Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 9

Doctors and scientists warned us that getting together for Thanksgiving would push the spread of COVID-19 to new and frightening levels, but a lot of people didn’t listen. Now, two weeks later, here we are.

Connecticut’s case numbers increased by 2,000 to 14,371 this past week after nearly a month of staying steady at around 12,000. Case prevalence, or the number of cases per 10,000 people, increased from 34.35 to 40.22.

It’s possible that we were turning a corner before the holiday, but any progress we made has been undone. So far, Gov. Ned Lamont hasn’t proposed the kinds of mass closures we saw at the beginning of the pandemic in March and April, even though some groups of physicians and others have pressed him to do so.

The governor is in a difficult spot. Small businesses would be very hard-pressed to survive another lockdown, and the state’s fragile economy could enter a disastrous tailspin. But with numbers increasing rapidly again, it’s hard to see what else we could do that would really be effective at combating both the virus and pandemic-weary people who, while trying to reclaim some normalcy in their lives, are putting others at risk.

The best option would be to shut down the state and pay people to stay home. Give small businesses the money they need to stay afloat until the vaccines coming on the market have a chance to work. But we don’t have the money to do that, and the federal government isn’t about to hand out those kinds of sums. Protecting a tax cut for the wealthy seems to be a higher priority for the Republican-led U.S. Senate, which has been holding up negotiations, than saving lives. In some other world that would be outrageous. In this one, it’s just expected, another grim example of the selfish cowardice and craven cynicism of too many of our leaders.

So please, do what you can to stay safe. Stay home. Wear a mask. Order take-out instead of going inside the restaurant. And please, please cancel a big family gathering for the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving has taught us that it’s just not worth it.

Let’s take a look at this week’s map.

It’s pretty bad. A shocking number of towns, about a third of the state, are over 40 cases per 10,000 residents, which is the highest category the map shows. Many towns are much higher. Danbury and Waterbury are nearing 100, at 97 and 96 respectively, while other towns are in the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. For once, the map doesn’t show how truly awful this COVID-19 surge really is.

Last week we saw pockets of high prevalence numbers in the southern part of the state and around Waterbury, but now those pockets have expanded to the entire I-91 corridor as well as most of the shoreline, greater Hartford, Danbury, and parts of eastern Connecticut. In short, there are now significant areas of high case prevalence all over the state.

Almost every town saw an increase in cases. Somehow, tiny Warren managed to have zero cases for the second week in a row, but they’re an anomaly. Worryingly, high case prevalence is appearing in many towns with dense populations, which could mean we’re facing an even more difficult situation in the coming weeks.

This is going to get worse before it gets better, but I think we knew that already. Hang in there, keep your masks on, and stay safe.

Here’s last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 2

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.