Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 16

The sight of the first COVID-19 vaccines arriving at Hartford Hospital and other health care facilities around the state this week was a very welcome one, especially considering how hard the virus has been hitting Connecticut these past few months. We won’t see a real impact from the vaccines until after the new year, but we’re hopefully witnessing the beginning of the end.

It’s been another very hard week in Connecticut. Raw case numbers and case prevalence, or the number of cases per 10,000 residents, continue to rise. Last week the state saw 14,371 new cases; this week it was 17,233. Statewide prevalence jumped from 40.22 cases per 10,000 to 48.23, but because of increased testing the test positivity rate actually fell slightly from 6.8% to 6.4%.

To put that in perspective, nearly one in every 200 people in Connecticut tested positive in just this past week.

Let’s take a look at the map.

On the face of it, the map doesn’t appear to be all that different from last week, but there are lots of changes going on that aren’t necessarily visible from a quick glance. Some cities and towns are seeing massive shifts in case prevalence numbers. For instance, Wethersfield jumped from 129 cases last week to 252 cases this week, and prevalence increased from 49.46 to 96.62 cases per 10,000 residents. Meriden fell from 536 cases last week to 408 this week, or a change in prevalence from 90.02 down to 68.53. But all of these are represented on the map by the same color; the very dark purple reserved for towns with prevalence of over 40. Some 88 towns, which is a majority of the total of 169, now have a case prevalence of over 40.

Any map will find its limitations when reality becomes much, much worse than what the mapmaker ever envisioned.

The virus continues to be at its worst in heavily populated areas, though there are now more towns with high case prevalence numbers in rural parts of southeastern Connecticut than last week.

The rapid increase in cases following the Thanksgiving holiday is not showing any signs of slowing yet, unfortunately. The governor has so far resisted calls to put the state in a tighter lockdown.

And yet, sometimes nature can be our friend. As I’m writing this the state is being hit by the first big snowstorm of the season. Schools, offices, and stores are shut down as people wait out the snow. Ironically, a single snowstorm is doing what government and public health experts have failed to do for the past eight months: get people to stay in their houses.

Let’s hope for a very snowy winter.

Here is last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 9


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.