January 16, 2022

Jan. 14 COVID-19 Update: 23 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 832, Four in Lyme Increase Total There to 209

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows 23 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 809 to 832. 

Four new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 205 to 209. 

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by the state Monday, Jan. 17, around 4 p.m.

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down from 20.27% in the Jan. 14 report to 19.35% and COVID-related hospitalizations also decreased by 22 to 1,895.

Of those hospitalized, 1,255 (representing 66.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

On Thursday, Jan. 13, David Leonhardt wrote in ‘The Morning Newsletter” published by The New York Times, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City rose more than twentyfold in December. In the past few days, it has flattened”

He also noted, “In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.”

Leonhardt was quick to caution, however, “To be clear, the current emergency is not on the verge of ending. Cases appear to be peaking only in places where Omicron arrived early, mostly in the Northeast (our use of bold). In much of the country, cases are still soaring.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 13 weekly COVID-19 Update, the weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID -19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 20 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 5, 2022 CT DPH report

As of Jan. 5, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 29, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 83,147 (58,212)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,526,891 (2,513,612)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 3.29% ( 2.32%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Dec. 26, 2021: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 19, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.3x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 17.2x greater (32.9x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,281.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 389 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 460 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 95 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Thursday, Jan. 13, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “ We continue to see a significant increase in the number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously.

Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

On Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name.  Mile Creek- 2 (Mulligan, Hotchkiss) LOLHS- 1.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

See above for Jan. 14 update.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek – 2 (Hotchkiss, Oliver), Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) – 1.”

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center School – 1 (Newman), Lyme School – 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom.)”

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara.)”

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)”

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles.)”

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Update on COVID-Tests, Masks From the State

Old Lyme is still waiting for its next supply of IHealth self-tests  from the state.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Emergency Services Director David Roberge informed us by phone yesterday (Friday, Jan. 14) that no further supplies of COVID self-tests nor masks have been received from the state this week.

Roberge also noted that, to date, he has not received any information regarding when the next delivery might be made.

He wanted to express his appreciation to all the townspeople for their patience and share the hope that he receives more news from the state soon.

As soon as we receive any further information from Roberge on a delivery of self-tests and/or masks, we will publish it promptly.

Freezing Weather Grips Local Region, Be Careful in the Cold-Tips to Stay Safe, OL Church Opens as Warming Center

There may not be as much snow as this in Old Lyme today, but it is definitely going to be bitterly cold! Photo by Edie Twining.

LYME/OLD LYME — It is going to be bitterly cold today and high winds may continue. The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is opening its Fellowship Hall to anyone, who would appreciate its warmth.

If we hear of additional warming centers opening, we will post details as soon as we receive them.

Old Lyme Emergency Management reminds readers that to help reduce the potential for injury or death, there are certain safety rules that should be  observed at all times:

  • NEVER use a portable generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent. This can result in CO poisoning or death.
  • NEVER use outdoor propane appliances indoors or in enclosed areas. This can result in CO poisoning or death. These include outdoor portable heaters, barbecue grills, and portable generators. Only use appliances indoors that are designed and approved for indoor use.
  • NEVER store or place a propane cylinder indoors or in an enclosed area such as a basement, garage, shed, or tent.
And as a reminder, call Eversource CT if you are without power at 1-800-286-2000 or you can also report an outage by text and receive on-demand text status updates on your restoration.
Information from Eversource can be found at this link: https://www.eversource.com/…/outage-alerts-text-reporting)

Old Lyme Historical Society Receives CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant from CT Humanities 

OLD LYME — Connecticut Humanities, the statewide, nonprofit affiliate of the  National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), has awarded the Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc. (OLHSI) a $ 7,200 CT Cultural Fund Operating Support Grant (CTCFOSG).  

The CTCFOSG will be used to support the Society’s mission to collect, preserve, interpret and promote  the rich history of Old Lyme and environs by making the Archives collection more accessible, improving  IT and online presence and increasing marketing to make the organization more accessible to the community. 

John Pote, the Society’s Chair, commented, “History isn’t static. New discoveries and new technologies broaden our understanding and enhance discussions among cultures and communities.” 

OLHSI was one of 624 organizations in Connecticut that was awarded CT Cultural Fund support.  

Major Retrospective Exhibition of Work by Prominent US Artist Lennart Anderson Opens at Lyme Academy

This ‘Self-Portrait’ of Lennart Anderson, c. 1965, oil on canvas, 10 x 13 in. from a private collection is on display at the retrospective exhibition of the artist’s work at Lyme Academy, which opens Jan. 14.

OLD LYME – On Friday, Jan.14, 2022, Lennart Anderson: A Retrospective opens in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts and is on view through March 18.

Described by the New York Times as one of the “most prominent and admired painters to translate figurative art into a modern idiom,” Lennart Anderson (1928-2015) was an American artist renowned for his mastery of tone, color, and composition, and for a teaching career that deeply influenced future generations of painters.

A signature painting of the Lennart Anderson; A Retrospective exhibition is ‘Portrait of Barbara S. (the first one)’, from 1972, (oil on canvas, 21 7/8 x 18 in. Private Collection.)

Curated by Lyme Academy’s Artistic Directors Amaya Gurpide and Jordan Sokol in collaboration with the artist’s estate and the New York Studio School, Lyme Academy will be the second venue for this first major survey of the artist since his death in 2015.

The exhibition brings together over 25 paintings and drawings from both public and private collections, including paintings from the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Bank of New York Mellon Collection, as well as from Anderson’s own gallery, Leigh Morse Fine Arts.

In addition to several works featured at the exhibition’s opening at the New York Studio School, newly selected works that emphasize the artist’s sensitivity to portraiture and the intimate relationships he formed with his subjects will be featured in the Lyme Academy exhibition.

