Connecticut leaders are urging unvaccinated people to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The continued push comes as the state recorded a slight increase in COVID case numbers this week.
The COVID-19 positivity rate in Connecticut on Wednesday is over 1% for the first time since early June. The governor’s office released the numbers late Wednesday morning and said the state’s positivity rate is 1.28%.
"COVID is still with us, unfortunately," said Deidre Gifford, acting commissioner for the CT Department of Public Health. "Connecticut is among the majority of states right now that are seeing an increase in their cases."
Gifford said several factors are probably leading to the increase: restrictions are easing at the same time that a more contagious variant, the delta variant, is spreading across the country. While 80% of adults in Connecticut have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, there are still large pockets of unvaccinated people.
“If you are unvaccinated in Connecticut, we are seeing cases, you can still get sick from COVID. That's why it is important to get vaccinated," said Gifford.
According to Gifford, many young people are still not vaccinated.
"It is mainly younger people who are less likely to be vaccinated, that is people under the age of 35, and most likely to catch COVID," said Gifford.
The average age of cases in Connecticut this month was 35-years-old.
There have been 78 cases of the delta variant detected in the state so far. The delta variant is not the predominant variant in CT, but Gifford said that it is only a matter of time until it is. She said that unvaccinated people will be more at risk.
DPH is continuing vaccine outreach and incentive efforts. Their mobile vaccine van is set up at various locations across the state every week.
Local health districts statewide are also working to boost vaccination rates.
Uncas Health District, which covers the Norwich area, has been hosting pop-up clinics across the region. Jennifer Ceccarelli, who works for UHD, said the pop-up clinic model is working. They meet people where they are and answer any questions about the vaccine. The goal is to make it convenient and accessible for people to get vaccinated.
"Come talk to us. We will give you as much information as we have," said Ceccarelli.
Wednesday Uncas HD hosted a clinic outside of Dixie Donuts, a family-owned donut shop in town. The business offered a free cup of coffee and a donut to anyone who got vaccinated at the clinic.
Lori Bailey, who lives in Hebron, said she finally decided to get the shot there after months of waiting.
“I think the Delta variant was really what pushed me to the point to get it. I don’t want to get sick I don’t want to get my family sick," said Bailey.
Residents seeking information about coronavirus can visit ct.gov/coronavirus and subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
People who have general questions can call 2-1-1 for assistance.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.