COVID SHOT SCHEDULING UPDATES – Effective 4 March 2021

This just in from Lucy, our State Representative, and a must read if you still have not received your shot. Dates are being moved up, so read, and take action if you have not gotten your shot – Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, PUBLISHER

COVID Vaccine Midweek Update

All of the information in today’s update comes  from the Governor’s press conference today.  Occasionally in the past, the press conferences have gotten out in front of the folks on the ground who have to administer the programs.  If that happens this time, please let me know, so I can pass the word, but kindly refrain from yelling at the messenger.  I took a lot of flak back when the Governor announced that primary care  providers would sign up medically fragile persons in Phase 1-b for their shots and it turned out that local providers had not heard about that program yet.

All three vaccines have proved extremely effective at preventing hospitalization or death; you are not given a choice of which vaccine you will get.

With the approval of the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine, and the contract for Merck to also manufacture the J & J vaccine under the Defense Production Act, vaccine administration is ramping up to the next level in NH.  According to the Governor’s press conference today, we got 42,000 doses of vaccine into the state this week, with more doses coming in through a federal program distributed in NH by the Walgreen’s chain.

Phase 1-b:  The Governor said that everyone in Phase 1-b (that’s the 65+ group) who wanted to get their date moved up from April to March has been moved up, so if you are still scheduled for April and want an earlier slot, call 211 and they can reschedule you.

Homebound folks:  Starting tomorrow, if you are homebound, you can sign up to get a shot administered at home, even  if you are not  signed up with a home health agency.  If you are a patient of a home health agency, and have not yet been contacted by them about your vaccine, call them to find out your options.  If you are not signed up with a home health agency, you can still get transport to a vaccine center, or can get a vaccine at home.  Call 211 to make those arrangements.  As always, expect to be on hold for some time when you call 211.  Have a book or a crossword or some other occupation available to help you pass the time while you are on hold.  Also, know that it will take some time to get to everyone who is homebound, so if you can manage to be transported to a vaccine site, you will probably get the vaccine significantly sooner than waiting for it at home.

Phase 2-A  Teachers, School Administration and Staff, and Child Care Workers: Having said very recently he will not move educators up on the list, the Governor now says that it is time for workers in this category to get into the mix.  Many educators will be vaccinated on-site by arrangements set up by their employers.  If your employer is not setting up arrangements for you to be vaccinated, you may register for vaccination starting on March 17th, with appointments starting on March 22nd.  The sign up is supposed to be via the new state registration system, referred to as VMS, as opposed to the problem-plagued VAMS.  No word yet how to connect to VMS, but let us hope the information will be up on the NH COVID web site, found here:  https://www.nh.gov/covid19/ .  That is where you go now to start the registration process.

Phase 2-b  People 50+:  If you are 50 years of age or older, registration starts on March 22nd, with appointments starting on March 25th, again via the new VMS system.

Two more new cases in Walpole today; three so far this week.  Today, Cheshire County has the second highest 7 day average rate of infection per 100,000 in the state, at 24.2.  Only Grafton, at 28.3, is higher.  Sullivan County, right next door, is the lowest in NH at 9.9.  Hillsborough, usually at the top of the list, is at 17.8.  Windham County VT, just across the river, is at 8.1.  We have work to do.

Wear your mask, even while distancing.  Keep your distance, even while wearing a mask.  Wash your hands.  And keep well.

Lucy
~Representative Lucy Weber
603-499-0282
Lwmcv@comcast.net

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COVID UPDATE — 28 February — NOT GOOD !!!

Provided by our State Representative, Lucy Weber

COVID by the Numbers—February 28 Edition

From a low of 5 active cases of COVID at the beginning of the week, Walpole rocketed back up to 10 active cases on the 27th, before backing down to 8 active cases as of this writing.  Last week we had new cases of COVID in town; this week we are up to 9 new cases for the week.

