susan bigelow / ctnewsjunkie
The COVID-19 prevalence map per 10,000 people for the seven-day period ending May 11. (susan bigelow / ctnewsjunkie)

This week’s prevalence map, which shows the number of new cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 residents in each community for the week ending May 11, has a mix of good and bad news for Connecticut.

The good news is that the number of new cases is receding from areas formerly hard-hit, especially in Fairfield County. The bad news is that the areas with the most new cases in proportion to the total population are poorer, denser cities – like Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport and Meriden.

Prevalence maps are useful because they can show where a disease is spreading during a specific period of time. They are more useful for knowing what’s happening now than a map of total cases per town, because they factor in the different-sized populations of towns and they also look at a specific period in time instead of the total duration.

Last week’s map, which covered the changes by town for the week of April 27 to May 4, showed a fairly even spread across the most heavily-populated areas of the state, with concentrations along the coast and along the I-91 corridor. The hardest hit city was Stamford, which had 468 cases that week — 36 cases for every 10,000 people there.

This week’s map, which covers the week of May 4 to May 11, shows the virus receding across the state, especially in western Connecticut. Litchfield County now has over a dozen towns with no new cases in the last week. Stamford is down to 154 cases, or 12 cases for every 10,000 residents.

But cities like Hartford (362 cases, 30 cases per 10,000), New Haven (288 cases, 22 cases per 10,000), Bridgeport (341 cases, 24 cases per 10,000), and Meriden (154 cases, 25 cases per 10,000) were among the most affected this week, suggesting that the virus may be more difficult to contain in lower-income, more densely-populated areas.

The town experiencing the greatest impact this week, though, was Somers. The town of a little under 11,000 residents had 39 new cases, or 36 additional cases per 10,000 residents. However, the Department of Public Health says the town’s data includes the Northern Correctional Institution, the prison located in Somers where inmates with the virus from the Department of Correction’s facilities around the state are being housed in isolation.

New COVID-19 Cases Per 10,000 Residents

For the week ending Monday, May 11

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of or any of the author's other employers.