A healthcare worker provides a vaccination at Rentschler Field in this file photo. (Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie) Credit: Hugh McQuaid / CTNewsJunkie

Three school districts, Ansonia, Derby, and Seymour, went to remote learning today because too many staff were experiencing side effects from the vaccine, according to school officials. 

Bus drivers in Derby could not work Monday as a result of side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a message from Superintendent Matthew Conway.

The second vaccine clinic for school staff including bus drivers was held on Saturday. 

That followed a warning this weekend from the Department of Public Health that the average daily case rate for COVID-19 has increased statewide to 25 cases/100,000 residents per day. That means that over 90% of Connecticut’s population lives in a town with an average daily case rate of over 15 cases per 100,000 residents. Public health officials estimate that 40% of these new cases are the B.1.1.7 variant.

While case rates have decreased among people age 70 and older, they have plateaued or increased among all other age groups. The age group with the highest case rates are 20–29 year olds. COVID hospitalizations have also increased and were over 450 this weekend. 

Later today, Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration is expected to detail how the state will speed up access for those in the 45 and under age bracket with certain medical conditions. 

When Lamont first announced that he would move up eligibility for 1.3 million residents to early April, he said those with high-risk medical conditions would get accelerated access. But it remains unclear how these individuals will get priority.

“Things are in the works,” the governor said Thursday. “Josh [Geballe, state chief operating officer] has had exhaustive conversations with our hospital leaders, how they want to prioritize that. We are going to roll out some of the best recommendations on Monday.”

The Arc Connecticut, which has been advocating to get vaccines to the intellectual and developmental disabilities community, said it plans to share the details on I/DD-specific vaccine clinics that will take place in three regions of the state. 

The vaccines have been allocated to these clinics and will begin April 2, according to The Arc Connecticut. Geballe said the Lamont administration would offer more details on the clinics later on Monday.

The new criteria, which opens up vaccination to everyone over the age of 16 on Thursday means 1.3 million people will become newly eligible. The state is only receiving about 200,000 doses per week, which means hundreds of thousands of residents will need to be patient. 

“As always, we’ll have to ask people to be a little patient at the beginning of a new phase; we won’t have 600,000 appointments available day one,” Geballe said last week.