“As a painter I’ve studied Lennart’s work for years, so the opportunity to co-curate this exhibition has been particularly meaningful,” says Sokol. “Lennart’s paintings brilliantly fuse the figurative tradition with a modern sensibility, making his work especially relevant for Lyme Academy, as well as generations of painters after him.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue that pairs more than 50 full-color reproductions of Anderson’s work with essays by art historians Martica Sawin and Jennifer Samet and painters Susan J. Walp and Paul Resika. Catalogues will be available for purchase at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts during the course of the exhibition.

Lennart Anderson’s ‘Portrait of Mrs. Suzy Peterson’ (1959. Oil on canvas, 30 3/16 × 26 15/16 in. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchased with funds from the Neysa McMein Purchase Award 63.49) will be on display in the retrospective exhibition of his work at Lyme Academy.

Born in Detroit, Lennart Anderson (Aug. 22, 1928 – Oct. 15, 2015) studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy, and at the Art Students League under Edwin Dickinson. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Academy.

He received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Tiffany Foundation grant and the Prix de Rome.

Anderson’s work is in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Delaware Art Museum, among others.

He taught at Columbia University, Yale University, and served as a distinguished professor emeritus of Brooklyn College.

The Estate of Lennart Anderson is represented by his longtime gallerist, Leigh Morse Fine Arts, New York.

Following its presentation at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, the exhibition will travel its next venue, the Southern Utah Museum of Art.

The Chauncey-Stillman Gallery at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The gallery hours are 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. daily. Entrance to the exhibition is free, but donations are welcome. Free parking is offered onsite.

The mission of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is to teach the foundational skills of drawing, painting, and sculpture in the figurative tradition. By its commitment to training students in these skills and an engagement with contemporary discourse, the Academy will empower a new generation of artists. Through its programs, the Academy is committed to enriching the cultural life of the community.

Learn more by visiting www.lymeacademy.edu.

High Hopes Appoints New Chief Development Officer

Liz Burton is the new Chief Development Officer at High Hopes.

OLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. has appointed Liz Burton as their new Chief Development Officer in January 2022.  Burton has over 20 years of experience in diverse professional environments, nonprofit leadership and strategic relationship engagement.

Burton’s experience in corporate relationships will be instrumental in supporting existing and fostering new community collaborations.

She looks forward to leading High Hopes in its critical fundraising endeavors as she follows in the footsteps of Sara Qua, who successfully guided the High Hopes Development Team for the past 16 years.

This next year will be one of outreach,  relationship-building and strengthening High Hopes through collaborative partnerships.

High Hopes is located at 36, Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme, Conn.

Editor’s Note: High Hopes is a premier therapeutic riding center and international instructor-training site, accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) since 1979. It has served people with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities for more than 40 years, offering year-round programs in equine assisted activities, including therapeutic riding, carriage driving and equine learning program.

High Hopes offers experiential learning through outreach programs, an integrated summer camp program and a variety of volunteer opportunities. The organization serves over 1800 people with disabilities each year, underwriting over 70 percent of all lesson costs and providing financial aid to 100 percent of its participants.

To learn more about High Hopes programs and participants or to volunteer, visit www.highhopestr.org.

Jan. 13 COVID-19 Update: CT Remains 99.4% in Case Rate Red Zone, But Some Encouraging News; Lyme Breaks 200 Cumulative Total with Six New Cases, OL Also Reports Six New Cases Raising Total to 809

This map updated Jan. 13, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. The only town not in the Red Zone is Canaan. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.) Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper. Details in italics are the same for each of the maps included in this article.

“We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.” (Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield)

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Thursday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows six new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking that town’s total of cumulative cases to 809.

Six new cases were also reported in Lyme raising that town’s cumulative case total to 205.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by the state Friday, Jan. 14, around 4 p.m.

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down from 21.24% in the Jan. 12 report to 20.27% and encouragingly, COVID-related hospitalizations decreased by 22 to 1,917.

Of those hospitalized, 1,288 (representing 67.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

Today, Jan. 14, an article by Alex Putterman published in the Hartford Courant starts with the words, “Connecticut may have finally passed the worst of the omicron variant outbreak late this week, as hospitalizations and the overall caseload continue to decline.”

Putterman continues, “Dr. Ulysses Wu, chief epidemiologist at Hartford HealthCare, pointed Friday to recent dips in Connecticut’s positivity rate, its rate of new cases, its number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, its number of patients in intensive care and on ventilators, and its daily hospital admissions.”

Adding a note of caution, however, Putterman notes that, “Wu cautioned that Connecticut’s encouraging trends are not guaranteed to continue and that the state’s progress remains fragile.

Similarly, on Thursday, Jan. 13, David Leonhardt wrote in ‘The Morning Newsletter” published by The New York Times, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City rose more than twentyfold in December. In the past few days, it has flattened”

He also noted, “In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.”

Leonhardt was quick to caution, however, “To be clear, the current emergency is not on the verge of ending. Cases appear to be peaking only in places where Omicron arrived early, mostly in the Northeast (our use of bold). In much of the country, cases are still soaring.”

Statewide Data

The Thursday, Jan. 13 Daily COVID-19 Report includes the newly updated weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on Thursdays, which showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for case rates remains at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) are in the Red Zone.

To demonstrate the speed of this current surge, the total number of towns in the Red Zone on Nov. 24, 2021 was 110. As further comparative points of reference, the week prior to Thanksgiving (Nov. 18, 2021), there were 67 towns in the Red Zone, on Oct. 7, 2021 the number was down to 37, and on July 8, and June 17, 2021, there was not a single one.

Old Lyme is in the Red (highest) Zone for the eighth consecutive week: prior to these seven weeks, the last time Old Lyme was in the Red Zone was Sept. 30, 2021.

Lyme is in the Red Zone for the sixth week in succession.

Details of the Daily Case Rate Zones are as follows:

  • The Gray category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is less than five or less than five reported cases.
  • The Yellow category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between five and nine reported cases.
  • The Orange category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between 10 and 14.
  • The Red category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town exceeds 15.

