Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending October 14

Suddenly, the resurgence of COVID-19 in Connecticut doesn’t seem quite as slow anymore. The number of new cases has doubled from what it was two weeks ago, from 1,235 for the week ending Sept. 30 to 2,497 for the week ending Oct. 14.

There were 104 people hospitalized with the virus on Sept. 30; there are now 188. The state’s test positivity rate has been over 2% for two days in a row as of Oct. 14, after months of being right around or below 1%.

Before you panic, please note that we’re absolutely not anywhere near the kind of steep, awful spike in cases that we saw back in March and April. This curve is a lot gentler, meaning that the spread of the disease is much more under control. The state also is doing a far, far better job of widespread testing and contact tracing, meaning we have a much better idea of where these infections are coming from.

In many cases, according to state officials, infections are spreading from person-to-person contact within family groups. In other words, more people are getting together with larger numbers of their own family where they let their guard (and their masks) down.

The good news is that this is something that’s almost entirely within the power of the people of Connecticut to fix.

That’s also the bad news.

How do you tell people to stay away from big family gatherings, especially as Thanksgiving draws near? It’s been a long, long year, and people are fatigued. They want to see their families and friends, and they want to relax and forget about the virus for a while. It’s hard to blame them.

But we have to buckle down. COVID-19 isn’t over yet. If you have to go to see your family, please at least wear your own mask and encourage your family members to do the same. Practice social distancing. Be vigilant and be safe.

Let’s take a look at the map.

This week’s prevalence map, which shows the number of new cases per 10,000 residents per town, shows increases basically everywhere in the state. New London County continues to suffer far more than any region, with high concentrations of cases centered on Norwich (129 new cases, 32.96 new cases per 10,000 people)  and New London (125 new cases, 41.51 new cases per 10,000 people). Despite this, both cities are pressing forward with Phase Three reopening guidelines. Gov. Ned Lamont gave them the option to opt out, given the severity of the outbreak there.

Most towns saw an increase in case numbers and case prevalence. The number of towns with zero new cases or fewer new cases than last week is very low, especially compared with previous weeks.

This is another in a series of Connecticut’s worst weeks since the spring. Hopefully we can all work together to protect one another from the virus and turn these numbers around.

Here’s last week’s map for comparison.

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending October 7

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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.