CT COVID-19 positivity rate spikes to 2.4%, highest rate in months

Coronavirus

CONNECTICUT (WTNH) — Connecticut has reached a COVID-19 positivity rate of 2.4% — the highest since June, Governor Ned Lamont announced Tuesday.

According to state data released Tuesday, Oct. 13, of the 13,398 COVID-19 tests reported since Monday, 320 have come back positive.

RELATED: CT reaches highest COVID-19 positivity rate since June: 1 new virus-related death reported, hospitalizations increase to 172

The governor said, although we had been seeing a general downward curve since June, the state’s daily positivity rate had been trending up lately.

“That reflects a positivity rate that has been trending up over the last month,” Lamont said during a news conference. “It’s worth remembering that a week ago, we had a positivity rate one day of 0.7%. So one day numbers you focus on, but don’t dwell on except for the trend that we’ve seen.”

He said the same of virus-related hospitalizations. They’re keeping a close eye on those numbers, as well.

“We have a stockpile of PPE that is ready to go so we are ready or what’s happening.”

The state saw its hospitalizations peak around 2,000 on April 22, 2020. Since then, we have been seeing a downward curve through Phase 1 and Phase 2 reopening.

RELATED: Gov. Lamont gives cities, towns ability to revert to Phase 2 restrictions is COVID-19 numbers spike

However, only weeks after schools and colleges reopened for the fall semester, virus-related hospitalizations in the state began to rise again.

As of Tuesday, there are 172 people in the state hospitalized for the coronavirus.

We spoke with officials from Yale New Haven Health System who said, three weeks ago, they had 26 COVID hospitalizations, two weeks ago they had 43 hospitalizations, and as of Tuesday, they have 64 hospitalizations.

“We had 800 at the peak which was around April 22, and we now have 64,” Dr. Thomas Balcezak of Yale New Haven Health System told News 8. “What have we learned? We have learned that we never want to go back to where we were. How are use oxygen, how are use ventilators, and how we prone patients [put them on their bellies] works great!”

At the capitol, the governor is emphasizing that this is not a second wave; this is just a little bit of an uptick right now.

Gov. Lamont brought in Dr. Albert Ko of the Reopen Connecticut team, and Dr. Ko is saying that the state has learned so much from before, and when you apply that to today, we know we are far better off.

“The citizens of Connecticut are doing their job in maintaining social distancing,” Ko said. “It’s not perfect and we’re having super-spreader events, but we are going to have more of the kind of brush fires like what we are seeing in eastern Connecticut period.”

But overall, the state is weighing keeping the schools open, indoor dining open and the risk of flooding the hospital with patients. It’s a delicate balance to walk.

Dr. Balcezak adds, “We have the risk of spreading the disease, on the other side we have the risk of long-term emotional and psychological impact of isolation.”

The governor points out, these are just one-day numbers, there’s not really a trend or even a three-week average. As a matter of fact, last week we are down around .07 or .08% positivity rate; he says the next couple weeks will be the tell

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