In all cases, this rate does not include cases or tests among residents of nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Jan. 20, 2022 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Here are some significant extracts from the Jan. 13 CT DPH report, which clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 12, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Jan. 5, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 115,021 (83,147)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,540,829(2,526,891)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 4.53% (3.29%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Jan. 2, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 26, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.4x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 18.6x greater (17.2x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,442.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 366 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 437 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 91 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Data, Communications

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Thursday, Jan. 13, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “ We continue to see a significant increase in the number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously.

Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

COVID-19 Cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

No new COVID cases were reported Thursday, Jan. 13.

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek – 2 (Hotchkiss, Oliver), LOL Middle School – 1.

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center School – 1 (Newman), Lyme School – 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom)

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara)

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles)

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Cases Over Time: Dec. 2020-Dec. 2021

The following maps show has the picture of COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rates has gone from an almost totally red (highest rate) map back in Dec. 2020 to an almost all-gray (lowest rate) map on June 17 and July 8, 2021, and back to almost completely red on Dec. 23, 2021.

Dec. 23, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 23, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone.

Dec. 16, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 16, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone.

Dec. 9, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 9, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the Red (highest) Zone, joining 160 additional towns in that zone. The remaining seven towns are either in the Gray (six towns) or Orange (one town) Zones.

Dec. 2, 2021

This map, updated Dec. 2, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Old Lyme is in the Red (highest) Zone while Lyme is one of only six towns remaining in the Gray (lowest) Zone.

Oct. 14, 2021

This map, updated Oct. 14, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Old Lyme and Lyme are both in the Gray (lowest) Zone.

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the Gray (lowest) Zone, where Lyme has been since mid-September. The last time both towns were in the Gray Zone was July 22, 2021.

Sept. 23, 2021

This map, updated Sept. 23, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme have moved into the Red (highest) Zone.

Both Lyme and Old Lyme remained in the Red (highest) Zone for the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19. This was the third week in succession that both towns were in the Red Zone.

Statewide, there were 81 towns now in the Red Zone, which is three down from the  previous week’s total of 84.  On Sept. 2, the total was 91 so the trend was undoubtedly downward although it was still up significantly from the 39 reported on Aug. 12.

Sept. 2, 2021

This map, updated Sept. 2, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back down into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Sept. 2 when 91 towns were in the Red Zone, which is down one from 92 a week ago on Aug. 26, but still up significantly from 73  on Aug. 19, and 39 on Aug. 12.

Old Lyme had fallen to the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with 10 other towns. This total of 11 towns is unchanged from last week, when Old Lyme was in the Orange Zone.

Lyme was in the Gray (lowest) Zone. This was the 24th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone. Again, this total of 20 towns in the Gray Zone was unchanged from last week.

Forty-seven towns were in the Orange (second highest) Zone.

Aug. 26, 2021

This map, updated Aug. 26, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back down into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 26, when Old Lyme was in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone with a daily case rate per 100,000 of 10.8.

Eleven Connecticut towns were in the Yellow (second lowest) Zone down from 20the previous week. Locally, these included Deep River, Old Saybrook and Haddam.

The remaining 20 towns in the state, including Lyme, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 23rd straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 19, 2021

This map, updated Aug. 19, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, while Old Lyme has moved back into the Orange Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 19 when Old Lyme was back in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone. Almost 50 towns in the state remained in the Orange Zone, which was around the same number as the previous week.

Less than 20 Connecticut towns were in the Yellow (second lowest) Zone down from 40 the previous week. Locally, these included including Deep River, Essex and East Haddam.

The remaining 20 towns in the state, including Lyme, are in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 22nd straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 12

This map, updated Aug. 12, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme is in the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 12 and shows that Old Lyme had fallen out of the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone into the Yellow (second lowest) Zone — but only by a fraction.

Almost 50 towns were in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone — up from 33 the previous week — including Westbrook and Salem locally.

Old Lyme joined the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with around 40 other Connecticut towns, including Old Saybrook, East Lyme, and Essex.

All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme, along with Deep River and Chester, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 21st straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

Aug. 5

This map, updated Aug. 5, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is still in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme has moved into the Orange Zone.

The map above is from Aug. 5 when six towns were in the Red (highest case rate) Zone (the previous week’s number was four) and 33 in the Orange (second highest case rate) Zone — the previous week’s number was four, including Old Lyme.

East Lyme* had reentered the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with more than 50 other Connecticut towns.

All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme*, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 20th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

July 29, 2021

This map, updated July 29, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Lyme is in the (lowest) Gray Zone, but Old Lyme has moved into the Yellow Zone.

The map above is from July 29, when four towns were in the Red Zone –Harland, Salem, Bozrah and Sprague — and four towns were in the Orange Zone — Easton, East Hampton, Ledyard and Thompson.

Old Lyme had reentered the Yellow (second lowest) Zone along with more than 50 other Connecticut towns. All remaining towns in the state, including Lyme, were in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone. This was the 19th straight week for Lyme in the Gray Zone.

July 15, 2021

This map, updated July 15, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

The map above is from July 15, when one town, Franklin, was in the Red Zone (indicating the highest rate of COVID-19 new cases) and another two, Salem and Andover, were in the (second highest rate) Orange Zone. New Hartford and Griswold were in the Yellow Zone (indicating the lowest but one rate of COVID-19 new cases.)

July 8, 2021

This map, updated July 8, 2021 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

This map above dated July 8, shows New Hartford as the sole town in the Yellow Zone.

June 17, 2021

This map, updated June 17, shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the (lowest) Gray Zone.

The map above dated June 17, shows when just one town, Bolton, was in the Yellow Zone.

Dec. 18, 2020

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 17, 2020 showing both Lyme and Old Lyme now in the CT DPH-identified ‘Red Zone.’

