Norwalk COVID Positivity Rate Rises to Over 5%, Mayor Says


NORWALK – The city’s COVID positivity rate has jumped to more than 5% – an increase of more than 4% in the past two months, the mayor reported on Friday.

For the two-week period August 15-28, Norwalk’s positivity rate was 5.4%, according to Mayor Harry Rilling weekly coronavirus update released on Friday. The August report marks the first time the city has achieved a positivity rate of more than 5% since the spring, city spokesman Josh Morgan said.

Over the past week, Norwalk recorded 115 additional confirmed cases and one additional death, according to the report.

“Looking back, it seemed to be between 5% and 6% in March and April before dropping,” Morgan said.

Norwalk’s positivity rate hit 6.3% on April 22, before falling to 0.8% on July 1, Morgan said.

While the positivity rate is on the rise, Norwalk has seen worse. In January, the city had a positivity rate of over 10%, Morgan said.

The positivity rate could rise as people become more vigilant and access to testing has increased, with the city offering free testing five days a week, Morgan said.

“I think more accessible testing is part of it,” Morgan said. “People are looking for tests because it is very convenient and free. So there could be people with mild or no symptoms to be tested who otherwise could have done without. “

As with reports from last week, COVID-19 vaccinations are also on the rise in Norwalk, particularly for the teenage population, according to the state Data from the Department of Public Health. More than 79% of Norwalkers between the ages of 12 and 17 have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine, data shows.

Last week, about 77% of Norwalkers between the ages of 12 and 17 received the vaccine, a 3.3% increase from the week before.

“I hope that with more people vaccinated and more people tested, the virus won’t have as much of a chance to spread,” Morgan said.

The increase in vaccinations among young people can be attributed to the full approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration of the Pfizer vaccine and the return of Norwalk public schools to in-person learning, among other reasons, said Morgan previously.

The city released additional data regarding vaccination rates for Norwalk residents on Friday, showing the vaccination rate in Norwalk is above the state average.

“About 65% of Norwalk residents of all ages (which includes those who are not eligible) are fully immunized,” the mayor’s report said. “This is over state coverage by around 62%. “

However, there are more than 30,000 Norwalk residents who are not vaccinated and about 7 percent who received only half of the vaccination schedule, according to the report.

The return of city-run COVID testing sites is a testament to the increased spread of the virus as the sites remain occupied.

“The demand for COVID-19 testing remains high, with 150-200 people tested each day in our pop-up clinics,” Rilling said.

“This generated additional traffic to our school site, so in the interest of public safety we are moving all tests from Brien McMahon High School to Roton Middle School.”

Rilling said the change would take effect on Saturday.

The free test sites will remain available five days a week, Rilling said.

Statewide, the COVID-19 positivity rate has remained around 3%, but more than 4,500 cases have been confirmed and 39 Connecticut residents died last week, according to DPH data.

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