Connecticut’s COVID positivity rate drops over Labor Day weekend


Connecticut’s COVID positivity rate fell over the three-day weekend, marking one of the lowest numbers in a month, according to the latest figures.

Of the 61,032 tests administered over the weekend, 1,612 were confirmed cases for a positivity rate of 2.6%, according to Governor Ned Lamont’s office. Hospitalizations also fell from two patients to a total of 363 statewide.

The daily positivity rate and hospitalizations, two key metrics reported daily by the governor’s office, have remained relatively stable over the past two weeks after a wave of delta-variant infections has led to an increase in cases since June.

Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner who has repeatedly appeared alongside Lamont in weekly COVID-19 briefings, told CNBC over the weekend that there is a misconception that the North -Is passed the wave of delta-variant infections.

“I didn’t think it was the real delta wave, I think it was a delta warning,” Gottlieb said in the interview with CNBC. “I think our real delta wave is going to build after Labor Day in the northeast. …. This is going to be a highly regionalized pandemic.

He said that with Labor Day, going back to school could influence a wave of delta variant infections.

Many schools have reopened in recent weeks and some have already reported cases among their students.

The first weekly reports of COVID cases in public and private K-12 schools, released last Thursday, showed a total of 58 cases among staff members and 247 cases among students.

Dozens of schools, according to recent data, had reported fewer than six cases of COVID.

The increased level of COVID-19 infections comes as the delta variant continues to spread in Connecticut.

The Yale School of Public Health’s latest genomic surveillance report, released last week, showed the delta variant to be responsible for 99% of all recently sequenced cases.

Last week, the World Health Organization gave a Greek designation to B.1.621, which was first found in Colombia earlier this year. The Yale School of Public Health report says this variant, now called mu, was found in 73 recent cases, less than 1% of those sequenced.

Nathan Grubaugh, who leads genomic surveillance efforts at the Yale School of Public Health, said the mu variant has several mutations. One of the mutations is linked to viral transmission and the other to the leakage of the body’s immune system.

However, Grubaugh said they have been monitoring the variant closely for months in Connecticut and its prevalence is declining.

He said via social media: “The time of concern for Mu in Connecticut – and many other places in the United States – is over. He was able to compete with Alpha & Gamma, but it was not a game for Delta. “

When the WHO assigned the variant a Greek letter designation, they listed it as a variant of interest. The other most prevalent strains, including delta and alpha, are considered variants of concern.

Given the increased prevalence of variants like delta, community transmission in Connecticut remains high in six of the eight counties, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fairfield and Middlesex counties were the only two below the high transmission threshold.

The spread of highly contagious variants and increased levels of community spread come as authorities continue to insist on the urgent need to vaccinate people.

As of Monday, more than 76% of all eligible residents – people aged 12 and older – are fully vaccinated in Connecticut, and 85% have received at least one dose, according to the CDC.

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