NOAA Announces Creation of New Protected Area on CT’s Southeast Coast, Includes Several State-Owned Coastal Properties in Lyme, Old Lyme

This map shows the location of the new National Estuarine Research Reserve in southeastern Connecticut. Photo courtesy of The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

The Nature Conservancy celebrates the establishment of Connecticut’s first National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) along southeastern coast of State

LYME/OLD LYME/NEW HAVEN, CONN. – Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the establishment of a new National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) on Connecticut’s southeastern coast. The new reserve is the 30th in the national reserve system and the first in Connecticut.

“Establishing the Connecticut NERR is a critical step toward enhancing the preservation of Connecticut’s coastal and marine habitats, wildlife and heritage,” said Chantal Collier, director of marine systems conservation at The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

She added, “The Nature Conservancy is proud to have worked closely with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the University of Connecticut, NOAA and other partners to bring this new level of protection to the Sound that will help us address the challenges facing our estuary and sustain its benefits for local communities.”

The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a partnership between NOAA and coastal states. NOAA provides guidance and funding while state departments or universities work with local partners to manage the sites day-to-day. The program is designed to protect and study estuaries and their surrounding wetlands—unique ecosystems that exist in the places where rivers meet the sea.

Located along the southeastern coast of the State, the newly announced reserve spans the lower Connecticut River, the lower Thames River, most of the Connecticut waters of eastern Long Island Sound and western Fishers Island Sound, and several state-owned coastal properties in Groton, Old Lyme, and Lyme.

The boundaries of the Connecticut NERR also include traditional lands of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Mohegan Tribe, Western Nehântick Tribal Nation, Hammonasset Tribe, Wappinger Tribe, and Wangunks Tribe.

The Connecticut NERR encompasses a total of 52,160 acres and a range of ecosystems including coastal forests and grasslands, intertidal marshes, beaches and bluffs, rocky reefs, and seagrass meadows, including 36 percent of the vitally important but imperiled Long Island Sound eelgrass ecosystem.

“These coastal and marine habitats are a haven for a wide variety of plants and animals,” said Collier. “From piping plovers, horseshoe crabs and seals that rest or breed along its shores, to sea turtles, dolphins and whales that forage for food in its waters—the range of species that will benefit from this new protected area is tremendous.”

The designation of the new reserve is not the end of the process, however.

“Now, we are turning our attention to supporting effective implementation of the Connecticut NERR Management Plan that was developed by state and local partners. Successful implementation will help ensure that this reserve realizes its environmental, research, and educational potential,” Collier said.

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release from The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut.

Inaugural PARJE Mural Promoting Racial Justice Through Public Art to be Unveiled in Norwich on MLK Day, Time-lapse Video Shows How it was Created

An opening frame from the just-released time-lapse video by Emida Roller shows the finished Norwich Sister Mural at the Market St. Garage.

NORWICH, CT/OLD LYME: On Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 17, at 12:30 p.m., Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) will unveil its first mural, which has been created on the Market Street Garage in Norwich. In honor of this upcoming event, the group has released a remarkable time-lapse video showing how the mural came together.

All are welcome to attend the unveiling ceremony for the Norwich Sister Mural, the title of which echoes the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “We Are Not Makers of History.  We Are Made By History.”

Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) was formed by Rev. David Good, the former Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and now its Minister Emeritus, in March last year with help from Rev. Jack Madry of the Madry Temple in New London.

Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Good explains that the catalyst for creating PARJE was the tragic killing of George Floyd in May, 2020. Good came to believe passionately that public art could be used to spark conversation and stimulate education on what it means to be engaged in antiracism. He started discussing the subject with Madry and together they looked for ways to bring communities together to address racial injustice.

Those discussions led to the birth of PARJE, which has developed into a broad-based, interracial, non-partisan, non-sectarian group consisting of volunteers from various communities around the shoreline region. These communities now include Old Lyme and Lyme, as well as Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Essex, Deep River, Norwich and New  London.

From the displacement of indigenous communities to the use of slave labor in the whaling industry, PARJE leaders point out that the the local region, along with many others across the nation, has been actively complicit in – and not passively just home to – various racial injustices.

PARJE aims to provide opportunities to examine or reexamine some of these events through the use of public art in many different ways. As the US struggles to confront systemic racism, PARJE will focus on engaging artists from all disciplines to create public art aimed at addressing not only contemporary issues, but also their origins.

Building partnerships with surrounding communities is an additional focus of the group’s stated mission.

A series of murals is planned throughout the region and the first mural to be completed is the one in Norwich.

Asked how the Norwich mural came about, Good told LymeLine via email, “Shiela Hayes is our point person for the Norwich Mural. She’s a member of our Steering Committee and as the head of NAACP-Norwich, Shiela was able to bring onboard a number of folks in Norwich.”

Good commented enthusiastically, “Sheila did amazing work in getting input and support from a number of individuals, organizations and government representatives!”

Hayes explained the background and timing of the mural to LymeLine in an email, noting, “The concept, theme and research started in March [2021.] They were completed in October when the title, “Freedom, Civil Rights and Human Rights,” was finalized.

Hayes noted that work on the mural began in October of 2021, with the 1st phase. The mural was designed by Samson Tonton based on input by the Norwich Sister Mural Committee.

On Nov. 15, the second phase began, which involved the Norwich Mayor and Council voting to approve the design of the Norwich Sister Mural on the Market Street Garage.

Lead artist Emida Roller of Wall Designs by Emida LLC paints a section of the mural in situ. Photo by Jac Lahav.

Power washing of the Market Street Garage by Norwich Public Utilities followed during the week of Nov. 15 and then priming and background painting by lead artist Emida Roller and artist Samson Tonton began  during the week of Nov. 22.

The third phase started the week of Nov. 22 when both artists painted on polytab pieces indoors and then affixed the images on the wall. They painted additional images directly on the wall and were able to complete the work by Dec. 20.

Artist Samson Tonton works on his painting on a piece of polytab prior to it being placed on the wall. Photo by Jac Lahav.

Community Engagement and Paint Days were held Dec. 8 and 11 at the Sikh Art Gallery with over 40 people assisting with the painting. The Gallery was founded by Norwich City Councilman Swaranjit Singh Khalsa, whom Good noted was “very important” in bringing the project to fruition.

