Ridgefield's COVID positivity rate decreasing

First Selectman Rudy Marconi

First Selectman Rudy Marconi

Macklin Reid / Hears Connecticut Media

RIDGEFIELD — The town’s COVID positivity rate is starting to decrease, officials announced this week.

Ridgefield’s positivity rate is 2.1 percent, down from the previous 2.9 percent, officials said at Wednesday’s selectmen meeting. This also brings the town below Fairfield County’s positivity rate of 3.1 percent.

First Selectman Rudy Marconi said the good news was that testing has been on a downward trend and there is a dramatic drop in number of cases per hundred thousand in both the state and Fairfield County.

But, he cautioned there is the new variant that is expected to create a spike in March.

“It’s definitely going to spread,” Marconi said, adding the town is again promoting washing hands, sanitizing and keeping a distance of at least six feet, though it is suggested to stay 10 or 12 feet apart if possible.

Marconi said they have no idea the number of vaccines they’re getting week to week, which is making scheduling vaccinations and volunteers very difficult. As of now it’s on a week-to-week basis.

The town, especially Director of Health Ed Briggs, has been working closely with the Ridgefield Visiting Nurses Association to set up the RVNA’s certified clinic in Ridgefield.

“By the end of this week, the RVNA will have completed approximately 1,200 but I don’t know how many other people went to other locations,” Marconi said. “We’re receiving, statewide, approximately 46,000 doses per week right now. The hope that can increase as well as the additional approvals of both AstaZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.”

Those eligible for the vaccine can register through the Vaccine Administration Management System. The system also allows the federal government to track vaccines, distribution, and actual vaccination.

“It is not a user friendly system,” Marconi said. “One of the issues has been it will only accept emails. We have many seniors in our town, not only many that don’t have computers or emails.”

The state set up a help line for people to call if they’re having issues registering or don’t have a computer.

Ridgefield is also trying to assist residents sign up. People can call the RVNA at 203-431-2718 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Tony Phillips, director of social services, is also assisting through his department, as is Founders Hall. Volunteers will be recruited to help as well.

A tutorial video will be made and put on the town website next week to walk people through the vaccine application process.

The next group, 1b, will start once Phase 1a is completed and residents 75 years old and older been vaccinated. About 1.4 million Connecticut residents are eligible in Phase 1b, which includes those 65 to 74 years old, as well as people under 65 who have a single co-morbidity, diabeties or asthma.

“You’re advised to bring your Epi-Pen if you’re allergic,” Marconi said.

Marconi said someone is always ready in the queue to be vaccinated and ensure vaccines aren’t wasted, but the big concern is when people don’t show up for their appointment. Moderna vaccines must be used within 12 hours of being opened.