March 11, 2020 was a day that rocked the nation as the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.
At the time, there were two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state and about 850 cases nationwide.
As of Wednesday, there have been 288,657 cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut and 7,752 people have died coronavirus-related deaths here.
Across the United States, there have been more than 29 million cases of coronavirus in the last year and more than COVID-related 530,000 deaths, according to NBC News statistics.
Several local hospitals held ceremonies today to mark the day that the global pandemic was declared.
Saint Mary's Hospital in Waterbury held a one-year anniversary commemoration of the COVID-19 global pandemic at 10 a.m. with a solemn service to remember the lives lost during COVID-19 and to honor those on the front lines who have cared for patients and fought the battle against the virus.
At 11 a.m., Trinity Health held a commemoration ceremony outside the entrance of St. Francis Hospital in Hartford to honor frontline workers and remember those who have died from COVID.
Health care workers shared what the pandemic has been like, with one comparing what they went through to swimming in rapids after falling off a raft, just trying to protect herself and keep her head above water.
Through tears, another health care worker talked about what nurses went through and the fear and uncertainty. There was fear of getting the virus and bringing it home to their families.
Then there was the emotional toll of caring for sick patients whose families could not be there with them and being the caregiver and family for patients and holding their hands.
Even the personal protective equipment posed challenges as healthcare workers worked in the sweat it induced and the pain the equipment caused.
To keep family members safe, one healthcare workers said she lived in an RV for months and her parents moved into her home to take care of her three young children and they tried to maintain a social distance.
One year into the pandemic, people are receiving vaccinations against the virus and hope is on the horizon.
One health care worker talked about feeling joy when the first emergency approval for a COVID-19 vaccine in December and hope that brought after nine months of tears.
Who Can Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut
- The state started the vaccine rollout in mid-December by vaccinating healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents and medical first responders.
- As of mid-January, Connecticut residents 75 and older have been able to sign up for an appointment and get a vaccine.
- Connecticut residents 55 and older can sign up and get an appointment.
- Pre-K-12 Teachers, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, food service providers, school bus drivers and childcare providers as well as in-school administrative staff. This group does not include individuals who are not required to work on-site in a school.
- Note: Pre-K-12 school staff and teachers, and professional child care providers will be eligible for the vaccine.
- People 45 to 55
- People 16 and up
Note:To get a vaccine in Connecticut, you must either live or work in the state. If you typically visit a provider here but do not live or work in Connecticut, you are not eligible and must get vaccinated in your home state.
Note: To get a vaccine in Connecticut, you must either live or work in the state. If you typically visit a provider here but do not live or work in Connecticut, you are not eligible and must get vaccinated in your home state.
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Who Can Get a Coronavirus Vaccine By Age Group
- 75 and up -- eligible now
- 65 and up - eligible now
- 55 and up - eligible now
- 45 to 54: March 22 -- an estimated 400,000 people will be eligible
- 35 to 44: April 12 - an estimated 400,000 people will be eligible
- 16 to 34: May 3
How to Get an Appointment for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut
By phone: Call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for scheduling at select sites.
Online: Schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in VAMS, the Vaccine Administration Management System.
- Fill out the form to let the Department of Public health know you are interested in creating an account in VAMS. If you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine then you should receive an email from VAMS to complete your registration within 12 hours. Click here to create an account.
- Check for an email from email@example.com. Click on the link in the email and create your account. You will be prompted to retrieve a code that will be emailed to you. You will need to create a password and store it in a safe place.
- If you forgot your password, the "forgot password" link on the login page can only be used if you have created a password as part of your VAMS registration.
- Complete your VAMS registration.
- The first question that will be asked in VAMS is “Have you already registered as a vaccine recipient with VAMS?” The answer to this question is “No.”
- Questions with a red asterisk are mandatory.
- Insurance information does not need to be entered.
- You will be prompted to share some additional information about yourself.
- In order for VAMS to recognize your option chosen for race, click on your choice in the box on the left and click the right-pointing arrow to move your choice to the box on the right.
- Use your zip code to search for clinics near you in VAMS.
- The system will automatically search for clinics within a 10-mile radius of your zip code, but you may choose up to 100 miles from the dropdown menu, which might provide more clinic locations in your search results.
- You might need to check multiple clinic locations to find an available appointment. Find a slot that works for you, and book your appointment.
Providers With Their Own Vaccine Sign-Ups
- CVS Pharmacy
- New Britain
- New Haven
- Windsor Locks
- Hartford Healthcare
- Middlesex Health
- UCONN Health
- Stamford Health
- CVS locations within some Target stores will offer vaccines to people who are eligible.
- Visit CVS.com to check your eligibility and see if there's a participating location near you.
- Walgreens: Access the scheduler here
- Jewett City
- Stafford Springs
- Walmart. Click here to schedule your vaccine
- East Windsor
- New Haven
- North Windham
- West Haven
- Yale New Haven Health
What Coronavirus Vaccines is Connecticut Getting?
- For CT residents 16 and up.
- The recommended time between doses: 21 days
- For CT residents 18 and up
- The recommended time between doses: 28 days
- Johnson & Johnson
- The Johnson & Johnson shot is now the third with emergency authorization to combat COVID-19 in the U.S.
Gov. Ned Lamont said he expects Connecticut will receive 39,000 Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccines this week.
Combined with doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, Connecticut could get 156,000 doses of vaccine this week, according to the governor.