New sites sought, but hospital will continue

Dr. Mark Hirko, president of Sharon Hospital, said in a phone interview Friday, March 5, that the hospital does not plan to get out of the COVID-19 vaccination business. There had been rumors last week that hospitals would no longer be giving vaccinations. 

He did say that the hospital’s physical layout is not ideal for providing vaccinations to large numbers of people, and that the hospital staffers are stretched thin.

Hirko said that, since December, the hospital has provided 1,800 first doses and 1,100 second doses of vaccines, mostly the Moderna version.

Currently the hospital is working on the remaining second doses.

But with roughly 150,000 people in the vicinity still requiring vaccination, Hirko said, “We can’t be the point on this.”

Hirko said the hospital is willing to help set up vaccination sites elsewhere. “We need to look for a venue suitable for high volume.”

In the meantime, the hospital will also help provide vaccinations at schools, nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities.

State Rep. Maria Horn (D-64) said Friday, March 5 (by phone), that the immediate problem is an inadequate supply of vaccine.

She said there are about 130,000 doses available for about 500,000 newly eligible people. (It is worth noting that the vaccine situation is changing rapidly.) On Monday, March 1, the pool of eligible vaccine recipients grew to include the Over 55 age group, as well as teachers and health-care workers.

Horn said she expected the supply situation would be “alleviated” in the next two weeks.

She is working on setting up additional vaccine sites. “We went through this with testing,” she noted. 

She said independent pharmacies and even Lime Rock Park are in the mix as possible vaccination sites. 

Horn said she is in the newly eligible age group herself, and finally succeeded in getting an appointment in Danbury after the usual long wait times on hold and efforts to log into the registration websites, most of which crashed last week. 

“It’s deflating,” she acknowledged. “Life is so close to being different.”

A telephone operator for one of the registration services had theorized that this new age group has the largest number of computer savvy users, all of whom logged into the registration sites on March 1 at the same time. 

Latest News

Top seed Thomaston eliminates HVRHS from Berkshires tourney

Mia Dodge looked for offensive opportunities against Thomaston’s dominant defense in the Berkshire League semifinal game.

Riley Klein

WASHINGTON — Thomaston High School girls basketball defeated Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) 53-25 in the Berkshire League tournament semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The defending champion Golden Bears advanced to the championship for a rematch of last year’s title game against Northwestern, which defeated Gilbert 61-44 in the semifinal match prior to the HVRHS/Thomaston game.

Keep ReadingShow less
Town planning to assume responsibility for local cemeteries

KENT — After months of consideration of disbanding the Kent Cemetery Association, the Board of Selectmen reviewed a nearly final draft of a new cemetery ordinance at a special workshop meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6.

If the new ordinance is approved at a town meeting, the town would take on responsibility for Kent’s six cemeteries, disbanding the association.

Keep ReadingShow less
Falls Village adopts new POCD

FALLS VILLAGE — The Board of Selectmen approved the new Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) at a special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 13, which was held in person and online.

The selectmen and the Board of Finance both held special meetings Feb. 13 because the regular meeting date of Monday, Feb. 12, was the Lincoln’s Birthday holiday.

Keep ReadingShow less
Banned Book Awards champions children’s right to read
Judy Blume connected digitally at the ceremony and was honored with a lifetime achievement award.
Alexander Wilburn

There can be no question that democratic freedoms are currently being attacked and restricted in the United States, and somehow, children and the information they have access to have been the ongoing targets of attack.

As AP News reported in 2023: “More than 1,200 challenges were compiled in 2022, nearly double the then-record total from 2021 and by far the most since the American Library Association began keeping data 20 years ago.” Conservative groups across the country have become well-organized machines harassing individual public and school librarians with threats of legal and violent action. The message from these groups, often supported by government leaders, is that children should not have access to books — books meant for young readers — that engage with topics of race, gender or sexual identity.

Keep ReadingShow less