GREENWICH, CT — Over 200 Greenwich Hospital employees have received the vaccine created by Pfizer and the German company BioNTech to combat the coronavirus as of Wednesday, and hundreds more are scheduled to receive it over the next few days, according to the hospital's president, Diane Kelly.
During a press update Wednesday afternoon, Kelly said the hospital received its first batch of vaccines just over a week ago, and over 300 more employees are scheduled to receive the vaccine within the next five days. (To sign up for Greenwich breaking news alerts and more, click here.)
"It's a huge undertaking to vaccinate this many people at once," Kelly said, "but we are up for the task."
She also noted they were hoping to get everybody throughout the Yale New Haven Health system vaccinated in 8-9 weeks.
"That's 30,000 people, which is a significant contribution to the state of Connecticut of people being vaccinated," Kelly said, "so more to come on that, but we're feeling very optimistic that we're at least starting to take some proactive actions against this."
According to Kelly, the hospital currently has 42 patients that have tested positive for the virus, including two in the Intensive Care Unit.
"This number has been pretty much consistent with us for the last couple of weeks, fluctuating here and there," Kelly said. "As a system though, I think it's good for us to say we are hoping to be at a little bit of a plateau. We're not seeing any spikes, so we're continuing to watch this."
Greenwich currently has 133 active cases of the virus, an increase of 24 from last week, according to First Selectman Fred Camillo. The total number of cases in town is 2,245, and a total of 63 residents have died as a result of the virus, Camillo said.
This week, Greenwich Public Schools announced the district will move to fully remote learning for one week following the holiday break to allow time for families and staff members to get tested for the virus before returning to school buildings.
"It makes sense," Camillo said. "It's a week or two beyond the holidays, which is what we are all concerned about."
With Christmas just days away and New Year's Eve soon after, both Camillo and Kelly urged residents to remain cautious, continue wearing their mask and social distance.
"If you're not sure if you should wear your mask, wear it," Kelly said. "If you're asking that question to yourself...just wear it. It can do no harm, and it can do a world of good."
She also noted that many residents who have tested positive for the virus have had no symptoms.
"You could feel perfectly fine and you could be exposing somebody, who could then come in contact with someone who has no ability to fight this [virus]," Kelly said. "I really can't stress that enough."