All Counties in CT Now Have ‘Substantial’ COVID Spread

As Litchfield County on Tuesday became the last county in the state with “substantial” threats of the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Ned Lamont said local leaders and business owners will decide how and how they must tighten the rules on coronaviruses.

News of Litchfield County’s status came as new hospitalizations, 17, were as high as any day in nearly four months.

During an unrelated afternoon event in Southington, Lamont was asked if he was considering tighter restrictions.

“I don’t think so,” Lamont said. “The numbers are climbing. We’re still one of the weakest infections in the country, but we’ve gone from half a percent to three percent in the past six weeks alone. I think we are also going to leave a lot of latitude to our mayors and our first elected officials. Each city has its own risk threshold.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday ranked Litchfield County along with the state’s other seven counties as at risk of “substantial” spread, up from “moderate” risk, but still below the high transmission rating. The CDC improved the state’s other seven counties last week.

The designation took on new significance last week when the CDC revised its mask guidelines to recommend that all people in areas of “substantial” or “high” viral transmission wear face coverings indoors. That means there are more than 50 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 population over a 28-day period, according to the CDC.

Following the CDC’s shift in focus, the state’s Department of Public Health said it “strongly recommends” that all Connecticut residents wear masks indoors, regardless of their status. vaccine. Like much of the country, Connecticut has seen an increase in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, fueled in part by the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.

The state reported on Tuesday that 165 people were in Connecticut hospitals with COVID-19, the one-day jump of 17 new patients, the highest since April 12. The total number of patients was equal to hospitalizations in mid-May. The daily infection rate was 277 new cases reported on 11,253 tests for a positivity of 2.46%. The weekly rate for Wednesday July 28 was 2,743 new cases out of 96,091 tests, for a rate of 2.8%.

Lamont said vaccination rates in the state are increasing, thankfully.

Asked about a reaction to New York City’s decision to require proof of vaccination for gyms and indoor restaurants, Lamont, whose emergency powers expire on September 30, said he would not consider not a similar action.

“I think, for example, that our restaurants have done a really good job,” Lamont said. “They’ve been incredibly careful. No one wants to make sure their customers feel more confident and secure than restaurateurs, so I leave it up to them. Some of them will be incredibly strict. Some of them only go for vaccinations. Some will say masks only. Some can be a bit more laid back.

Lamont was optimistic, noting that 80 percent of adults are vaccinated and an increasing number of young people are opting for vaccinations. He said if counties start to enter the high-risk area, more stringent measures will be needed.

“I myself said ‘make hay while the sun is shining’, you know, two months ago. Come out, have fun, I can’t promise how long this very low, low, low infection rate is going to last, ”Lamont said. “We’ve looked all over the country, and I don’t want to be Arkansas, so we’re going to be careful.”

Lamont said he had spoken informally to legislative leaders, but wanted a clearer path on how the state is approaching COVID after September 30.

Among the issues to be clarified are masks in schools and possible mandatory vaccinations for state employees. “I don’t have to make all of these decisions myself,” said Lamont. “I’ll ask for help. “

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