Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Feb. 24, 2021

SUSAN BIGELOW

This week, for the first time since early January, COVID-19 numbers rose. The increase wasn’t massive or scary, and may just be a bump in the overall downward trend. We’ve been through this kind of up and down before, and next week’s numbers should make things clearer.

Still, after nearly a year of anxiously watching numbers, it’s hard not to twitch a little.

The number of new cases for the week ending Feb. 24, 2021, rose from 5,860 to 6,828, an increase of about 15%. Statewide case prevalence, or the number of new cases per 10,000 people, rose from 16.4 to 19.11 this past week. The test positivity rate, which really only measures how accurate the numbers coming from the state likely are, stayed largely the same, rising from 2.5% to 2.8%. 

 By contrast, cases fell more than 30% in the week ending Feb. 17, from 8,492 to 5,860. 

The good news is that hospitalizations continue to fall; they were 568 on Feb. 18, and are now at 495. Some of those are deaths, sadly, but new hospitalizations are not threatening to overwhelm our health care system. As vaccinations increase, hospitalizations may become less useful as a metric; the vaccines have been shown to help prevent severe cases. 

Where are these new infections coming from?

Looking at the map we can see that most towns are still in the 10-20 new cases per 10,000 residents range. Six towns, Canaan, Chester, Colebrook, New Hartford, Norfolk, and Scotland, reported zero new cases this past week. All but two of those towns are in the northwest hills, where infections have generally been a little lower than elsewhere in the state.

Three towns, Salem (41.25), Westbrook (44.84), and Wolcott (45.65), had prevalence numbers over 40.

It’s hard to tell if there’s a pattern to the spread, right now, but by comparing this map to the previous week’s map, a more dramatic rise in cases in southwestern Connecticut becomes apparent. It’s not clear why, though proximity to New York City, where new variants are spreading, may be part of the reason.

So far the more contagious variants of the virus are not reported to be spreading rapidly in Connecticut. The race to vaccinate as many people as possible before that happens continues.

Here is last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending Feb. 17, 2021

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.