HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Gov. Lamont and Acting Commissioner of the Department of Public Health Dr. Deidre Gifford expressed concern Wednesday regarding recent COVID-19 outbreaks among vaccinated and unvaccinated people in the state.
Among examples highlighted in a press release was a June birthday party with around 50 attendees that moved from outdoors to indoors, which resulted in 16 COVID-19 cases the following week. The release said unvaccinated attendees at this party were four times as likely to test positive than those who were vaccinated, with six cases among 33 fully or partially vaccinated vaccines and 10 cases among 13 unvaccinated guests.
The release also cited a summer camp with an outbreak in July, with 13 identified cases among campers out of around 50 campers. The campers are between 11-14 years old and their vaccination status is unknown. Also referenced were 28 CT residents whose COVID-19 cases were connected with an outbreak in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
The state isn’t releasing information about where those outbreaks took place — but health experts are advising everyone to be flexible and remain vigilant.
Dr. Lynn Sosa from the Department of Public Health says it’s an urgent concern that residents should take seriously.
“We over the last few weeks have seen an increase in cases and a lot of it is related to the fact that we have this Delta variant, which is the most transmissible version of the virus that we’ve seen,” said Dr. Sosa.
“The message here is really that the best weapon that we have is to be vaccinated, so even in these outbreak situations we’re seeing that people who are vaccinated are less likely to be infected and get sick and certainly less likely to be hospitalized.”
She says the best protection — vaccinated or not — is masking up and if you’re not yet vaccinated, the time is now to get the shot in the arm.
Health experts hope people re-think how to have celebrations going forward.
“We know that being outside is better than being inside but because of where we are in the fact that we are in a place where we are seeing a lot more virus again and understanding that because there is a lot of virus, being fully vaccinated can mean that you can be exposed,” Dr. Sosa said.
DPH is reminding CT residents that social gatherings with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people should be outdoors, and indoor gatherings should include masks.
DPH recommends vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19, including those with compromised immune systems, diabetes, asthma, other lung diseases, pregnancy, or obesity, should avoid large indoor gatherings that may include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people.