Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending October 21


It’s been another awful week here in Connecticut and around the country as COVID-19 makes an intense, scary autumn comeback fueled by both colder weather and plain old human nature.

This isn’t like back in March and April, when we had no idea how many people were infected, where the virus was, or just how dangerous it could be. Now we have plenty of testing, good contact tracing, and much more knowledge about how the virus works. But as always, science and good policy only get us so far. Humanity is the weak link in the chain.

It’s been a grueling year, hasn’t it? Pandemic fatigue is a thing, and it’s hardly a surprise. People are exhausted, frustrated and impatient. We all want to get back to our lives.

We’re letting our guard down, and the virus is taking advantage. It doesn’t help that it’s getting colder, and we’re all moving indoors into poorly-ventilated spaces.

So maybe we don’t wear the mask all the time at work, because it’s just so obnoxious. Maybe we get together with friends for a beer, and relax the social distancing rules so we can feel normal again. Maybe we assume we’re safe with friends and family, even when we’re not.

I get it, believe me. I’m so tired of all of this. I want it to be over. And I understand that it’s hard! Hey, I haven’t seen my parents in almost a year. I had to miss the funeral for my wonderful, kind, loving grandfather, a man whose influence on me I can’t even begin to describe, because of the virus. I only see friends through a screen, and whenever I leave the house, I wear a mask.

It sucks. But I do it, because following the rules is the only way we get through this without further catastrophe. Every time you wear a mask you help save lives. Staying apart is hard, but it’s necessary to protect ourselves and all the people we love. If we’re lucky, and we’re smart, they’ll all be there on the other side of this waiting for us.

There isn’t much more that the government is going to do, short of ordering new lockdowns, meaning that it’s up to us instead. So take heart, take a deep breath, and put the mask back on.

Let’s take a look at this week’s map.

The good news is that the rate of infection seems to be slowing a little bit. During the two weeks from Sept. 30 to Oct. 14, new cases doubled from 1,235 to 2,497. But during the two weeks from Oct. 7 to Oct. 21, new cases increased from 1,814 to 3,010, which is only about a 65% increase. Yes, the numbers are still high, but that infection curve may be starting to flatten out.

That, unfortunately, is the end of the good news.

Cases are up everywhere in the state. The very obvious cluster around Norwich and New London isn’t quite as visible this week, but that’s partly because the number of cases per 10,000 residents per town is up everywhere else. The biggest areas of concern, apart from New London County and southern Windham County, are northern Hartford County, an area in and around Waterbury, and parts of Fairfield County, including Norwalk and Bridgeport.

Most towns now are in the 5-10 cases per 10,000 people range; the state as a whole is at 8.42. New London, Waterford, Norwich, Lisbon, Norwalk, and tiny North Canaan all have prevalence numbers over 20 cases per 10,000 residents. North Canaan had 15 cases this past week, which for a town of only about 3,200 people equals a state-high prevalence of 46.10.

And, sadly, the last two towns in Connecticut that had seen no coronavirus cases at all, Canaan and Scotland, both registered a single case each this past week.

Here’s last week’s map for comparison.

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending October 14

Susan Bigelow

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