All of CT has ‘high’ or ‘medium’ COVID transmission, CDC says

All eight Connecticut counties are now listed as areas of medium or high COVID transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Launched in February, the CDC’s community-level, color-coded map organizes transmission into three categories: low, medium and high.

The CDC map shaded all of Connecticut as either orange or red, signifying either medium or high levels of transmission.

“This latest CDC update is a reminder that Connecticut is in the midst of a swell from a subvariant of omicron,” state Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani said.

New Haven, Hartford and Middlesex counties are listed as “high” transmission. Fairfield, Litchfield, New London, Tolland and Windham are listed as “medium” transmission.

The CDC said it examines the combination of three metrics — new COVID hospital admissions per 100,000 people, the percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID patients and the total new infections per 100,000 people in the past seven days — to determine the community transmission level.

“This approach focuses on preventing hospitals and health care systems from being overwhelmed and directing prevention efforts toward protecting people at high risk for severe illness,” the state DPH said in a statement.

Yale researcher Nathan Grubaugh said there are several sublineages of omicron that are factors to the surge. BA.2, which caused what Juthani referred to as the latest COVID “swell” is comprising 73 percent of all samples he’s tested as of Thursday.

Another subvariant, known as BA.2.12.1, comprises 23 percent of all samples, with the parent, omicron, the remaining 4 percent.

BA.2.12.1 has two distinct mutations, Grubaugh said, causing “some additional immune escape with this variant.”

That means a higher likelihood of reinfection and breakthrough cases.

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