Residents testing positive for COVID-19 totaled 351,825, up 295 since yesterday; the positivity rate is 2.22%, the Department of Public Health (DPH) reported.
The state reported 9,803,237 COVID tests completed, up 13,270. Hospitalizations increased by 8 to total 66, since yesterday. Since last Thursday, there were 4 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 8,286. COVID deaths are reported weekly on Thursdays.
For a county-by-county breakdown of cases, go here and click on “Daily Data Report.”
Go here for the most up-to-date state information.
Vaccinated Teachers, Students Don’t Need Masks In Schools
The CDC on Friday (July 9) said that vaccinated teachers and students do not need to wear masks inside school buildings. Students who are not vaccinated must wear masks, the CDC announced, in easing its guidelines on masking.
“We recognize that we’re about a month out from school starting in some areas,” said Erin Sauber-Schatz, a CDC official who oversaw the school guidance. “But we wanted to do a re-review … to make sure that the recommendations that we were making for the fall school year were based on science and the best available evidence that we have at the time,” said Sauber-Schatz, in published reports.
In a statement, U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona supported the CDC decision, saying the top priority in 2021-2022 is getting students back into classrooms and school buildings to learn.
State officials said that they are reviewing the CDC’s new guidelines and will issue a statement soon.
CT Masking Guidelines As Of May 19
Outdoors: Masks not required
- Vaccinated not required to wear masks
- Unvaccinated must continue to wear masks
- Businesses, state and local government offices and events may choose to require universal masking
- Masks will still be required in certain settings such as healthcare facilities, facilities housing vulnerable populations, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare
The DPH on May 19 issued revised guidance for mask-wearing in businesses, at large gatherings and events, and in other settings, as well as more detailed descriptions of the settings where masks will continue to be required.
Restaurants can now stay open until midnight; restaurants and bars can serve alcohol outside without serving food. There are no table size limits. Bars can operate indoors. CDC’s full updated guidance here.
Everyone who is not vaccinated should continue to wear masks at indoor public places including gyms, hair and nail salons, barber shops, retail outlets, museums and movie theaters, according to the CDC.
12- to 15-year-olds Can Receive Pfizer Vaccine
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is now available to adolescents between the ages of 12 to 15. There are about 170,000 residents in this age group. A parent or legal guardian can make an appointment for their child starting immediately or you can bring your child to a clinic that is accepting walk-ins. Permission is required, so a parent or guardian must accompany their child to the vaccine appointment. To find a vaccine clinic go to: https://portal.ct.gov/Vaccine-Portal
Myocarditis Cases In Adolescents and Young Adults
The CDC and the FDA said on June 10 that they are seeing higher-than-expected cases of heart inflammation, known as myocarditis among adolescents and young adults who received a second vaccine dose, according to STATNews.com.
The agencies reported 573 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis after the second shot of either mRNA vaccine. That’s compared to 216 cases recorded after the first dose. Most have recovered fully.
The agencies said that the data is preliminary and limited, and they are still trying to determine if there is a link or no connection at all to the vaccine.
You can read STAT’s full report here: https://www.statnews.com/2021/06/10/officials-higher-than-expected-heart-inflammation-cases-covid-19-vaccination/
Connecticut has had 18 cases of post-vaccination heart issues after vaccination, acting DPH Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford said recently. She said the CDC has not yet determined if the cases of myocarditis were caused by the vaccines.
“We don’t know if these are vaccine-related or not,” Gifford said. “These have been rare, they’ve been mild and they’ve been self-limited, but we are tracking them and working with our federal partners.”
State’s ‘New Normal’
Here’s what will happen in Connecticut state facilities in the coming weeks, according to Gov. Lamont:
COVID-19 Vaccine Info/Where To Get A Shot?
The Rock The Shot vaccine clinic scheduled for July 2 at the Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, was moved to July 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. The first 24 people to get the vaccine will receive a pair of tickets to the Luke Bryan concert July 16 at the Xfinity Theater, Hartford, DPH announced in a press release. For info go to Rock The Shot. During the summer, the state will host 12 Rock The Shot clinics.
To schedule a vaccine call 211, the helpline run by United Way.
Text 438829 and put in your zip code to get a list of locations offering COVID vaccines near you.
Vaccine eligibility is now open to everyone 12 and older and there are many appointments available statewide.
