coronavirus in connecticut

Can CT Avoid the Covid-19 Surge Being Seen in Other New England States?

NBC Universal, Inc.

New Covid-19 numbers from the state show the positivity rate at 4.3% Tuesday, the highest it's been in months.

But a new report from NBC News actually shows Connecticut doing really well in combatting the virus.

The report says there's a Covid-19 surge in New England, but the only state that's not seeing a big surge in cases is Connecticut.

Vermont and New Hampshire had the two largest increases in cases over the last two weeks. But the report says we've appeared to avoid that surge, so far.

Unfortunately, our Department of Public Health commissioner says that may not hold true.

"I think it is premature to say that we have averted the surge, I think we can keep it at a plateau. A surge does not mean we are by no means anywhere close to where we were last October, November, December, we are a highly vaccinated state, we are in such a better place than where we were. A surge, even if it happens is not going to look like it did last year. It's not going to be like that. But will we go up similar to the states around us? I think it is likely," DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani said.

With the holidays fast approaching, people will be traveling out of state and gathering inside, which Juthani said has her concerned.

"It would be naive to think that we are not going to have a little bit of a surge," she said. "What I'm hoping for is that it is a bit of a plateau, it's a little bit up and we just kind of putter along and have a little small surge all winter long. That is what my ideal would be. But I can't say for sure, because we just don't know exactly how it particularly this delta variant is going to act in winter months."

Dr. Thomas Balcezak, the chief clinical officer for Yale New Haven Hospital, said he agreed with Juthani's point.

"I think that Covid is probably going to be with us for the foreseeable future. And with the recent uptick across the United States, I think there's some warning signs on the horizon, that we may have another smaller surge, but still a surge on its way," Balcezak said.

He also weighed in on the positivity rate, saying that while there may be more transmission as we move into the colder months and people move indoors, there are still signs that things will be better than last winter.

That 4.3% positivity rate today is a bit concerning, because we haven't seen a number that high in quite a while. So is this number part of a trend or just a fluke? And what are some of the things that you see are contributing factors to this?

"You've also seen that this is almost entirely the Delta variant, which is so much more infectious than the wild type that we saw a year ago, whether or not this is going to be sustained only time can tell. But it's important for people to understand that although cases are of the folks that are being admitted to the hospital, and the people who are dying are almost entirely the individuals who are unvaccinated."

Balcezak said that if you are gathering for the holidays, there are steps you can take to prevent transmission.

"We have lots of our tools at our disposal that can prevent transmission, you know, vaccine is out there, folks that are considering gathering should consider who's coming to your home, or whose home you're going to, I think if individuals are gathering in groups that are vaccinated, that that decreases risk. There is testing now across the United States that's very available, whether through rapid antigen kits in places like our local pharmacies, or through PCR testing and institutions like ours, there's wide availability of testing, and people should use that."

He also cautioned that even if we continue to see progress, Covid-19 is unlikely to go away.

"You know, as the pandemic ends, this disease becomes endemic, meaning that it's going to be circulating in our communities, perhaps in lower levels, but every once in a while we will see outbreaks. I think the likelihood that we will completely eliminate Covid-19 from our population is exceedingly low."

Contact Us