CONNECTICUT – Connecticut coronavirus hospitalizations on Wednesday surpassed 100 patients for the first time since late June.
The state also had a positive test rate of around 1.8% for the second consecutive day. For now, the third phase of state reopening scheduled for 8 October still has the green light.
Connecticut saw a net increase of 17 patients Tuesday for coronavirus hospitalizations, which brought the total to 92.
Governor Ned Lamont said he didn’t want to overstate the increase as Connecticut’s seven-day positive test rate average is 1.2%, among the lowest in the country. He also noted that Connecticut still has a lot of hospital capacity.
The increase does not justify the lifting of the third phase of reopening, Lamont said at a news conference. The third phase of reopening will bring restaurants 75% of the indoor catering capacity instead of 50%. It also comes with higher capacity limits for events like weddings.
“Yes, if I saw it grow like I saw in Arizona, Florida, the speed at which it would happen would have given me a real concern,”
The reopening of primary and secondary schools doesn’t seem to be a big driver of the recent surge, Lamont said. Arizona schools have been reopening a month ago and the state’s infection rate is falling. Meanwhile, New York City schools are not yet open and the city’s positive infection rate has hit 3%.
Some school systems are considering the transition from hybrid learning to full in-person learning, while others have at least temporarily reversed the change. Lamont said schools shouldn’t automatically change their plans. Hybrid learning provides greater social distance in classrooms, but also adds additional cohorts for children who spend their distance learning days in a daycare or other childcare facility.
November an important month for Connecticut: Lamont
November will bring more than one presidential election for Connecticut. The flu season is starting to pick up gear, but the month could also bring new therapies, coronavirus testing strategies, and a clearer idea of when a vaccine might be ready.
“These are really turbulent times and November is going to be a really big month,” Lamont said.
He urged people to remain diligent and get tested if they have coronavirus symptoms. People shouldn’t even go out if they have symptoms.
Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz encouraged people to get the flu vaccine to reduce flu infections that would only further burden Connecticut’s health system.
There were 3,000 hospital visits for people with flu-like symptoms last year and there were 79 flu-related deaths, Bysiewicz said.
“We can’t have 3,000 people going to hospital while we’re also fighting Covid and that’s why we’re urging everyone to get vaccinated against the flu,” Bysiewicz said.
Additional resources for coronavirus quarantine
Quarantining for two weeks after a positive coronavirus diagnosis is easier said than done for many in Connecticut. It can be especially difficult for people living in a multigenerational home with little space to isolate themselves from other family members. Non-profit organizations including United Way 211 and 4-CT are helping to make this possible.
The state is dedicating an additional $ 220,000 each month to short-term hotel options for those who cannot self-isolate or quarantine at home.
More than $ 108,000 will be allocated over the next five months to ATM cards to cover basic expenses for those who need to lose their jobs due to quarantine and are not eligible for unemployment insurance.
The Community Resource Coordinator program will work with contact tracing workers to help ensure that people in need of quarantine have access to food, shelter and income as needed.