In Cheshire County, our seven day average of reported cases per 100,000 is also going in the wrong direction.  The county went from an average of 20.5 cases per 100,000 last week back up to an average of 23.1 this week.  This makes our county rate the 4th highest in the state.  More worrying, the infection rate for the county which was 0.67 towards the beginning of the month, has gone up to 1.00 or just above.  The infection rate reflects the average number of other people that each infected person passes the virus on to.  If it stay around 1.00, the numbers or new cases are likely to remain the same.  When the infection rate goes above 1.00, the numbers are likely to rise.

Active cases in Cheshire County went from 135 up to 149.  Two more COVID cases were hospitalized this week, and we have lost one more citizen to the pandemic this week.

Statewide, the numbers are significantly better.  The seven-day average of reported cases has gone down from 27.9 to 21.1.  Active cases have gone from 2,940 down to 2, 532.  Hospitalizations have gone from 109 down to 89, a real milestone.  We lost 23 citizens statewide last week; this week the number was 16.  We did, however, cross the 75,000 mark in total numbers of cases.  As of this writing, 75,424 cases of COVID have been confirmed in the state.

Still, the numbers in NH are significantly higher than those in California in general and Los Angeles County in particular, which is not a good place to be.

Please keep on taking good care of yourselves, and each other.  Don’t let down your guard.  Be careful out there.  There is still work to do.

Wear your mask, keep your distance-even when wearing a mask, wash your hands, and keep well.

 ~Representative Lucy Weber
603-499-0282
Lwmcv@comcast.net

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MARCH 2010 CLARION — Now On-Line

Can you believe March is blowing in this coming week? And, with that, your hardcopy of the March CLARION will be in the mail Friday and in your hands then or on Saturday. But, now you can read the 20 page March issue on-line now. It is Town Meeting time, so there is information on Warrant Articles and Candidates that you need to know about. Also, some nice recycling data, information on my Keene COVID shot experience, and some “fun read” articles.

So, click on this link — https://walpoleclarion.files.wordpress.com/2021/02/clarion-march21-topress.pdf — or on the image below, and please enjoy.

Deadline for the April issue is 23 March – “no fooling.” Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

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COVID SHOTS in KEENE — WHAT TO EXPECT

I got my first COVID shot this week, and in sharing the experience with others I wrote the following piece which will be in the March issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION. But, that is a week away, so I am sharing my article with you now so you know what to expect. Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Shot in Keene — In the Arm

On January 22, the email arrived that I could schedule my COVID shot through the CDC VAMS system. That initial email looked like a “phishing email,” so I ignored it, but then a friend emailed with a question. It was real, I went back and was able to schedule my first shot on February 17. I did act quickly. My shot date was way before others I know.

Neighbors wanted to know if the Keene shots would be given in cars, or if walking was involved. I promised to provide a report, and one neighbor replied, “Always good to know what to expect.” I always feel that way. Thus, so you know what to expect, here is what happened.

The night before my scheduled appointment, a VAMS email arrived with a questionnaire to be completed to save time in line. Basically “are you currently well,” but that link on the email can be hard to recognize. The Keene State Owl Athletic Complex at 110 Krif Road for your shot is easy to find. Entering the drive you become part of a single line queue of cars. My overall time on site was about an hour and a half. The time seemed to fly, but you may wish to bring a book. At the end I started watching YouTube instructional videos. Check in was along the drive by National Guard members. Even though I had my form printed out, all they wanted was my driver’s license to check in. Then you are routed around to the parking area, carefully directed, with three cars in a row bumper to bumper. A team, in time, arrives, and you receive your shot.

The two nurses administered my shot and then gave me a “I got my shot” sticker, but most important a card with the date, shot batch number, and return date, but no time. I asked about the time, and was led to believe I had to go back into the system to schedule it. Confusing, but I asked several times in different ways. You are told you may leave in 15 minutes if you feel fine, and no one will tell you when. While sitting there another lady came up with an iPad asking to see my card. “Let me get you a time,” she said. But the time slots for the day I was given were filled up. She got me a time for the next day, and when I got home a VAMS email was waiting for me confirming my second shot date and time.

Later phoning with a friend who got her shot the same morning, although an equally good experience, she got a date only, not a time slot. Later at night her VAMS email said to go back on line to schedule a time. Finally, again working through the system, she got a time, but a day after the date originally given.  

