CONNECTICUT, USA — The Centers for Disease Control has listed Litchfield County as an area of "substantial" community spread for COVID-19. With this addition, every county in Connecticut is listed under this designation.
Guidelines issued by the CDC regarding areas of substantial spread or greater recommend residents regardless of vaccination status to wear masks indoors.
The CDC classifies substantial transmission as 50 to 99.99 total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days. Moderate transmission is anywhere from 10 to 49.99 cases per 100,000 persons.
Connecticut has not issued any official mandates for masks since lifting most of them in may but "strongly recommends" residents follow the CDC's guidelines.
Within a week, Connecticut has gone from only two counties listed as areas of substantial community transmission to the entire state. The state is seeing a rise in positivity rate, cases, and hospitalizations that has been credited to the surge of the Delta variant.
Governor Ned Lamont said he wants state legislators to get involved to decide how to respond to the latest wave of COVID-19.
“I think the legislature's going to want to come in and I'd like to work with them in terms of what we do after Sept. 30 and get their point of view on masks, schools, vaccinations for state employees,” Lamont said. “I don't have to make all these decisions by myself. I'll take some help.”
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a health alert for Litchfield and recommended all state residents two years or older to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
Residents who are unvaccinated are being urged by the CT DPH to get vaccinated to help stop the spread of the Delta variant. Health officials say the majority of hospitalizations and deaths in Connecticut are from people who are not vaccinated.
The governor said he believes most Connecticut residents have been making good decisions when it comes to wearing masks and getting vaccinated and he's inclined to leave the decision on mandating vaccines up to businesses, including restaurants and local authorities.
The CT DPH also advised anyone who may be compromised with diabetes or other lung diseases to avoid large indoor gatherings that could include unvaccinated and vaccinated people.
Several universities like Quinnipiac and the University of New Haven have already issued mandates that students, faculty, and staff need to wear masks indoors. Waterbury Public Schools is also requiring masks to be worn indoors.
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