Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 2


Connecticut’s hospitals continue to fill with COVID-19 patients as the autumn second wave stretches into December. The good news is that both the number of cases the state has seen and the case positivity rate has remained steady for the past three weeks. The bad news is that both hospitalizations and deaths are still on the rise with the holiday season in full swing.

The state has seen a remarkably stable number of cases for three weeks running. For the week ending Nov. 18, there were 12,314 cases. For the week ending Nov. 25, that number dropped slightly to 12,124 new cases. This past week new cases rose slightly to 12,274. Given how sharply cases rose in the weeks beforehand, this kind of stability is welcome. Average case positivity for the past three weeks has remained around 5%.

Does that mean we’re seeing indications of the virus’s second peak? Probably not. Epidemiologists warned that Thanksgiving gatherings would cause a rise in cases, which we’re likely to see next week. This is bad news for Connecticut hospitals struggling to deal with the COVID-19 patients they already have.

The governor has thus far resisted calls for tighter restrictions as he tries to balance public health needs with keeping a very fragile economy afloat.

Looking at this week’s case prevalence map, the virus struck the New Haven, Bridgeport, Waterbury, and lower Naugatuck Valley regions especially hard, with 18 towns in that part of the state reporting a case prevalence of over 40 new cases per 10,000 residents for the week ending Dec. 2. New Haven had been coping relatively well with the virus recently. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.

Case prevalence rose sharply in towns along the shoreline between Fairfield and East Haven, as well as in nearby inland towns like Shelton, Ansonia, North Branford, and North Haven. The Waterbury area also continues to struggle, as does Danbury.

Another region that saw noticeably higher case prevalence numbers was northeastern Connecticut, which up until now had been relatively quiet. Actual case numbers remain low compared with elsewhere in the state, but given the already low population of the region, the number of cases per 10,000 people per town is very high.

Eastern Connecticut continued to trend better this past week. Prevalence numbers fell noticeably in the lower Connecticut River valley, as well as in parts of the Norwich region and most of Tolland County. The Greater Hartford region is faring a little better than last week, with case prevalence numbers falling in many of the Hartford suburbs.

The overall pattern is this, however: no trend is guaranteed right now. Parts of the state that are seeing low numbers may suffer higher numbers next week, while regions with high numbers right now may breathe a little easier next week as the virus loosens its grip.

We’ll start to see the impact of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings next week. Be prepared for bad news.

In the meantime, here is last week’s map for comparison, as well as an updated chart on hospitalizations:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Nov. 25

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 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.