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Daily coronavirus updates: COVID-19 positivity rate still under 2% amid 'encouraging' trends ...

Daily coronavirus updates: COVID-19 positivity rate still under 2% amid 'encouraging' trends ...

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Ntiege Ntiege-Kang, doctor of pharmacy at Giant Food in Baltimore, administers a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot to Amy Powell, who also receives a flu shot.

Ntiege Ntiege-Kang, doctor of pharmacy at Giant Food in Baltimore, administers a Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot to Amy Powell, who also receives a flu shot. (Karl Merton Ferron)

Connecticut’s COVID-19 positivity rate remained below 2% Thursday, as the state’s coronavirus trends remained hopeful.

“The rates are down, hospitalizations are down, which is encouraging,” said Dr. David Banach, an epidemiologist at UConn Health. “Things at the moment are at least plateauing or going in a good direction, but we’ll still have to be attentive to everything going on.”

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Cases and positivity rate

Connecticut on Thursday reported 548 new COVID-19 cases out of 32,205 tests, for a positivity rate of 1.7%. The state’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 1.94%, up slightly from earlier this week when it reached its lowest level since late July.

Connecticut has averaged 451 COVID-19 cases a day over the past week, about even with the seven days prior. No state has recorded fewer recent COVID-19 cases per capita, according to data aggregated by the New York Times.

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As of Wednesday, Windham and New London counties were experiencing “high” levels of COVID-19 transmission as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while Connecticut’s six other counties were experiencing “substantial” transmission.

Thirty-seven Connecticut towns and cities, mostly in Windham and New London Counties, currently qualify for the state’s “red alert” designation, which is triggered when a municipality averages 15 or more daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Hospitalizations

Connecticut now has 230 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, unchanged from Wednesday, when the state hit its lowest level of hospitalizations since Aug. 11. Hospitalizations are down more than 40% since the height of the delta variant surge in mid-August.

According to numbers released Thursday, 78.7% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut are not fully vaccinated. Hospital officials say that many vaccinated people hospitalized with the disease were admitted for other reasons and do not have severe symptoms.

Deaths

Connecticut reported 38 additional coronavirus-linked deaths over the past week Thursday, bringing its total to 8,667 during the pandemic.

The United States has now recorded 708,529 COVID-19 deaths, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccinations

As of Wednesday, 76.8% of all Connecticut residents and 88.2% of those 12 and older had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 69.1% of all residents and 79.4% of those 12 and older were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

With hundreds of thousands of residents now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, providers in Connecticut administered 68,444 vaccine doses from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, most in a given week since June.

Booster shots are currently available for recipients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine more than six months removed from their second dose who are 65 or older, have health conditions that leave them vulnerable to COVID-19 or work jobs that leave them at high risk.

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Alex Putterman can be reached at aputterman@courant.com.

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