Good added that he and another PARJE member from Old Lyme, Celine Sullivan, “visited on one of those [Community Paint] days, and it was great to see the diversity of those at work on the mural.”

Now that the design is complete, the next step is the official unveiling ceremony on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 17.

PARJE has a number of other murals currently in various stages of development at Old Lyme, New London, East Lyme, and Old Saybrook.

Good explained how things are moving forward positively in Old Lyme, saying, “Thelma Halloran, a Black art teacher in [Lyme-] Old Lyme’s Middle School and Alden Murphy* co-chair our Artist Selection Team consisting of Becky Crosby*, Kimberly Monson*, Alex Pinkowish, [and] Nancy Gladwell* (ex officio) in addition to Thelma and Alden.” (* indicates a Lyme or Old Lyme resident.)

He continued, “They’ve had some great applicants [to design the mural],” interviews have been held, and their plan is to select the artist [for the Old Lyme mural] around January 15th. Good noted that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser, “… has been very supportive. He [Neviaser] hopes to engage as much of the school community as possible and also provide opportunities for community painting days to welcome those from other communities.”

One of the core beliefs of PARJE rests in the ability of public art to educate about the history of Black,  Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Consequently, there will be a high priority on selecting BIPOC artists while also working side-by-side with others, trained and untrained, and those of all generations, races and ethnicities.

Other events currently scheduled for PARJE include a panel discussion at Long Wharf Theatre’s production of “Fires in the Mirror” on Jan. 30. Good plans to moderate the discussion with panel members Pastor Jack Madry, Attorney Lonnie Braxton II, Rabbi Aaron Rosenberg and Ghoufran Allababidi.

An event had previously been scheduled for Jan. 23 at Lyme Art Association but this has now been postponed to Feb. 20 due to the COVID situation. We will publish more information on this event as soon as it is available.

This image shows Nancy Gladwell’s side of the PARJE diptych, which pictures the events of March 7, 1965, at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. The day became known as ‘Bloody Sunday.’ Photo courtesy of PARJE.

A further project is the creation of a diptych (a two-panel painting intended to function as a traveling exhibition) by two local artists, Nancy Gladwell, who was Chair of Painting at the former Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and Jas Oyola-Blumenthal, an alumna of the same institution. Gladwell is also the Co-Chair of PARJE.

The diptych will be used in schools, or any public space, to tell the controversial story of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

The diptych project also intends to illustrate the possible future of the bridge supporting efforts currently underway to rename it after civil rights activist, John Lewis, who would have been 81 this February. 

Looking back at the breadth of work accomplished and all the projects completed, in progress, or in the early planning stages after only 10 months of PARJE ‘s existence — and especially considering all those 10 months have been under pandemic conditions — Good concludes positively, but pragmatically, “Public art will not solve systemic racial injustice, but it would be a public affirmation that, on the one hand, this is the country we are, and, on the other, this is the country we are endeavoring to become.”

Editor’s Note: (i) For more information about Public Art for Racial Justice Education, visit their website follow PARJE on Facebook at Facebook.com/Public Art for Racial Justice Education and Instagram @racialjusticeartTo donate to support the work of PARJE or inquire about joining PARJE, email racialjusticeart@gmail.com.

(ii) The following is a list of key people and organizations involved in the Norwich Mural project — (there are too many names to list them all): Matt Conway – Executive Director, The RiseUp Group, Inc., Swaranjit Singh Khalsa – Norwich City Councilman, Derell Q. Wilson – Norwich City Councilman, Leo Butler – Director of Diversity, Norwich Free Academy, Alysha Carmody – HOD, Visual and Performing Arts, NFA, Dayne Rugh – Director, Slater Memorial Museum, Beryl Fishbone – Rotary Community Corps of Norwich, Shiela Hayes – President, NAACP Norwich Branch, Tracey L. Holland – NAACP Norwich Branch, Brenda McDonald – Secretary, NAACP Norwich Branch, Sharlyne Naubert – President, NAACP Robertsine Duncan YC, Celia Siefert – NAACP Norwich Branch, Zechariah Stover – NAACP Norwich Branch, City of Norwich – Elected and Appointed Officials and Norwich Public Utilities.

‘First Impressions’ Associate Artist, ‘Congratulations’ Exhibitions Open at Lyme Art Association

‘Morning Fog Lifting’ by Alexander Farquharson is one of the signature paintings in the upcoming First Impressions exhibition at Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME —  Lyme Art Association (LAA)’s First Impressions exhibition is a juried exhibition of the Association’s Associate Artist members, accomplished artists who have been successfully exhibiting in selective shows. This exhibit will include a variety of media and themes: landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture.

In addition, the three new Elected Artists, who were inducted into the LAA in October 2021, will present their work in Congratulations in the Goodman gallery. This year Sara Drought Nebel, Rick Daskam, and Matthew Schwager joined the esteemed ranks of LAA’s Elected Artists.

Both exhibits run from Jan. 14 through Feb. 24, 2022.

“The Annual Associate Artists Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members,” comments Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager. She adds, “This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life.”

Meanwhile, Zallinger notes, “The Congratulations show in the Goodman Gallery promises to be impressive; each new class of Elected Artists brings some new, unique perspectives and wonderful talent, and this year is no exception.”

Both exhibitions are on view in the 100-year-old sky-lit galleries of the LAA at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn.

Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., and by appointment. Admission is free but donations are welcome.

Visit this link for more information about the LAA.

A la Carte: For Lee, Winter and Widowhood Mean it’s Time for Tourtière

Lee White

Before the holiday season, Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a wonderful cookbook writer who lives mostly in Maine and visits Italy often, talked about the French-Canadian tourtière

I made it a few times for my husband but he really didn’t like the seasoning. He said the same when I made Cincinnati Five-Way Chili (chili with beans, onions, seasoning, spaghetti and cheese). Doug had pretty good catholic (small “C”) food preferences and so, after the tourtière discussion (and all the time, really), I just made food he enjoyed.

