CONNECTICUT, USA — Governor Ned Lamont along with the acting commissioner of the state's Department of Public Health Dr. Deidre Gifford expressed their concern over the state's unvaccinated and pointed out several instances of COVID-19 outbreak.
The state has seen a recent uptick in hospitalizations and positivity rate in the last few weeks due to the Delta variant. Connecticut reported on Wednesday that it had administered 16,037 tests and 537 came back positive, yielding a positivity rate of about 3.35%. Hospitalizations have decreased slightly since Tuesday. There are now 163 patients being treated for COVID-19 in the hospital.
Lamont's office pointed out three instances of outbreaks including a birthday party that took place in June which resulted in 16 cases of COVID-19 in the subsequent week. Officials say the party of about 50 people began outdoors and then moved indoors. Four people were hospitalized.
Another example happened at a summer camp of about 50 campers and about 20 staff members who experienced an outbreak in July. There were 13 cases among campers. The staff which was fully vaccinated reported no cases.
The governor's office said a total of 28 state residents have been identified as COVID-19 cases associated with the outbreak in Massachusetts, with 26 of them traveling to Provincetown or having contact with someone who had been to Provincetown. A total of 26 people or 93% of the cases were fully vaccinated and none were hospitalized.
"Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at high risk for complications from COVID-19 – including those with compromised immune systems, diabetes, asthma, other lung diseases, pregnancy, or obesity – should avoid large, indoor gatherings that may include a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals," said officials in a written statement.
Officials say the "most important defense" against COVID-19 in to get the vaccine. While breakthrough cases have happened in Connecticut, the governor's office says they are rare and most of the hospitalizations and deaths in the state and country are unvaccinated people.
Some residents are frustrated to move backward after a summer that seemed to turn the corner.
“We’re going backwards. Everybody should get their shot so we can get out of this,” Glastonbury’s Bryan Hacker said. “Very bothersome. I just don’t want to go back. I just started wearing my mask again today.”
State health officials and the CDC are recommending that residents wear masks indoors in areas with substantial or high risk for community spread.
FOX61 asked Deputy State Epidemiologist Dr. Lynn Sosa what about outdoors as large summer events pick up.
“Having good airflow is a good situation to be in so being outside where you’re not in a crowded space, still don’t need to wear a mask, but certainly if you’re outside but in a very crowded space that might still be a situation where someone might choose to wear a mask as well,” Sosa said.
Professor of Psychology Melissa Whitson, Ph. D. said the shift in the pandemic is also affecting people’s mental health.
“It’s definitely going to be affecting the anxiety that was already there and people were just starting to let up a little bit and relax and feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and now it’s like, not so fast,” Whitson said.
Whitson shared some ways you can prioritize your mental health.
“Thinking about for yourself, what types of risk are you comfortable with, depending on your family situation yourself and your health situation, making your own informed decisions about that,” Whitson said. “And continuing to make sure that you eat well and get a good nights sleep. Those are all things that will help your well being.”
Whitson also said there are still ways to connect with people safely by meeting outdoors or wearing a mask.
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