Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending March 10, 2021

SUSAN BIGELOW

Next week capacity limitations in restaurants, libraries, houses of worship, retail, and many other types of businesses and services around the state will be lifted. The reason, Gov. Ned Lamont said at a press conference last Thursday, is that Connecticut has “earned it” because of falling case numbers and increased vaccinations.

Have we actually earned it, though?

The governor’s order still keeps social distancing, mask wearing, and other common-sense restrictions in place, so the state isn’t doing a dramatic and dangerous full reopening. But the recovery, such as it is, has dragged. While overall case numbers are still falling, the state isn’t making the kind of rapid progress we saw in late January. Some public health experts are worried that the governor may be jumping the gun, especially because so many are still waiting for vaccination.

Connecticut may well have earned the lifting of restrictions, but at this late stage of the pandemic any kind of relaxing of vigilance seems like inviting trouble. We’ll see how it works out in a few weeks.

In the meantime, cases of COVID-19 fell by 7.41% this past week, going from 5,438 on March 3 to 5,035 on March 10. Prevalence, or the number of new cases per 10,000 people, also dropped slightly from 15.22 to 14.09. Test positivity remains low at 2.4%, which is right about where it’s been for the past four weeks. This means that the state is likely catching the vast majority of the cases out there.

The decrease over the past two weeks is sharper, but only because there was a small spike in cases during the week ending Feb. 24. Cases increased from 5,860 on Feb. 17 to 6,828 a week later, then fell again to 5,438 last week. Overall, new cases per week have only fallen by 800 since mid-February. It’s a slow, but hopefully steady, retreat.

Looking at the map we can see that the vast majority of the state’s 169 towns are in the 10-20 new cases per 10,000 residents range. Geographically, case prevalence is ever so slightly higher in the southern and western parts of the state, and there is a small cluster of higher prevalence numbers in and around New Haven, as there was last week. Other than that, there is no larger geographic pattern to cases, which suggests no sudden outbreaks.

Only one town, East Haven, has a case prevalence of over 30 new cases per 10,000 residents. No towns at all have a case prevalence of over 40, which hasn’t happened since September. There is the usual smattering of small, rural towns with no cases, mostly in Litchfield County with a few in eastern Connecticut. 

This map does show some encouraging trends. Whether the governor is correct that we’re ready to lift restrictions remains to be seen.

Here’s last week’s map for comparison:

Case Prevalence Per 10,000, By Town

For the week ending March 3, 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.