In any case, I love all those spices and I adore savory pies like chicken and beef pot pies.

But now it is winter and widowhood, so I can cook anything I like and share the bounty with friends.

The recipe looks long, but if you use a pre-made crust (preferable Oronoco frozen pie crusts), this recipe is a snap. As for the spice blend, quadruple or quintuple it and save in a tight-lidded jar for tourtière or Cincinnati Five-Way Chili for next time!

Tourtière (French-Canadian Meat Pie)
Adapted from Chef John on allrecipes.com 

Photo by Rebecca Matthews on Unsplash.

2 pre-made frozen pie crusts, thawed
Spice blend
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Filling
1 large russet potato, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pinch salt
4 cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup finely diced celery
1 pound each ground pork and beef
1 cup potato cooking water, plus more as needed

Egg wash
1 large egg and 1 tablespoon water, stirred

Place potato quarters in a saucepan, cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat. Simmer until cooked through. Remove potato and mash; save water.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and salt and stir until onions turn golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, celery and spice blend and stir until onions coated with spices, 30 seconds. Add meat and ladle ¾ cup of potato water into skillet. Cook until meat is browned and has an almost paste-like texture. Continue, stirring, until meat is tender and most liquid is evaporated, 45 minutes. Stir in potatoes and remove from heat. Bring to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill bottom crust with meat mixture and smooth out. Brush edges of bottom crust with egg wash, then place top crust on the pie and press lightly around edges to seal. Trim excess dough from crust. Crimp edges of the crust and brush entire surface of pie with egg wash. Place in preheated oven. Bake until well brown, about 1 hour. Let cool to almost room temperature before serving.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn. Contact Lee at leeawhite@aol.com.

Old Lyme Girls’ Basketball: Wildcats Defeat Lyman Memorial Handily; Fenton, Walsh Score 14 Points Apiece

Old Lyme Sophomore Ava Roth (center) is double-teamed by Lyman Allyn players during the game.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme girls had a decisive win over Lyman Memorial on Wednesday evening, earning a 43-28 victory.

Old Lyme freshman Kate Walsh (#5) and senior Meg Loflin try to grab a loose ball.

Freshman Kate Walsh and Junior Alexis Fenton both scored 14 points while Senior Megan Loflin added 11 points and 16 rebounds.

After the game, coach Don Bugbee commented, “The girls played hard throughout the game and obviously it’s always nice to get a win.”

He cautioned, however, “There were numerous aspects of the game that need immediate attention and correction. That process will take place, starting at tomorrow’s practice.”

Old Lyme’s record now stands at 4-2.

The girls’ next game is against Morgan this evening (Jan. 14) with JV tipping off at 5:30 p.m. and Varsity at 7 p.m.

In this hoop action, Old Lyme senior Megan Loflin takes a lay-up.

 

Junior Alexis Fenton (#23) dribbles down the court.

 

Old Lyme senior Ali Kyle is hard at work on defense in this shot.

Cappella Cantorum Announces Registration, Start of Rehearsals for Spring Concert 2022, Monday

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus continues its 2021-2022 season with rehearsals for the Spring Concert starting Monday, Jan. 17, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centerbrook, CT. 

After Jan.17, it will still be possible to register online or call 860-941-8243 for assistance.

Singers from across the area, including the Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, are welcome. Auditions are not required.

The selected works to be performed are Parts 2 and 3 from Messiah by G.F. Handel. The concert date is tentatively set for May 15; check the Capella Cantorum website for updates. 

Registration will begin at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17, with the first rehearsal following immediately after at 7:30 p.m. The Chorus typically rehearses on Monday evenings at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church.  

Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination is required for registration and participation, and masks must be worn while in the building.

Registration is $50 (music is extra), and all participants are encouraged to register in advance on the website at www.cappellacantorum.org

Old Lyme Public Works Offers Christmas Tree Pick-up Through Monday

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme Public Works Department will pick up Christmas trees in Old Lyme through Monday, Jan. 17.

If you would like the Town to pick up your tree, you are requested to have it curbside by Monday, Jan. 17.

There will be no return trips for curbside pick-up.

 

Jan. 12 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme Breaks 800 Cumulative Cases, Lyme Increases to 199, but Maybe There’s a Glimmer of Hope

Photo by CDC on Unsplash,

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows seven new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 796 to 803. 

Two new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 197 to 199. 

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down from 23.85% in the Jan. 11 report to 21.24% while COVID-related hospitalizations increased by 18 to 1,939.

Of those hospitalized, 1,324 (representing 68.3%) are not fully vaccinated.

Despite the generally bleak outlook, there is some encouraging news about the numbers. Today, Jan. 13, David Leonhardt wrote in ‘The Morning Newsletter” published by The New York Times, “There are early signs that Omicron has begun to peak. The number of new Covid-19 cases in New York City rose more than twentyfold in December. In the past few days, it has flattened”

He also noted, “In Boston, the amount of the Covid virus detected in wastewater, which has been a leading indicator of case trends in the past, has plunged by about 40 percent since its peak just after Jan. 1.”

Leonhardt was quick to caution, however, “To be clear, the current emergency is not on the verge of ending. Cases appear to be peaking only in places where Omicron arrived early, mostly in the Northeast (our use of bold). In much of the country, cases are still soaring.

The next Daily Report from CT DPH will be issued Thursday, Jan. 13, at around 4 p.m.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 6 weekly COVID-19 Update, the weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID -19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 13 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 5, 2022 CT DPH report

These clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 5, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 29, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 83,147 (58,212)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,526,891 (2,513,612)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 3.29% ( 2.32%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Dec. 26, 2021: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 19, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.3x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 17.2x greater (32.9x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,281.

