HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s Department of Public Health commissioner describes the state’s rising number of COVID-19 cases as a surge. She says, so far, the state has been able to manage it, even though the number of hospitalizations is up to 354 people.

Dr. Manisha Juthani points out that we are nowhere near where we were in January. However, the infectious diseases physician says CDC precautions and guidelines are advised.

“We are at a threshold now where for most of our counties in the state indoor masking is recommended, so there are no mandates anymore,” Juthani said.

She believes the COVID-19 positive cases are actually much higher than what statistics show.

“In fact, I think that it’s far more than what we know based on the fact that so many are doing self-tests.”

Juthani urges everyone eligible to get a COVID-19 booster for good reason.

“We are in another surge that’s happening right now it could help prevent you from getting COVID.”

As for the state’s response, “we are able to manage this pandemic, our hospitals are able to manage though they are getting a little bit more crowded when it comes to the perspective of covid patients.”

She says while responding to our current surge state leaders have their eyes on the fall.

“We are preparing and trying to inventory for what the fall may look like,” Juthani said. “We are looking at what the FDA and CDC will come out with in terms of whether another vaccine will be recommended.”

Juthani encourages parents with children ages 5 through 11, now eligible for a COVID booster vaccine to get their child the added protection.

“It may be a good time to get the booster, to finish out the school year and be able to participate in all those end-of-the-year activities especially as we are in a surge that we’re seeing right now,” she said.