The state's COVID-19 test positivity rate came in at 2.83% Tuesday, one of the lowest numbers seen in months and good news for the trendlines, Gov. Ned Lamont said.
There were 20,485 new tests reported Tuesday and 580 new cases. Hospitalizations are down to 606 - a net decrease of 12. Two new deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 7,449.
"We continue to have some of our lowest positivity rates in months.
This is a trend that's incredibly positive," Lamont said.
The governor announced that if the positive trends in the data continue, he intends to increase capacities at event venues in March, huge news for businesses that have been hampered by the pandemic restrictions on gatherings.
Lamont said if the metrics continue to trend down, on Friday, March 19 the indoor event capacity would increase from the current limit of 25 people to 100 people, or 50% of the venue capacity. Outdoor events would increase from the current limit of 50 to 200 people.
“We want you to think about that event planners tell us you need time to plan so that's why we're giving you a month to plan this and I know you want some guarantees, we can have a big wedding in July. I can't give you any guarantees but right now the trends are good," Lamont said.
Despite the positive news, the governor cautioned that officials are watching the spread of new COVID-19 variants closely. The UK variant has been spreading in Connecticut. Federal officials have estimated that the UK variant could account for 50% of all cases by the end of March.
On Monday it was announced that the first Connecticut resident has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 variant first found in South Africa. State health officials said the patient did not have a recent travel history and the case appears to be the result of community spread.
Connecticut remains a national leader in vaccine distribution, rated at #4 in the country. The state hit a new daily record Friday of 28,000 doses administered. In total, 473,784 people have received first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 218,062 have received a second dose.
The state is expecting a 22% increase in its vaccine supply next week.
Lamont said he expects to make an announcement about expanding who is eligible for shot including possibly essential workers in about 10 days time.