Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending September 16

We’re only two weeks into the school year, and coronavirus cases among students, staff, and faculty have caused in-person learning to halt in 13 different school districts. Several other towns saw cases among students or staff, but schools stayed open.

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s case prevalence numbers, or the number of weekly new cases per 10,000 residents, continue to creep upward. The state saw nearly 1,300 new cases from Sept. 9 to Sept. 16, with a statewide case prevalence of 3.61 new cases per 10,000 residents. We haven’t had a week that bad since early June, when there were 1,200 new cases, and a case prevalence of 3.35 new cases per 10,000 residents, from June 3 to June 10.

There are several local clusters. Mansfield, home of the University of Connecticut, continues to be a hotspot. While UConn has had some success in slowing the spread of the disease in dorms on campus, off-campus cases are growing. The university is cracking down on parties and gatherings.

Danbury continues to suffer the after-effects of an outbreak in August. Mayor Mark Boughton is hopeful that the increase in cases has slowed, but so far that does not seem to be the case. Danbury recorded 146 new cases from Aug. 19 to Aug. 26, another 58 cases from Sept. 2 to Sept. 9, and 131 new cases from Sept. 9 to Sept. 16.

The number of towns with zero new cases continues to fall. Gov. Ned Lamont has responded to the increase in part by mandating fines for people not wearing masks in public places, and for events and gatherings with more people than legally allowed.

The Connecticut Republican Party’s official Twitter account described the governor’s virus mitigation policies in tyrannical terms:

screengrab from ctgop's twitter account

However, if we want to keep the virus from spreading even more, cracking down on maskless persons and large gatherings may be one of the best ways to do it.

We also must ask ourselves if in-person learning is really worth the infections suffered by children, faculty, and staff at our schools.

Here’s last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending September 9

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Susan Bigelow

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.