The Day – CDC finds ‘medium’ or ‘high’ community levels of COVID-19 in all Connecticut counties

COVID-19 cases in much of the state are increasing.

On Thursday evening, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed all eight Connecticut counties among those experiencing “medium” or “high” levels of the disease. A week earlier, only New London County was identified as “medium” while the others were categorized as “low.”

“This latest CDC update is a reminder that Connecticut is in the midst of a swell from a subvariant of omicron,” Dr. Manisha Juthani, commissioner of the state Department of Public Health, said in a statement issued Friday. “DPH has been preparing for this since late March. And all the tools are in place — including vaccines and second boosters, Test to Treat locations, therapeutics, self-tests and state-supported testing — to help curb the severity of this illness.”

“Residents should follow the CDC guidance for their respective county,” Juthani said.

In February, the CDC began calculating community levels of COVID-19 via a combination of three metrics: new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 population in the past seven days, the percentage of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days.

Community-level designations of “low,” “medium” and “high” are meant to indicate the potential for impact on health systems and inform CDC recommendations on prevention measures, such as mask-wearing and testing.

Along with New London County, the Connecticut counties listed with a “medium” level of disease are Fairfield, Litchfield, Tolland and Windham. Residents at high risk for severe illness in these counties should talk to their health care providers about when they need to wear a mask and take other precautions. They also should stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms of the disease.

In counties in the “high” category — Hartford, Middlesex and New Haven — residents should wear a mask indoors in public, stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness.

As of Friday, the positivity rate among COVID-19 test results reported over the past seven days in Connecticut was 11.2%, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office. In the state, 239 patients were hospitalized with the disease, an increase of 27 over the last seven days.

Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London had seven COVID-19 patients Friday. Westerly Hospital had one.

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