Police host blood drive

Derry police host the annual winter blood drive on Friday, Jan. 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Calvary Bible Church, 145 Hampstead Road. Appointments are available. The winter drive is the largest hosted by local police and donors of all blood types are especially needed due to the ongoing pandemic. As a special thank-you to donors, all who give blood will be automatically entered into a special drawing to win two tickets to next year’s 2022 Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles and will also be entered to win the “Big Game at Home” package so people can enjoy viewing safely at home as well. For information or to make an appointment visit redcrossblood.org.

Chief gives COVID-19 update

Fire Chief Michael Gagnon gave his regular coronavirus update at the Town Council meeting on Jan. 5. The chief has offered regular updates for many months as the pandemic continues, giving numbers of virus cases in Derry, how first responders are dealing with the pandemic, and what other information is needed as per town business, recreation, public works and other community health and safety issues.

Gagnon told councilors that as of the date of the most recent meeting, Derry had 385 positive cases of COVID-19 which, he said, was "fairly consistent" with 15-20 cases falling off the active list daily as the same amount of new positives make the list.

There were no police or fire personnel in quarantine as of the Jan. 5 meeting, Gagnon said, as schools remained in remote learning models, and other town business was going on as usual.

Police and fire station lobbies were open, but no fire CPR training or tours of stations were being scheduled, he said.

Gagnon also gave an overview of the state's vaccination roll-out plan, explaining the different phases that will get the shots into the arms of various levels of people, starting with first responders, medical personnel, nursing home staff and residents earmarked for the first phase and subsequent phases on the list then moving on to people 75 and older, those with physical and developmental disabilities, then on to teachers, more residents 65-74 years of age then, Gagnon said hopefully through May and beyond getting all others vaccinated if they choose to do so.

"That's the best information I have at this time," the chief said, adding the first round of vaccinations for first responders was a "smooth running operation" at the 13 fixed sites located around the state.

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