CONNECTICUT — Connecticut coronavirus hospitalizations Wednesday exceeded 100 patients for the first time since late June.
The state also had a positive test rate of around 1.8 percent for the second day in a row. For now, the state’s third reopening phase scheduled for Oct. 8 still has the green light.
Connecticut saw a net increase of 17 patients Tuesday for coronavirus hospitalizations, which brought the total up to 92.
Gov. Ned Lamont said he didn’t want to overstate the increase as Connecticut’s seven-day positive test rate average is 1.2 percent, among the lowest in the country. He also noted Connecticut still has plenty of hospital capacity.
The increase doesn’t warrant calling off the third reopening phase, Lamont said at a news conference. The third reopening phase will bring 75 percent indoor dining capacity to restaurants instead of 50 percent. It also comes with bigger capacity limits for events like weddings.
“Yeah, if I saw it ramp up like I saw in Arizona, in Florida the speed of which that would be happening that would give me real concern,” he said. “You know somewhere three, five percent is a change mark depending on how fast things happen. But right now we’re not there. We’re still less than two percent, 1.2 percent over the last seven days, still very low, but we’re watching this sharply.”
- CT 3rd Reopening Phase Schedules: Here’s What’s In It
- White House Coronavirus Task Force Optimistic About CT
- CT Coronavirus Hospitalizations, Infection Rate Spike Tuesday
The reopening of K-12 schools doesn’t seem to be a big driver of the recent increase, Lamont said. Arizona’s schools have been reopened for a month and the state’s infection rate has been dropping. Meanwhile, New York City schools still aren’t open and the city’s positive infection rate has reached 3 percent.
Some school systems are considering transitioning from hybrid learning to full in-person learning, while others have at least temporarily called off the change. Lamont said schools shouldn’t automatically switch their plans. Hybrid learning provides more social distancing in classrooms, but it also adds additional cohorts for children who spend their remote learning days at a daycare or other childcare facility.
November a big month for Connecticut: Lamont
November will bring more than a presidential election for Connecticut. Flu season starts to kick into higher gear, but the month could also bring new therapies, coronavirus testing strategies and a clearer idea of when a vaccine could be ready.
“It’s really turbulent times and November is going to be a really big month,” Lamont said.
He urged people to stay diligent and to get tested if they have any coronavirus symptoms. People should also shouldn’t go out if they have symptoms.
Lamont and Lt. Gov Susan Bysiewicz encouraged people to get their flu vaccination shot in order to cut down on flu infections that would only further burden the healthcare system in Connecticut.
Last year there were 3,000 hospital visits for people with flu-like symptoms and there were 79 flu-related deaths, Bysiewicz said.
“We just cannot have 3,000 people going to the hospital while we’re also fighting Covid and that’s why we are urging everyone to get flu shots,” Bysiewicz said.
Additional resources for coronavirus quarantine
Quarantining for two weeks after a positive coronavirus diagnosis is easier said than done for many in Connecticut. It can be especially difficult for people who live in a multi-generational home with little space to isolate from other family members. Nonprofit organizations including the United Way 211 and 4-CT are helping make it possible.
The state is dedicating an additional $220,000 each month to short-term hotel options for those who can’t self-isolate or quarantine at home.
More than $108,000 is being allocated over the next five months to cash cards to help support basis expenses for those who need to miss work due to quarantine and aren’t eligible for unemployment insurance.
The Community Resource Coordinator program will work with contact tracing workers to help ensure people who need to quarantine have access to food, housing and income if needed.