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Connecticut loosens COVID-19 restrictions as statistics trend downward

A number of vaccination appointments were canceled due to the snowstorm. It is expected that CT will receive 98,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Governor Ned Lamont provided updates on Connecticut's response to the COVID-19 pandemic at 4 p.m. Monday.

Connecticut also continues its fast start to vaccinating its population and ranks third nationally. There have been 425,144 doses administered and 45% of the 75 and older age group has been vaccinated. Gov. Lamont also credited the Step up CT initiative for the fast start as well. 

Due to the storm, CT's Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said about 10,000 vaccine appointments have been canceled. However, Connecticut's daily COVID-19 vaccine supply will come in tomorrow morning and providers have been asked to extend their hours of operation to help with the backlog. It is expected for Connecticut to receive 98,000 doses by Tuesday. 

During the press conference,  a chart was shown of every town in Connecticut and their respective vaccination rate. Wilton and Roxbury are among the top Connecticut cities/towns in terms of vaccinations, while New Britain is one of the worst. To see where your town ranks, click here

Credit: CT DPH

Gov. Lamont reminded residents to stay vigilant and to continue to follow safety guidelines. Dr. Marieta Vasquez of the Yale School of Medicine was on hand during the press conference to explain the vaccines' response to the various variants of COVID-19 and how the vaccine has been effective. She explained so far the vaccines have been effective against the strains and this was good. The Governor said there were eight more cases of the COVID-19 variants reported over the weekend bringing the total number of cases to 16. 

Another significant update was the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions in Houses of Worship and business curfews. Houses of worship can have their capacity at 50% with no cap, while social distancing and wearing masks. The business's curfew, which includes restaurants, has been extended to 11 p.m.

Scott Dolch, Executive Director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association released a statement regarding the curfew being moved: 

"We appreciate that the Governor and his team continue to work with our industry with a focus on reopening Connecticut's economy. This is another step in that direction, and the extra hour will be a benefit to restaurants across the state. At the same time, it's important that we take further steps in the weeks ahead, including fully lifting this curfew just as neighboring Massachusetts and Rhode Island have done. Connecticut can continue to be a leader on fighting COVID while also being mindful of our economic recovery."

Connecticut continues to trend downward in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.Gov. Lamont said hospitalizations have decreased for the last nine days. Current hospitalizations are now 912 patients. 

There were 101,971 tests administered over the weekend and 3,931 came back positive, yielding a positivity rate of about 3.86%. Gov. Lamont said for the first time in months, Connecticut's 7-day average for positivity rate is below 4%. 

COVID-19 related deaths increased to 1,119 people over the weekend.