coronavirus in connecticut

CT Surpasses 200,000 COVID-19 Cases; More Details on Vaccine Phase 1B Released

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The state has now surpassed 200,000 positive COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate went down to 6.28%.

Of over 52,000 tests performed since Wednesday, 3,304 came back positive.

An additional 57 people died from the virus. The state's COVID death toll is now 6,287.

Hospitalizations decreased by 52 overnight. There are now 1,087 people hospitalized with the virus in Connecticut.

Connecticut's COVID-19 positivity rate was 8.55% Wednesday, which was up from 7.66% the day before.

Vaccine Distribution in Connecticut

Over 100,000 vaccines have now been administered to people in phase 1A.

Of these vaccines, just over 99,000 are first vaccinations and over 1,800 were second vaccinations, according to the governor.

Gov. Ned Lamont said 100% of nursing homes in Connecticut will have received first doses of the vaccine by Friday.

The governor said that first vaccinations in phase 1A will be complete in the next two weeks.

Early data shows that so far, 85 to 100% of nursing home residents opted to receive the vaccine. Only 40 to 50% of nursing home staff and 50 to 70% of healthcare workers opted to get the vaccine.

Phase 1B Prioritization

The governor emphasized the CDC's recommendations for the next phase of vaccine distribution.

People 75 and older will be eligible for the next phase of vaccine distribution. Also in the next phase are residents of congregate settings and frontline essential workers.

These frontline essential workers include education and childcare, first responders and public safety transportation, direct care social services, food and grocery, as well as agriculture and farm manufacturing.

Phase 1B will include approximately 800,000 Connecticut residents, according to Lamont.

While the state has not yet released all phase 1B criteria, the advisory group continues to review possible additions.

People in phase 1B will have access to schedule appointments to get the vaccine in the next one to two weeks, Lamont said.

The goal of the state's vaccine prioritization is to minimize severe illness and death, protect frontline workers and ensure equity and access for disproportionally impacted populations, the governor said.

Two Cases of COVID-19 Variant Found in U.K. Confirmed in Connecticut

Two cases of the UK variant of the coronavirus are now in Connecticut and Governor Lamont addressed the concerns of this variant on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, the governor announced that a COVID-19 variant first found in the United Kingdom and believed to be more easily transmitted is now in Connecticut after the state confirmed two cases.

"[It is] worth remembering that no one is out of the woods when it comes to this," Lamont said in a press conference Thursday. "It just means be even more careful."

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, was found in two people between the ages of 15 and 25 who reside in New Haven County, according to the state. One of the individuals recently traveled to Ireland while the other traveled to New York State.

The two individuals developed symptoms within three to four days of returning to Connecticut. According to the state, the two cases are unrelated, according to generic sequencing of the virus.

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