coronavirus in connecticut

Connecticut Health Leaders Discuss New CDC Mask Guidance

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Connecticut's daily infection saw a slight increase on Wednesday, just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for fully vaccinated individuals.

Connecticut currently has a 2.96% positivity rate, a slight rise from Tuesday's 2.67%.

Rising COVID-19 cases along with a slowdown of vaccination rates around the country are some of the reasons why the CDC chose to alter its stance on masking when indoors.

"We've learned that breakthrough infections that happened with the delta virus have greater potential to transmit than breakthrough infections with other versions of COVID-19," said Dr. Vivek Murthy, U.S. surgeon general.

When it comes to Connecticut, Yale Public Health Professor Dr. Howard Forman says we're in a better situation than other states with higher infection rates. But Forman also mentions that even with our vaccine rates, we're not in the clear yet.

"Connecticut has a fast-paced growing outbreak but fortunately from a very low base, it gives us a little bit of room to modulate ourselves," said Forman. "Even starting at a low base, we could get out of control in a hurry if we don't figure this out."

One of the x-factors that could help the state is another boost in vaccines administered and using the same mitigation efforts we've come to learn during the last year and a half, according to some health leaders.

"In situations when transmission rates are high usually linked to low vaccination rates, we need that extra level of prevention to prevent spreading in those communities, towns and cities," said Dr. David Banach, an epidemiologist with UConn Health.

Banach said the health system has already started to see an increase in demand for testing.

"I think that's happening across the board, you know individuals becoming aware of the delta variant, that's highly transmissible and there's additional focus on testing," he said.

While health officials believe COVID-19 testing may increase over the next few weeks, many people tell NBC Connecticut they'll be wearing their masks and doubling down on prevention measures.

"I think you should wear them not only for that reason of protecting your community but also yourself and those around you," said Vicie Brooks from Hartford.

James Brooks told NBC Connecticut he hasn't stopped wearing his mask and plans to keep it on.

"I've been wearing masks ever since I got vaccinated," Brooks said. "I think it's the right decision and it's the best way to cut down on transmission."

Doctors at UConn Health and Hartford HealthCare said they're prepared to handle an increase in demand for the fall.

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