Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Feb. 3, 2021

COVID-19 numbers dropped significantly this week as Connecticut emerged from a major post-holiday infection surge and continued to ramp up its vaccination program.

During the first COVID-19 surge almost a year ago, cases peaked sharply and then began tapering off. There came a point in mid-May when the decrease in cases turned steeper, leading us into a relatively quiet summer between major waves. It’s impossible to know whether we’re at that point now, but the major decreases in new infections over the past few weeks are a very encouraging sign.

There were 9,665 new cases reported between Jan. 27 and Feb. 3, which is the first time since the week of the election in November that case numbers have been under 10,000. Case prevalence, or the number of new cases per 10,000 people, was 27.05, which is the best prevalence number we’ve had since that same early November week. Test positivity was also under 4% for the week (3.89%), which is a strong sign that there aren’t a significant number of cases going undetected. 

In equally good news, 10.9% of the population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, which is one of the best vaccine distribution rates in the country.

There are always looming issues, such as the possibility of yet another surge related to Super Bowl weekend and the emergence of more contagious strains of the virus, but for now the situation is definitely improving.

Looking at this week’s map, almost every town saw a dramatic improvement in the number of cases and case prevalence this past week. Only nine towns had more than 40 new cases per 10,000 residents, which is much better than the 45 that had the same last week. Three weeks ago, the vast majority of towns were in this category. 

The improvement was visible in every region of the state. Eastern Connecticut still lags behind the rest of the state somewhat, but the latest surge hit that region much harder than others. Two towns, Cornwall and Canaan, both in the northwest hills, had zero new cases. Sterling, on the border with Rhode Island, had 31 new cases; that works out to a state-high case prevalence of 82.01. Most towns fell in either the 10-20 or the 20-30 new cases per 10,000 residents range.

As we approach the anniversary of the first recorded COVID-19 case in Connecticut next month, there is reason to believe that the holiday surge could be the final one. As always, though, be sure to wear masks and follow social distancing rules. And really, how bad do you need to see the Super Bowl anyway? The Pats aren’t even in it!

Here’s last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Jan. 27, 2021

Susan Bigelow

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