GOOD Morning Wilton‘s last COVID-19 Update was on Oct. 9, with case numbers reported by the State Department of Public Health as of Oct. 7. At the time, Wilton had recorded a total of 268 cases since the start of the pandemic. Monday, Oct. 19, the DPH reported Wilton’s total positive cases (as of Oct. 18) had reached 276–adding eight (8) cases in just 11 days.
Looking at it another way, the last seven cases have been added in the last week alone, including a four-case jump from Thursday, Oct. 14 to Friday, Oct. 15.
Day by day, here’s how Wilton’s case numbers have increased since Oct. 8:
Oct. 8: 268
Oct. 11: 269
Oct. 12: 269
Oct. 13: 269
Oct. 14: 270
Oct. 15: 274
Oct. 18: 276
Wilton’s increases come as Connecticut is starting to see higher numbers statewide, most alarmingly in the southeastern part of the state.
New London County has 27.6 new cases/100,000, compared to Fairfield County at 9.3 new cases daily/100,000.
At his briefing on Monday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont said that the positivity rate for the state was 1.7%, which he said is “not a good number, but not a number that is spiking up, at least over the last three days.” He also compared it to the positivity rate for the United States overall, which is at 5.3%.
[Note: According to Covid Act Now, the state’s 7-day rolling positivity rate was 2.9%, as of Oct. 16.]
He noted that CT has one of the lowest infection rates in the country, and compared how the state is doing to those at the higher end of the scale, including Nevada and South Dakota at over 35%.
“It just gives you an idea of how extreme this can be if we don’t maintain our guard,” Lamont said. Along those lines, he also warned against what he called “pandemic fatigue.”
Connecticut is doing a significant amount of testing, and as a result, is catching many positives of both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases.
“We’re testing per capita far more than most other states, so we’re going to identify a higher percentage of the cases out there, both symptomatic and asymptomatic–which is a good thing, because you can act on that; you can have people isolate, you can do contact tracing. That’s how we stop the spread of COVID,” explained Josh Geballe, the state’s Chief Operating Officer, at Monday’s briefing.
But, that impacts the numbers being reported, of course.
“But, we have seen the positivity rate go up as well. So typically as testing is increased you want to see the positivity rate go down, we’ve seen it go up a little bit. So there’s no question that we are seeing more spread in the community, that’s why we need to stay the course–keep testing aggressively, contact trace, quarantine, and isolate,” Geballe added.
The number of hospitalized patients in Connecticut has now risen to 195, an increase of 11 patients over the weekend. There were also 1,191 new COVID-19-positive cases diagnosed over the weekend. The state crossed a threshold this weekend, passing 2 million tests (2,037,017) and 62,830 positive cases overall.
There will be some changes to the way Connecticut and its neighboring states (including NY, NJ and RI) plan to proceed with the states on the travel advisory list. Rather than drawing a line at states that either have 10 cases for every 100,000 residents OR 10%-plus positivity rate, the cutoff will now be states that have 10 cases/100,000 AND 5%-plus positivity rate. That drops the number of states on the travel advisory list from over 40 to 33, and Lamont said his administration will be more strict about enforcing that advisory.
Those changes should go into effect “in the next day or two,” according to the governor.
What the changes also do is save CT from having to include itself on the travel advisory list; the state now stands at 11.2 cases/100,000. (The national average is 17.1 cases/100,000.)
In addition, Lamont reinforced the “strong encouragement” to CT residents to limit travel both domestically or internationally. “Stay close to home this holiday season, for Thanksgiving … We’ll be a lot safer for it,” he said.
Lamont did note that his administration continues to work closely with New Jersey and New York so that the three states will continue to partner–and allow their residents to travel across their borders without imposing restrictions.