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 360 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 431 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 85 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Friday, Jan. 7, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “We continue to see a high number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction, the number of new cases have more than doubled since the last reporting period.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

On Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek – 2 (Hotchkiss, Oliver), Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) – 1

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center School – 1 (Newman), Lyme School – 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom)

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara)

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles)

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Jan. 11 COVID-19 Update: 12 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 796, Three New Cases Raise Lyme’s Total to 197

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows 12 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 784 to 796. 

Three new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 194 to 197. 

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was up from 23.68% in the Jan. 10 report to 23.85% and COVID-related hospitalizations similarly increased by 31 to 1,920.

It is noteworthy that 1,292 (representing 67.3%) of those hospitalized are NOT FULLY VACCINATED.

On Tuesday, Jan. 11, TheHill.com reported that the United States set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 145,982 people hospitalized with COVID-19-related illnesses (per Department of Health and Human Services data.) This number exceeds the previous peak of around 142,000 people, which occurred in January 2021 before vaccines were widely available.

To give context to the state’s positivity rate of 23.85% on Jan. 11, 2022an article by Eliza Fawcett published in the Hartford Courant Jan. 5, 2022, reported that, “The state’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 22%, the highest of any time in the past 18 months.”

Previously on Dec. 28, 2021, Alex Putterman wrote in an article published in the Hartford Courant, “Connecticut blew past its previous record for COVID-19 positivity rate … for a daily rate of 14.98%. Previously, the state hadn’t reported a positivity rate higher than 11% on any given day since widespread testing began in spring 2020.”

The next report from CT DPH will be issued Wednesday, Jan. 12, at around 4 p.m.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 6 weekly COVID-19 Update, the weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID -19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 13 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 5, 2022 CT DPH report

These clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 5, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 29, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 83,147 (58,212)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,526,891 (2,513,612)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 3.29% ( 2.32%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Dec. 26, 2021: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 19, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.3x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 17.2x greater (32.9x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,281.

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 353 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 424 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 83 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Friday, Jan. 7, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “We continue to see a high number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction, the number of new cases have more than doubled since the last reporting period.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period (8/26/21 – 12/23/21) at this link.

No new COVID cases were reported by Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Jan. 11, 2022.

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center School – 1 (Newman), Lyme School – 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom)

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara)

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles)

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Old Lyme, Lyme Libraries Co-Sponsor History of Jazz Event via Zoom, Tonight; Includes Impact of Jazz on Civil Rights Movement, Live Performance

Learn how Jazz was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement with Galen Abdur-Razzaq (centerin photo above) in a virtual event Wednesday evening co-sponsored by the Lyme and Old Lyme Libraries.

LYME/OLD LYME — On Wednesday, Jan. 12, the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library and the Lyme Public Library are co-sponsoring a virtual event that includes a live performance, a lecture and music trivia. The program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Learn how Jazz was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement, with proceeds from concerts helping to finance major events such as the Freedom Rides and the March on Washington in 1963.

Galen Abdur-Razzaq, a Master Flutist, a jazz historian, and an educator, will chronicle music from the turn of the century to present day and highlight various artists, their music, their struggles, and their influence on the evolution of jazz.

Visit this link to register and obtain the Zoom link for the program.

Jan. 10 COVID-19 Update: Lyme, Old Lyme Break Case Number Daily Records; 59 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 784, 11 New Cases Raise Lyme’s Total to 194

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) shows 59 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme taking the town’s total of cumulative cases from 725 to 784. This number breaks all previous records for a single day in Old Lyme, but it must be remembered this is a two-day total as the state does not report data over the weekend so the previous number of 725 was for last Friday, Jan. 7.

Eleven new cases were reported in Lyme, taking that town’s cumulative total from 183 to 194. Again, this is a record single day number for Lyme but the same caveat regarding that daily total applies as for Old Lyme.

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was down slightly from 24.55% in the Jan. 7 report to 23.68% in the Jan. 10 report but COVID-related hospitalizations increased by 79 to 1,889.

Significantly, 1,287 (representing 68.1%) of those hospitalized are NOT FULLY VACCINATED.

Today, Tuesday, Jan. 11, according to TheHill.com, the United States set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations, with 145,982 people hospitalized with COVID-19-related illnesses (per Department of Health and Human Services data.) This number exceeds the previous peak of around 142,000 people, which occurred in January 2021 before vaccines were widely available.

To give context to the state’s positivity rate of 23.68% on Jan. 10, 2022, an article by Eliza Fawcett published in the Hartford Courant Jan. 5, 2022, reported that, “The state’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 22%, the highest of any time in the past 18 months.”

Previously on Dec. 28, 2021, Alex Putterman wrote in an article published in the Hartford Courant, “Connecticut blew past its previous record for COVID-19 positivity rate … for a daily rate of 14.98%. Previously, the state hadn’t reported a positivity rate higher than 11% on any given day since widespread testing began in spring 2020.”

The next report from CT DPH will be issued Tuesday, Jan. 11, at around 4 p.m.

As we reported in our Thursday, Jan. 6 weekly COVID-19 Update, the weekly COVID-19 Average Daily Case Rate Report issued by the state on that day showed that the total number of towns in the Red (highest) Zone for COVID -19 Case Rates remained constant at 168, leaving only one town in the state — Canaan — not in the Red Zone. This number of 168 is equivalent to 99.4 percent of towns in the state.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, Jan. 13 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

Extracts from the Jan. 5, 2022 CT DPH report

These clearly indicate the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted:

As of Jan. 5, 2022: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 29, 2021)

  • Number of cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 83,147 (58,212)
  • Number of fully vaccinated persons in Connecticut: 2,526,891 (2,513,612)
  • Percent of fully vaccinated persons, who have contracted COVID-19: 3.29% ( 2.32%)
  • Of the 1,784(1,151) patients currently hospitalized with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 1,213–68% (619–71.2%) are not fully vaccinated.

