January 13, 2021
Dear ASD Staff,
I am pleased to report that as of today, there are no additional positive COVID-19 cases on our campus.
The quarantine period for most of our PACES students will end this Friday, January 15th. However, three PACES students (who returned to ASD following the winter break later than the other students) will remain in quarantine for a longer period.
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
All nurses in our Student Health Center received their first round of the COVID-19 vaccine. ASD’s audiologists, SLPs, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists are next in line to receive the vaccine.
The next phase of the vaccine rollout, Phase 1b, will begin on Monday, January 18th. Eligible recipients within this next phase include individuals ages 75 and older, as well as congregate care workers. Teachers were originally included as eligible recipients under phase 1b. However, an updated statement released yesterday indicated that teachers will now be eligible for the vaccine under phase 1c. Governor Lamont’s Vaccine Advisory Group also released an updated statement advising that individuals ages 65 and older, as well as individuals of any age with medical conditions that put them at additional risk for COVID-19, should also be included within this next phase of the vaccine rollout.
Because ASD’s PACES Residential Treatment Program is a congregate care setting, ASD has contacted the Department of Children and Families for clarification regarding ASD staff who may qualify for the vaccine under phase 1b. More information will be shared with all staff as it becomes available.
The basement of our Cogswell building has been renovated to become a dorm. The West Hartford Fire Marshal inspected the space and, with the exception of adding additional smoke detectors, provided ASD with the approval to proceed. We hope to allow students to move into the new dorm space soon.
Weekly DPH/SDE Meeting
During my weekly meeting with the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the State Department of Education (SDE), the topic of COVID fatigue was addressed. Although many are growing tired of following the mandatory mitigation strategies associated with the pandemic, including mask-wearing and social distancing, DPH emphasized the importance of continuing to follow these guidelines as the vaccine is distributed.
I would like to once again thank the entire ASD family for continuing to practice our established mitigation strategies – you are helping to keep our campus and community safe!
Late last week, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) announced that the CIAC winter sports season may begin on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 for all low and moderate risk sports, including swimming, basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics and indoor track. While practices may commence on January 19th, games will not be permitted for these sports until Monday, February 1st.
Andrea Dillon, Kristin Feldman and Mason Wood will form a committee to discuss and develop options for ASD’s winter sports. The committee’s recommendations will then be presented to the COVID-19 Steering Committee. Additional information will be shared with all staff as it becomes available.
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Enjoy the rest of your week!