Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani. Credit: Christine Stuart / CTNewsJunkie

Most of Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive orders, which were extended to April 15 by the legislature, have now expired just as Connecticut’s test positivity rate for COVID-19 is creeping back up and students at UConn are being asked to mask up again, starting today. 

According to the Department of Public Health, Connecticut recorded 3,939 positive COVID-19 tests in the past week, the most in a seven-day period since early March.

“We are in a far different place than we were in March 2020 thanks to the tools we have at our disposal including COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, state-supported testing sites and the availability of self-tests,” DPH Commissioner Manisha Juthani said. “And while we are learning to live with this virus and when we should ramp up and ramp down with our preparedness, we are able to move on from these orders which served a very important purpose.”

The only one that still exists is the one that allows the state Department of Education to reinstitute a mask mandate for school children. That one doesn’t expire until June 30th. 

The University of Connecticut said Friday that due to the substantial rise in positivity the university was reinstituting the mask requirement for all indoor instructional settings and workspaces today. 

“When the university relaxed masking requirements in March, and then again earlier this month, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Connecticut was consistently low at about 2%; as of this week, the state’s seven-day average now stands at 6.26%,” Carl Lejuez, provost and executive vice president of Academic Affairs, and Eleanor JB Daugherty, dean of students and associate vice president for Student Affairs, said in a letter to the community. “During the month of March and prior to that, the number of positive cases among students was also consistently low. Over the most recent seven-day reporting period, there were approximately 150 new positive cases both on- and off-campus.”

However, the current test positivity rate doesn’t give the full picture. 

Since April 4, the state has not been reporting negative rapid antigen and rapid PCR test results. They also never collected information from at-home tests which became more common at the beginning of the year. 

As of Friday there were 161 patients hospitalized with COVID-10. 

In an interview last week on Face the Nation, Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner who has advised Gov. Ned Lamont, said they were likely “dramatically undercounting cases.”

“We’re probably only picking up one in seven or one in eight infections, Gottlieb told Margaret Brennan of CBS.