CT COVID numbers lowest in 8 months, mass vaccination sites to close down


Conn. (WTNH) — The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate remains under one percent and experts say it’s turning a corner in the pandemic, crediting vaccination efforts across Connecticut.

In Monday’s COVID briefing, Governor Ned Lamont announced the total number of hospitalizations and the seven-day positivity rate in the state are the lowest they’ve been in eight months. With the numbers so low, the governor says he’ll be holding off on his daily coronavirus briefings for a while. His focus now turning to vaccine incentives and winding down mass vaccination sites.

Health experts from Yale say it’s like night and day when we think about where we were in the pandemic one year ago to now with vaccinations approved and used state and nationwide.

Experts say the good news is here, but vaccine hesitancy remains a concern.

Dr. Arjun Venkatesh with Yale Medicine says Connecticut is in a good place and is among the top in the nation in vaccine distribution.

Dr. Arjun Venkatesh said, “I don’t think anybody anticipated when this pandemic started how long it would last or how hard it would be and how many we would lose, but this is really a turning point in many ways…This is different this time because of vaccination. We know our vaccines are remarkably effective, we know from experiences around the world that when a lot of people get vaccinated in an area that it really prevents transmission in a way that can last.”

And while mass vaccination sites are being shut down, Dr. Venkatesh says it isn’t as much of a concern with so many opportunities for people and their families to get vaccinated.

“What we’ve done in Connecticut as well as the whole country is sort of mirrors what you would expect,” Dr. Venkatesh continued. “At the very beginning we didn’t have enough shots and we needed a quick way to get a vaccine into as many arms as we could.”

The State’s Acting Commissioner of Public Health echoing the sentiment.

Dr. Deidre Gifford: “Our mass vaccination sites are starting to wind down but we still have plenty of places where people can get vaccinated, our pharmacies are a huge part of our program.”

Something Dr. Venkatesh says is important while celebrating this milestone is continuing the message and bringing the vaccines to the neighborhoods in most need.

“Hitting this milestone of a positivity rate below one percent – there are other measures we look at as well but it looks like a much better summer and much better future for Connecticut,” he said. “This was always the plan from the start is to start with big so you can manage the supply and get everybody in and then we always planned to go to this next stage where it became more normal.”

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