Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending July 22

The news from across the country continues to be grim as the novel coronavirus spreads uncontrolled through states from Georgia to California, from Texas to Wisconsin, and from Florida to Idaho.

But here in the northeast, which was hit first and hardest, we’re still keeping the virus relatively under control. This week’s prevalence map, which measures the number of cases per 10,000 people for the last week in each town, bears that out despite a few worrisome trends.

The map shows a slight uptick in case prevalence from last week and the week before, especially along the populous Metro-North corridor from Greenwich to New Haven, and along the I-91 corridor from New Haven to Enfield.

Raw case numbers per week are rising, too, albeit slowly, from 517 on July 8, to 529 on July 15, and to 599 on July 22. We’re still not near July 1’s weekly total of 710, fortunately, but cases are still trending upward.

However, there’s every reason to think a second wave of uncontrolled spread isn’t on the horizon. For example, all towns except for Durham (5.56) checked in at under 5 cases per 10,000 this week, similar to last week where Suffield was the exception. Hospitalizations remain very low, and on July 21 and July 22 we had two days in a row with zero deaths. All of that is very good news.

Also, the percentage of positive tests continues to fluctuate around 1% – sometimes lower, sometimes higher. By comparison, in Florida test positivity is around 18%, and in Arizona it’s 24%. Connecticut continues to administer tests at a high rate; the state reported over 70,000 in the past week.

There’s a caveat when it comes to testing, though: Connecticut residents are reporting long wait times to actually get their test results from national labs. This means that we may not actually know what the situation in Connecticut is right now, and that new outbreaks will be harder to spot and contain. Gov. Lamont has pledged to move more testing to state labs, which have a faster turnaround time.

That’s why it continues to be important for anyone who gets tested to self-quarantine until their test results arrive, and for everyone to keep wearing masks and practicing social distancing.

We are not beating COVID-19: a second wave of the virus is still a danger here, and will continue to be one until the rest of the country succeeds in bringing it under control or a vaccine is released. But despite case numbers and prevalence rising, low hospitalizations and test positivity rates means that the second wave isn’t here yet.

Here is last week’s map for comparison.

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending July 15

Additional charts:

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.