We both thought that a new State system would be moving New Hampshire residents off the CDC system. I emailed Representative Lucy Weber, and she confirmed on February 18, “As far as I know, to date there is no state system.  In early January, we were told that VAMS was not working optimally, but not to worry because the state system would be up in a week.  A week later we were told it would be up in two weeks.  Last week I heard the Governor say that it would be up and running for phase 2a.  Yesterday he said that phase 2a might start in April.”

I had a good experience, and hope I do not get conflicting rescheduling emails as Representative Weber received for her second shot. My recommendation, and additional reason for sharing, is to encourage you not to leave the Athletic Complex without both a DATE and TIME for your second shot. Once a State system is in place, any information will be provided by CLARION email updates.

 

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COVID UPDATE – SECOND DOSES – LUCY’S 14 FEBRUARY REPORT

I have my first shot on the 17th, but it sounds like the second shot scheduling is still not “set in stone” as we would expect. Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

COVID by the Numbers—February 14 Edition; And,
Second Doses: The Continuing Saga

Second doses—This Week’s Challenges:  For those who got their first dose before last Sunday, and who were therefore not given a second appointment with their first dose, scheduling continues to be a challenge.  Most slots were still too far out for the timing of the first shot.  Calls to 211 revealed that new time slots were being added daily, but that they could not all be added at once, because VAMS would not support that.  You still have to cancel the later appointment and hope that there is an eariler one, and most people have been able to rebook in an appropriate time slot.  But there is a new wrinkle.  After rescheduling, quite a number of people have received a followup email saying that they had cancelled an appointment without rescheduling, even though they had, indeed rescheduled.  Checking VAMs shows that the rescheduled appointments are still there in the VAMS system.  Go figure.

For those who should have gotten a second appointment with their first dose, again the reviews are mixed.  I was told that for a while, Keene had no white vaccination cards.  Some have been told what day to come back, but have been told to come anytime.  Some have been told to go to VAMS and get a specific time.  Some have been told to come back at the same time as their first appointment, but have been given no confirmation.  Still a few bugs in the system.

And the Numbers: Last week, Walpole had 1-4 active cases.  Then we went back up to 7.  As of this writing, we are at 6.  New cases are holding steady—5 again this week.In Cheshire County, our seven day average of reported cases per 100,000 went from 20.2 down to 15.3 on the 10th, and then back up to 19.2 as of today.  Active cases in the county went from 122 down to 101, then back up to 127.  Sadly, we have lost another 3 citizens to the pandemic.  That is 1 more than last week.

Keep well.
~Representative Lucy Weber
603-499-0282″Lwmcv@comcast.net

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MARCH 2021 CLARION — DEADLINE 19 FEBRUARY 2021

A week away and the March Town Meeting issue of the CLARION will close on Friday, 19 February, for all articles and advertisements. Once completed, the files will work their way to the printer, and then into your hands by the first of March.

I have already spent days in preparation looking at what I have received, and will be including for your reading enjoyment. Again, it appears sixteen pages may become the “norm” for awhile until activities may again safely resume and be reported to you.

So, here is your deadline warning, and if you have any questions, do email me – rayboas@comcast.net

And please, Wear Your Mask, Practice Social Distancing, and Wash Your Hands.
Thank you, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

 

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2021 WARRANT ARTICLES and UPDATED DOG ORDINANCE

The Town has provided the CLARION with the signed Warrant Articles for Town Meeting March 9 and 13, 2021. You may read them in advance by clicking this link below:

WARRANT ARTICLES – 2021

Because of required legal terminology, Articles 2 and 3 may seem confusing, but will be further explained in an article in the March CLARION.
For petition warrant articles it is customary for the Select Board to “abstain.”

UPDATED DOG ORDINANCE

May be read by clicking the above link. Current actions in the community have prompted the need for this update. Violators will be assessed penalties with greater enforcement due to recent problems and concerns.