Twelve- to 17-year-olds are reminded that Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for those ages by the FDA. Three vaccines, including Pfizer, Moderna and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are offered. The J&J vaccine was paused for a brief time recently as regulators reviewed reports of blood clotting among 15 women between the ages of 18 and 49. Three of the 15 women died from blood clots. The FDA added a warning label to note the risk of rare blood clots.
On Monday (July 12), the FDA announced a new warning for the J&J vaccine, reporting that the shot has been linked to a rare side effect called Guillain-Barré syndrome. Out of 12.8 million doses given, about 100 cases of Guillain-Barré, an illness where the immune system attacks nerves, have been detected mostly in men, 50 years of age and older.
As of July 22, 2,314,139, first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, and 2,142,821 people are fully vaccinated. As of July 22, about 96% of people age 65 and older are fully vaccinated and 86% of those aged 55-64 are vaccinated. Also, 75% of those 45-54; 72% of those 35-44; 63% of 25-34; 60% of 18-24; 67% of 16-17 and 51% of those 12-15 are fully vaccinated.
The state has added a map outlining distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine by community. View it here: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/CoVP-COVID-Vaccine-Distribution-Data/bhcd-4mnv/
There are no out-of-pocket costs for those insured in Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant fully-insured plans and all self-funded plans, the state’s insurance commissioner said earlier this year.
COVID-19 Variant Cases
On July 22, the state reported that the number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) rose to 3,347, representing 41.7% of all variants of concern. For the Delta variant (B.1.617.2), first found in India, the state reported 126 cases, representing 1.6% of all variants of concern. The Delta variant represents about 70% of CT’s new Covid cases, the Hartford Courant reported Thursday. Cases of the Delta variant are increasing rapidly in states where vaccination rates are low. You can track the variants here: https://covidtrackerct.com/
On variants, read the CDC report here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html
Free Admission For Kids At Museums
From July 1-Sept. 6, children 18 and under can visit museums in the state for FREE. There are more than 90 museums statewide, including the Connecticut Science Center, Beardsley Zoo, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Mystic Aquarium, and Mystic Seaport Museum, participating . Program funds were approved in the state budget, recently signed into law by the governor.
For a full list of museums participating in the program go here: https://www.ctvisit.com/articles/connecticut-summer-museum-free-admission-kids
State Parks Back To Full Services
For a list of every state park in Connecticut, visit portal.ct.gov/DEEP/State-
For more information on park openings go here: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2021/04-2021/Governor-Lamont-Announces-Plans-at-Connecticut-State-Parks-for-the-2021-Outdoor-Recreation-Season
Community Hot Spots
There are 2 community hotspots in red on this week’s COVID-19 map, Salem and Franklin.
Nursing Home Updates
Assisted living facilities are no longer required to report to DPH. The last report with no new deaths was issued for the week of June 30-July 7. You can view the full report here.
In September, C-HIT reported on plummeting occupancy rates in nursing homes. You can read our report here: http://c-hit.org/2020/09/16/pandemic-deals-another-blow-to-nursing-homes-plummeting-occupancy/
Visitation Policy At Nursing Homes
Indoor visits are now allowed at nursing homes as long as there has been no new onset of COVID cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing. Indoor visits will be suspended if there is a positive COVID case among a resident or staff, DPH said in its order.
DPH said that facilities can limit the number of visitors per resident and can limit visitor movement inside facilities. You can read DPH’s order here: https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/Coronavirus/20200925-DPH-Order-rescinding-restrictions-on-visitors-in-nursing-homes-residential-care-homes-and-c.pdf
Mental Health Services Call 211
Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, commissioner of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, said that mental health services and programs are available to help. Call 211 for assistance.
NEED A COVID TEST?
A number of hospitals, clinics and healthcare providers are offering COVID-19 testing. If you need a test go to 211.ct.org to find a location near you. https://www.211ct.org/
Connecticut encourages anyone exposed to the virus to seek a free COVID-19 test.
Feeling anxious or depressed? You can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness Connecticut (NAMI-CT) hotline at 860.882.0236. Workers are available to talk live, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NAMI Connecticut offers more than 70 FREE, confidential support groups across the state that are peer-led. They are facilitated by people who have experience with mental health issues. During the current COVID-19 crisis, the support groups have moved online: https://namict.org/find-support/support-groups/
A virtual Family Support Group is held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.; visit https://namict.org/find-support/support-groups/ for details.
The World Health Organization has information here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
John Hopkins University & Medicine’s experts in global public health and infectious diseases has compiled a website to help advance the understanding of COVID-19. View the website, which includes an interactive map of cases worldwide: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has a forecasting model of COVID-19 cases here.