New Fairifeld has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the area, at 21 cases per 100,000 population, well over the 15 case threshold to be considered in the state Department of Public Health's red zone for community spread. While most of the towns Greater Danbury area towns are over 70 percent fully vaccinated, New Fairfield is still lagging at nearly 65 percent.
At this point, First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says the town's vaccination numbers are increasing at 1 percent per week, not the kind of progress she wants to see. As of last week, all New Fairfield residents 65 years and older were fully vaccinated. That compares to 49 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds, nearly 73 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, 58 percent of 25- to 44-year-olds and 66 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds.
Griffin Hospital and the state Department of Public Health’s mobile vaccination team mobile clinics are being held twice a week in New Fairfield. On Wednesdays, the yellow minivan is stationed at St. Edward Church from noon to 7pm and in the middle and high school parking lot Saturdays from 9am to 5pm.
Republican Selectman Kim Hanson remains concerned about the lack of compliance with the indoor mask mandate in public places, regardless of vaccine status. Hanson says he understands it's difficult for business owners to enforce the mandate on patrons, but doesn't think it’s hard for them to enforce the mandate on themselves and their own employees. Hanson wants warnings to be issued, with follow-up spot checks for those businesses out of compliance. If they're in violation again, he wants the business automatically shut down for 24 hours.
Hanson acknowledged that it's a drastic move, but says this is a drastic situation.