Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 23


For the first time in months, weekly cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut have dropped by a significant amount. In terms of both raw case numbers and case prevalence, which is the number of cases per 10,000 people, this puts us right back where we were before Thanksgiving travel and family gatherings caused a massive surge in infections. The upcoming holiday week means this is likely no more than a brief respite, unfortunately.

Every single holiday, like clockwork, pandemic-weary Americans have ignored social distancing and mask protocols to celebrate with family and friends. And, two weeks later, COVID-19 cases jump, only to start dwindling again a few weeks after that. History suggests that’s exactly what’s going to happen during the last week of 2020 as people gather to celebrate Christmas and welcome in the new year.

But, for now, cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut have actually fallen back to pre-Thanksgiving levels. The state reported 12,924 new cases between Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, down from the 17,233 reported the previous week. That’s a drop of just over 25%.

Hospitalizations also fell from a high of 1,269 on Dec. 14 to 1,155 on Dec. 23, a drop of about 9%.

Case prevalence also dropped significantly. For the week ending Dec. 16, there were 48.24 infections for every 10,000 residents in the state; that number dropped to 36.17 for the week ending Dec 23.

The state’s test positivity rate didn’t fall as dramatically, partly because fewer tests were administered. That number still fell from 6.5% for the week ending Dec. 16 to 5.9% for the week ending Dec. 23.

Let’s take a look at the map.

Most towns saw decreases in case numbers, though there were several towns with significant increases, such as New Milford and Kent. Decreases in cases and case prevalence are especially visible in the New Haven area, which a month ago was one of the hardest-hit areas in the state. Southeastern Connecticut and Greater Hartford also saw significant decreases.

The Waterbury and Danbury areas continue to struggle, as do parts of eastern Connecticut. Tiny Franklin, which neighbors Norwich, recorded 22 cases; that works out to a state-leading case prevalence of 118.99 cases per 10,000 residents.

This map should give us hope, if not for the next few weeks than for late January. There will be no more big holidays on the horizon at that point, and whatever holiday surge we’re about to undergo will be fading by then. Vaccination will be much more widespread at that point, and hopefully we’ll be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The best way to stay safe until then is to stay home for the holidays. You’ll be giving yourself and everyone you love the best present imaginable.

Here is last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Dec. 16

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.