For the week beginning Dec. 26, 2021: (the number in parentheses is from Dec. 19, 2021)

  • Risk of unvaccinated persons testing positive for COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 3.3x greater (3.3x greater)
  • Risk of unvaccinated persons dying from COVID-19 as compared to fully vaccinated persons: 17.2x greater (32.9x greater)
  • The total number of COVID-19-associated deaths is 9,281.

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 282 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 353 new cases there since that date. Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 69 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

All the towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD), of which both Lyme and Old Lyme are members, are in the Red Zone.

In an email sent Friday, Jan. 7, regarding the latest COVID-19 data, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield stated, “We continue to see a high number of new COVID cases within our jurisdiction, the number of new cases have more than doubled since the last reporting period.”

He continues, “Ledge Light Health District advises all businesses and residents take direct steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in your business, home, and place of work. We encourage all businesses within our communities to adopt masking policies for employees and customers, regardless of vaccination status.”

Mansfield concluded, “LLHD continues to focus our vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Update

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing , but LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser said in a Jan. 4 email to the school community that he, “… will continue to notify the school community of any positive cases of COVID-19 that impact the schools.”

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools closed Dec. 23, 2021 and reopened Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 after the winter break meaning no new cases were reported by the schools during that period. We are no longer including positive cases impacting LOL schools between Aug 26, 2021 (the first day of the 2021-22 academic school year) and Dec. 23, 2021 (the last day of school before winter break began), in this report. During that period contact tracing was still required.

View the full listing of cases during that period at this link.

On Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of [three] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms where those individuals were present are identified by the teacher’s last name: Center- 1 (Newman), Lyme- 2 (Tartisel, Sestrom)”

He continued, “As always, any student or staff member, whether having known exposure or not, that is exhibiting any symptoms of illness including, but not limited to, fever (temp 100.4 F and above), chills, uncontrolled new cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, muscle or body aches, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fatigue, congestion, or a runny nose should not attend school, notify the school nurse, quarantine, and be tested.”

A full listing of all LOL Schools-related cases during 2022 is given below.

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates, however, which we have not yet received.

On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Over the weekend we became aware of the following [two] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Velikaneye), Lyme- 1 (McNamara)

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [one] individual, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: Mile Creek- 1 (Wilson.)

On Thursday, Jan. 6, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [seven] individuals, who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS [Lyme-Old Lyme High School] – 5, Lyme [School] – 1 (Tartisel), and Center [School]-1 (Lucier.)”

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, Neviaser reported in an email to the school community, “Today we became aware of the following [14] individuals who tested positive after being present at school.  At the elementary level, where students are in cohorts, the classrooms are identified by the teacher’s last name: LOLHS- 6, Mile Creek- 1 (Herel), Lyme- 3 (Tartisel, Sobus, McDermott) and Center-4 (Mullaney’s PM class, Miles)

On Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, Neviaser informed the school community that the administration had been made aware of “four individuals at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) and one individual in the Center School 3-year old PK classroom, who tested positive after being present at school.”

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Three COVID-related fatalities have been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Old Lyme Basketball Update: Boys, Girls Both Win Big Against H-K Teams

Senior Ali Kyle makes a lay-up to score for Old Lyme in Monday’s game against Haddam-Killingworth. Kyle ended the game with 15 points.

OLD LYME — Both the boys’ and girls’ Old Lyme basketball defeated their Haddam-Killingworth (H-K) opponents yesterday evening. The girls won handily 36-20 at H-K while the boys, playing at home, secured a convincing 66-48 victory.

Meghan Loflin (center) defends effectively in the game against H-K

In the girls’ game, the girls made a terrific come-back in the second half, holding H-K to only four points in the third quarter and keeping a completely clean sheet in the fourth.

Senior Ali Kyle scored 15 points and made six steals, freshman Kate Walsh notched six points and six steals while senior Megan Loflin took eight rebounds, plus five blocks and four steals.

Junior Alexis Fenton leaves her opponent behind as she advances up the court.

After the game, a delighted coach Don Bugbee said by email, “After not playing (3) scheduled games over the last 2 weeks because of COVID issues and a snow day cancellation, we got off to a very slow start against a much bigger HK team.”

He continued, “Defensive changes, starting in the second quarter and continuing throughout the second half, were the differences that allowed the girls to come away with the win.”

Three boys made major contributions to their team’s win with Jacob Ritchie scoring 20 points while adding seven  steals and three rebounds, John Almy making 19 points, six rebounds and two assists, and Caden Monte also notching 19 points along with six rebounds and a block.
Coach Ken Beeman commented later in an email, “A strong second quarter gave us the energy we needed. The boys carried the momentum throughout the rest of the game.”

League of Women Voters Delegate to 2021 U.N. Climate Conference Gives Report, Discusses Future Actions, Jan. 19; All Welcome, Zoom Option

NIANTIC — On Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at 7 p.m., the League of Women Voters of  Southeastern Connecticut (LWVSECT) will host a presentation on the subject of climate. The event will be held at Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave, Niantic (use the upper level parking lot) and all are welcome

The Program will also be accessible via Zoom at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85793934144pwd=TktDbGlyeFhhZFpzTH F2b05PbkNFZz09 

The presenter will be LWVSECT member Emily Polakowski, who was a League delegate to the United Nations Climate Conference (COP26) held in November 2021 in  Glasgow, Scotland, and a member of the LWVSECT.

Vaccination and masks are  required for entry.

Polakowski will talk about her attendance at the U.N. Climate Summit (COP 26)  in Glasgow where she represented the League of Women Voters – U.S. as an  observer delegate to the event.  

Her talk will cover the set-up of the conference and she will:

  • offer a brief history of  climate negotiations
  • provide background climate information and terms
  • share what she learned from events that she attended at the conference
  • discuss what actions  one can take today to help limit climate change on a local and national level.

There will be a Q&A session at the end of the event. 

The League of Women Voters has been celebrating its 100th anniversary in  2021 and looks forward to continuing its non-partisan, political, educational mission  on subjects of import to all.

The League welcomes men and women as members of its organization.