CT COVID hospitalizations dip, deaths continue to rise

Pharmacist Colleen Teevan reconstitutes the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine before having it administered to people at the Hartford Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut on January 4, 2021.

Connecticut’s COVID hospitalizations declined slightly on Wednesday, but deaths associated with the disease continued to rise.

Health officials recorded 2,486 new COVID cases as the daily positivity rate reached 8.55 percent.

The state is below the national average for new cases per capita, according to data tracking from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is trailing New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island among states in the Northeast.

Connecticut is slightly above the national average for new deaths per capita reported in the last seven days, according to the CDC.

Gov. Ned Lamont and members of his administration have said it’s not fair to compare the data between states because of the varying rates of testing.

Josh Geballe, Lamont’s chief operating officer, has also raised issue with how other states classify deaths attributed to COVID-19. He has noted some states have seen lower COVID-related deaths, but have recorded rising numbers of deaths attributed to pneumonia.

The new cases come a day after a key subcommittee of Lamont’s vaccine advisory group decided to move people living in congregate settings and certain essential workers into the next phase of vaccine distribution.

Earlier in the week, people began receiving their second doses of the vaccine in Connecticut.

The vaccine distribution efforts have focused on health care workers and those living in long-term care facilities. The next phase of vaccinations will open up the availability of the two shots approved by the Food and Drug Administration to a wider swath of essential workers and others deemed at risk.

Wednesday also marked the first day of the state’s General Assembly, with lawmakers gathering outdoors despite the winter chill to take the oath of office.

Hospitalizations for the disease declined slightly from the previous day, with a net 10 fewer patients bringing the total statewide to 1,139.

The number of hospitalizations per million people in Connecticut is a little under the national average, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The state trails all of the other Northeast states except Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

As of Wednesday, Connecticut has surpassed 4.5 million total tests since the pandemic began after an additional 29,080 diagnostic tests were recorded.

The death toll from the virus continued to climb, with 38 more deaths recorded Wednesday, bringing the statewide total to 6,230.

Connecticut Media Group