Connecticut's COVID-19 test positivity rate came in at 3.52% Thursday as hospitalizations continue to rise and new deaths were reported, according to the latest data from the state Department of Public Health. The same day, Middlesex County reached the threshold for "high" transmission as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 21,101 new tests reported Thursday and 742 came back positive. There are 247 people currently hospitalized with the virus, a net increase of 17. Eleven new deaths were reported since last week, bringing the total death toll to 8,307.
Middlesex County is now classified by the CDC as having "high" Covid-19 transmission. It is the fourth county in the state to be upgraded to the highest transmission category - which is 100 or more cases per 100,000 people, or a positivity rate of 10% or higher over the last seven days.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is strongly recommending that all residents over the age of 2 wear a face mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. They also encourage those who are high risk to avoid large indoor gatherings that may include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.
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The state also released the latest vaccination numbers. More than 2.3 million people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and close to 2.2 million are fully vaccinated.
State officials continue to urge vaccination and say it is the best defense against the spread of the delta variant.
Towns and cities have been considering mask mandates, and some, such as Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford, have already issued them.