Health leaders are keeping an eye on the daily COVID-19 infection rate and the slight uptick in cases in Connecticut. As of Wednesday, the state reported a 1.95% positivity rate, a slight dip from Tuesday's 2.71% infection rate.
The common message from health leaders is that we're not completely out of the woods yet thanks to new COVID-19 strains that are leading to a small uptick in infection rates.
"We need to pay attention to this because we want to be keeping ahead of this as this moves forward," said Dr. James Cardon, chief clinical officer for Hartford Health Care.
The delta variant is now the dominant variant in the state, according to the Department of Health. Dr. Matthew Cartter, state epidemiologist with DPH, said that since February, 90% of the people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
"We know the vaccines work and are protective. What we're most concerned and interested in is preventing hospitalizations and the deaths," said Cartter. "Even if you are fully vaccinated and get this infection it means you are much less likely to be hospitalized and much less likely to die."
Medical leaders are recommending that the public use preventative measures when in certain situations.
"Restaurants, supermarkets and malls because you just don't know the status of other people around you," said Dr. Syed Hussain, chief clinical officer with Trinity Health of New England. "We've come a long way. It's important that we don't fritter away our progress that we've made."
Gov. Ned Lamont said he was considering new travel restrictions in light of rising numbers across the country, but no decisions have been made.
"We are all in a region here where our infection rate is low and our vaccination rate is high. Some of these other states are in a very different situation. We haven’t made any decision on that and probably it’s easiest if we do it with the other states," he said, adding that he was speaking with neighboring governors.
For perspective, the state's positivity rate last week was between 1.2% and 1.5% according to data from DPH.
"I don't want to create alarm or create fear however, the seriousness is important to pay attention to. Don't minimize the impacts of this virus although it seems like it has receded," Cardon said.
Health leaders said it's not a bad idea to keep wearing a mask if you're in an indoor crowded setting or around people who you don't know. They are pleading for those who are unvaccinated to get their shots.