The number of people getting vaccinated for COVID-19 in Connecticut has been on the decline as the number of new infections has spiked to the highest rate since May as the state contends with variants of the virus.
For the third straight day, the positive COVID-19 infection rate for those tested was above 1 percent, to 1.26 percent statewide after seeing the numbers improve for weeks.
The seven-day average positivity rate is now at 0.97 percent, the highest since Thursday, May 27. The uptick in new infections has been largely tied to the spread of the Delta variant, which has become the dominant strain in Connecticut.
According to health officials, the Delta variant now makes up more than 60 percent of positive cases in Connecticut, compared to the original strain, which accounts for less than 30 percent.
In total, 11,039 people were tested, resulting in 139 positive cases, while six more COVID-19 patients were hospitalized, bringing the total to 44 being treated statewide for the virus.
Since the pandemic began, there have been 8,282 COVID-19-associated deaths.
A breakdown of total COVID-19 cases on Friday, July 16, by county:
- Fairfield: 110,790 tota (10,684 per 100,000 residents);
- New Haven: 92,715 (10,847);
- Hartford: 84,835 (9,514);
- New London: 22,667 (8,547);
- Litchfield: 14,735 (8,171);
- Middlesex: 12,925 (7,957);
- Windham: 11,002 (9,421);
- Tolland: 9,691 (6,430).
The vaccine rollout in Connecticut, which remains among the quickest in the country, has slowed in recent weeks.
In the latest update on Thursday, July 15, 2,297,059 Connecticut residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 2,124,106 have completed the vaccination process.
A breakdown of first dose coverage by age, according to the state Department of Health:
- 65+: 96 percent;
- 55-64: 85 percent;
- 45-54: 75 percent;
- 35-44: 71 percent;
- 25-34: 62 percent;
- 18-24: 59 percent;
- 16-17: 66 percent;
- 12-15: 49 percent.
With the number of cases on the rise, officials have cautioned that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of the virus.
“You will either get COVID, or you will get a vaccine,” Dr. Tom Balcezak, chief clinical officer at Yale-New Haven Health stated. “And the only way to avoid getting COVID is to get a vaccine.”
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