RAY BOAS, Publisher

REMEMBER, IT IS ALMOST TIME TO…

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COVID UPDATE – and – SECOND DOSE INFORMATION

COVID by the Numbers—January 30 Edition
And
More About Those Second Doses

Second doses:  We now know more about scheduling those second doses of vaccine.  Things are still in a little bit of flux, but here is the procedure as it is right now.

Signup slots specifically designated for a second shot will open up on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 8:00 am.  This means you will no longer be competing with those signing up for their first shot, which was what pushed the second shoots so far out. Those who have already received their first shot will be able to schedule their second shot, or reschedule their second shot if their appointment is scheduled out beyond the recommended time windows.

You cannot schedule your second shoot until after you have received your first shot, as you can only have one appointment in the system at a time.  Immediately after you have received your first shot, go back to the VAMS web site www.vams.cdc.gov, and go to your account using the email address and password you used to register for the first shot.  We have been told you should be able to schedule a second shot within the optimum recommended time window—21-28 days for Pfizer, 28-35 days for Moderna, or if not then, at least close to it.  If you already have an appointment for a second shot that is further out in the future than the ones opened up on Tuesday, you will need to cancel the later appointment so you can sign up for the earlier one.  DHHS is recommending you get your second shot at the same location as your first shot, if possible.

The numbers:

The saddest news this week is that Cheshire has set a new weekly record for deaths, with 7 more lives lost to us.  This brings the total to 19, up from 7 at the start of the month.

The rest of the news is more cheerful.  Here in Walpole, we are down to 9 active cases, down from 15 last week, and the high of 30 on January 12.  We had 6 new cases this week, down from 7 last week.  The total number of Walpole cases is 91.

Cheshire County has come all the way down from #1 in the state on January 17th  in the seven day average of reported cases per 100,000; we are now dead last, at #10.  Congratulations, everyone!  We are now at 26.3, down from 44.7 last week, and our high of 64.0 on January 17th.  The number of active cases is 203, down from a high of 389 on January 15.

The cumulative total of reported Cheshire County cases is 2,229, up from 2,123 last week.

Statewide, the cumulative number of cases went from 62,337 on January 24th to 65,362  today.  The number of active cases came down from 6,122 last week to5,238.  Hospitalizations are down from 239 to 217.  Another 55 Granite Staters lost their lives to COVID this week, topping the 1,000 mark, and bringing the cumulative total to 987 to 1042.

So please keep on taking good care of yourselves.  Redouble your efforts.  Wear your masks.  Keep your distance.  Wash your hands.  Avoid large groups.  Avoid close contact in small groups of those not in your household.  Be careful out there, now more than ever.

Keep well.
~Representative Lucy Weber
603-499-0282
Lwmcv@comcast.net

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FEBRUARY 2021 CLARION — NOW ON-LINE

The February issue of  THE WALPOLE CLARION should be at the post office on Friday, 29 January. Thus, always posting a day or so beforehand on-line, the February issue is now on line.

You may click this link — https://walpoleclarion.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/clarion-feb21-topress2.pdf — or on page one below.

Please, please, even with vaccines becoming available, still WEAR YOUR MASK, practice SOCIAL DISTANCING, and WASH YOUR HANDS. That is what I am doing, Stay safe and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

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COVID-19 APPOINTMENTS – HAVING TROUBLE ???

The roll-out of the NH Covid-19 Vaccination sign-up began Friday with those 65 and over receiving a CDC email early Saturday. This email was confusing (many of us trashed it as SPAM), and then a NH State email arrived telling how to navigate the CDC site to obtain an appointment for a vaccination. But it has been troublesome for many.

If you are 65 and older and are having trouble getting your COVID-19 vaccination scheduled through the CDC website, we can help you.  We have a number of volunteers who have figured out how to successfully complete the application and scheduling. Give us a call at 756-4861 — Tara for the River Valley Seniors at Home.

COVID by the Numbers—January 24 Edition from Representative Lucy Weber — In Walpole, the cumulative number of reported cases to date in Walpole is 91, up from 84 on the 17th.  The number of currently active cases has come down from a high of 30 active cases on January 12, to 21 on January 17, and now to 15 on January 24.

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