s COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Assist Line: Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine appointment assist line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. To make an appointment, call 877-918-2224.  Language assistance is available. 
  3. The Deaf and Hard of Hearing can call 7-1-1 to access the Vaccine Appointment Assist Line. 
  4. Hartford HealthcareYale New Haven HealthStamford HealthWalgreensCVS, and Walmart also have online appointment scheduling systems (hyperlinks included). 

More information coming soon (likely March): Scheduling information for individuals with underlying medical conditions at increased risk for severe illness and frontline essential workers. 

COVID-19 Testing: Antigen testing is becoming more popular for COVID-19 diagnosis. Clinicians utilizing point-of-care antigen testing are encouraged to review CDC’s Interim Guidance for Antigen Testing for SARS-CoV-2: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/resources/antigen-tests-guidelines.html   

COVID-19 Control Measures: At this time, please continue to emphasize the importance of masking, distancing, and handwashing to prevent the spread of illness. These efforts contribute to reducing illness, hospitalizations, and deaths in our communities. 

Questions about COVID-19? Email COVID19.DPH@ct.gov.