Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers increased again Wednesday, as the state hit its highest number of hospitalized coronavirus patients since late June. Governor Ned Lamont announced 221 new COVID-19 cases out of 12,390 tests Wednesday making a second straight day of a 1.8% rate. Though Connecticut’s positivity rate remains lower than that of most other states, it has increased in recent weeks after hovering below 1% for much of the summer.
Connecticut now has 107 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, up 12 since Tuesday and up 39% in just two days. The state had dipped as low as 42 hospitalizations in mid-August before an increase that was initially gradual but has now turned sharper.
Health officials and medical experts have attributed Connecticut’s recent increase to various factors, including colleges reopening, K-12 schools reopening, fatigue with social distancing measures, travel, small gatherings and more.
Governor Lamont acknowledged Wednesday that Connecticut’s COVID-19 numbers were “spiking a little bit,” but said he plans to continue with the next phase of Connecticut’s reopening, currently scheduled for Oct. 8.
That phase will allow expanded capacity for indoor dining and hair salons, private outdoor gatherings of up to 150 people, the reopening of indoor performing arts venues and more. Governor Lamont said he would consider delaying the Oct. 8 date if the state’s positivity rate reached 3% or 5%, “depending on how fast things happen.”
Though Connecticut has more patients hospitalized with COVID-19 than it’s had in months, the Governor said hospitalizations aren’t a key metric when it comes to reopening. He thinks of hospitalizations in terms of capacity, he said, and for now Connecticut hospitals are nowhere near capacity.