CONNECTICUT, USA — At the beginning of the summer, residents in Connecticut saw a dramatic decline in new COVID-19 cases, positivity rate, and hospitalizations. Now, as the school year is just weeks away, it seems the state is experiencing another wave of the virus.
On Tuesday, the state announced the positivity rate was 4.25%. This marks the first time since April 14 - when it was 4.41% - that the state's positivity rate has been greater than 4%. Hospitalizations have also been among the highest in months with 321 patients.
Experts are attributing the recent surge to the Delta variant, which they say is more contagious than the original strand of the COVID-19 virus and say has sparked the "pandemic of the unvaccinated." However, there have been breakthrough cases for residents who are fully vaccinated against the virus.
Since April, state health officials have campaigned to get residents vaccinated against the virus. On Aug. 12, the state reported that 2,195,300 residents are now fully vaccinated with 2,389,092 first doses administered.
The state has not revealed a breakdown of how many new cases are attributed to fully vaccinated residents compared to those who are unvaccinated.
Several counties in Connecticut have been listed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as areas of "high" community transmission for COVID-19. The CDC classifies a 'high risk' area as 100 new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.
CDC guidelines recommend anyone in an area that is listed as substantial or higher should wear a mask while inside like a store or other building, regardless if one has been vaccinated for COVID-19. Every county in Connecticut falls under this recommendation.
As a result of the surge, Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order that allows town and cities to implement their own mask mandates.
Lamont also announced on Tuesday that children K-12 will be required to wear masks this coming school year.
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