Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending July 8


By most metrics, Connecticut is doing well when it comes to containing COVID-19. New case numbers per day are better than they were a month ago, though the general downward trend has leveled off over the past few weeks. We had a day with zero deaths this past week for the first time since March. Hospitalizations have fallen under 100. The state is conducting tens of thousands of tests every week, and our case positivity rate is very low.

And yet, Gov. Ned Lamont this past week decided to put phase three of our reopening on hold. The governor did this out of an abundance of caution based on the horrifying spike in cases in many other parts of the country.

There’s a huge danger that new cases will spread here, and we’ll face another wave of infections. We can’t shut our borders, especially to car traffic, and a voluntary quarantine order for people from states with high infection rates can only do so much.

It’s worth asking whether the current leveling off of new case numbers, which is reflected in a map that isn’t wildly different from the past two, is a sign of a large number of new infections coming in from elsewhere.

At this point I don’t think so. New cases don’t seem to have a particular geography, and prevalence numbers remain reassuringly low in the cities and larger suburbs. Towns that see higher case prevalence numbers one week seem to be falling back down the next. No sustained hotspots are visible.

I’m sure that there are new cases coming in from out of state, but their presence doesn’t seem to be reflected on the map in any obvious way.

A more likely explanation for the change from the steep dropoff in new cases we saw in May and early June to the holding pattern we’re seeing now is that more people are going out to do summer activities, the state has slowly started to re-open, and we’ve let our guard down a little bit.

If that’s true, then putting plans for the phase three on hold still makes a lot of sense, especially as bars, which have been a major source of infections elsewhere, were on the list to open back up.

My guess is if there is going to be a new wave of infections spurred by the crisis happening outside the northeast, it’ll be pretty obvious. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Here is last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending July 1

Additional charts of Connecticut’s COVID-19 data:

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

DISCLAIMER: The views, opinions, positions, or strategies expressed by the author are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of CTNewsJunkie.com.

Susan Bigelow

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