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One Year After The Vaccine Arrived in the State: Tracking Doses And Tests

December 14, 2021

Do you remember exactly what you were doing a year ago today? Dr. Melisha Cumberland, Chief of the Department of Medicine at Windham Hospital, does. She was among the first in the nation to receive a COVID-19 vaccine after close to 2,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech product arrived at Hartford Hospital. [caption id="attachment_37543" align="alignleft" width="150"]Dr. Melisha Cumberland Dr. Melisha Cumberland[/caption] "Every once in a while over the past almost two years, I look for a word or phrase that describes what everything has really meant to me, how everything has felt," she said at a Dec. 14 Hartford HealthCare media briefing. "The best I can come up with is 'surreal,' because it's been quite an emotional rollercoaster. "But it was exciting to be one of the first members of this leadership team to receive the COVID vaccine. And it continues to be exciting today. We're now able to celebrate another milestone in our country's fight against COVID." As she spoke, Hartford HealthCare officials were still counting the vaccine doses administered in the past year -- more than 526,000 at sites large and small across the state, with 400-plus mobile vaccination events. And the test count rolls on, like the fractional seconds on an eternal stopwatch. As of Tuesday morning, it's 610,875 patients, 1,208,099 patients and 87,631 positive results since testing began in spring 2020. Here are the tests administered at Hartford HealthCare hospital drive-throughs, with positive results in parenthesis:

  • Hartford Hospital: 183,369 (11,032).
  • Backus Hospital: 99,466 (5,734).
  • MidState Medical Center: 97,418 (5,864).
  • St. Vincent's Medical Center: 89,907 (6,511).
  • Charlotte Hungerford Hospital: 55,217 (2,815).
By now, all of us can recite the secrets of protection against COVID-10: masks, social distancing and vaccination. But we've become more aware, perhaps forever, of safety, science and the threat of disease. [embed]https://youtu.be/6UTOHpxXDVA[/embed] "There are things that every individual, every household knows about infection prevention that will protect them," said Keith Grant, APRN, Hartford HealthCare's Senior Director of Infection Prevention. "Not just COVID-19, but other disease processes. We've seen it in the reduction in numbers in flu and influenza across the state and across the country." The United States still doesn't know if the newest variant, the highly transmissible Omicron, will race through the population as it is elsewhere in the world after it emerged last month in South Africa. Early reports indicate that, despite its transmissibility even among the vaccinated, it might cause less severe illness and fewer deaths than the now-dominant Delta strain. Booster shots appear to provide the best protection. "We have supplies, we have knowledge and we have resources," said Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare's Chief Clinical Officer. "We have new technologies, we have new drugs and therapies. There's so much to be hopeful about at this time as folks actually enjoy the holiday season. My only request would be to stay safe. We are almost there at the finish line."

State's Positivity Rate Spikes to 8 Percent

The state's COVID-19 positivity rate once again surpassed 8 percent, a day after dipping to about 2.2 percent. Of the 681 people hospitalized in the state, 76.5 percent (521) are not vaccinated, according to state officials.