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As Connecticut's COVID positivity rate rises, Meriden is hoping to stem the tide

Lamont said, "We’ve got to figure out about the unvaccinated kids," referring to the vaccinations and masking of grade school students.

MERIDEN, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont's office announced Tuesday afternoon the COVID infection rate had spiked to 2.71% - the highest since May 11th, but Lamont said the infection rate is not the most important metric to him.

"Hospitalizations and fatalities are very low, the best in the country because people are vaccinated," Lamont said Tuesday afternoon.

But, the Governor added, "We’ve got to figure out about the unvaccinated kids," referring to the vaccinations and masking of grade school students.

RELATED: When to get your kids vaccinated so they are ready for the first day of school

The American Association of Pediatrics says all students, even those vaccinated, should mask up. And a Yale Medicine doctor, who was the principal investigator of the Pfizer and Sanofi vaccine trials at Yale School of Medicine, tends to agree.

"First of all, I think having two sets of recommendations, one for vaccinated and one for unvaccinated, especially for children in school systems, can be very confusing," said Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, a Yale Medicine Infectious Diseases Specialist.

The CDC said earlier this month that vaccinated students, teachers and staff would not be mandated to wear masks.

"The state Department of Education and the Department of Public Health had a meeting this morning to discuss all of the new guidelines that are coming out and the state is evaluating each of those pieces." said Lea Crown, the Meriden Health Director.

Right now, Meriden, which held a pop-up vaccination clinic in Hubard Park Tuesday, is focused on reeling in teens and college students with incentives like back packs stuffed with school supplies or a chance to win a dorm refrigerator or microwave oven at some of the City's upcoming clinics.

The Community Health Center will be holding COVID-19 pop-up clinics on the following dates. The Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines will be offered. Walk-ups are welcome.

  • July 22 - Lincoln Middle School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • July 24 - Meriden Green from 4:00pm to 8:00pm
  • July 26 - Maloney High School from 11:00am – 2:00pm
  • July 27 - Hubbard Park (playscape area) from 10:00am – 3:00pm
  • July 28 - Israel Putnam Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • July 29 - Lincoln Middle School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 3 - National Night Out event at the Meriden Police Department from 6:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Aug. 5 - Lincoln Middle School from 11:00am to 2:00pm (Aug. 5 will be Back to School COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic – backpack giveaway)
  • Aug. 7 - Meriden Green from 4:00pm – 8:00pm (Back to School COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic – backpack giveaway)
  • Aug. 9 - Maloney High School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 11 - Israel Putnam Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 13 -John Barry Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 15 - Maloney High School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 18 - Israel Putnam Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 19 - Lincoln Middle School from 11:00am to 2:00pm (Aug. 5 will be Back to School COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic – backpack giveaway)
  • Aug. 20 -John Barry Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm
  • Aug. 28 -Meriden Green from 8:00am to 12:00pm as part of the Meriden Farmer’s Market
  • Aug. 28 -Hubbard Park from 3:00pm to 7:00pm as part of Overdose Awareness Day

Ogbuagu says the vaccines are safe, adding that 95%-97% of all U.S. hospitalizations currently are unvaccinated people and over 99% of deaths in the U.S. are unvaccinated people.

Anyone is welcome to call the Meriden Department of Health and Human Services at 203-630-4221 with any questions.

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