By Paul Hughes, Republican-American
HARTFORD — State health officials say COVID-19 case rates, hospitalization rates and death rates in Connecticut continue to increase the most among unvaccinated persons.
An analysis released Thursday on the relative risks between vaccinated and unvaccinated persons found unvaccinated people are five times at higher risk of being infected, fives at higher risk of dying, and 16 times at higher risk of being hospitalized.
In June, there were low rates of COVID-19 for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals because the amount of coronavirus spreading was low, but case rates, hospitalization rates and death rates have increased since then.
The highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus is driving this fourth pandemic wave in Connecticut. The state Department of Public Health on Thursday placed more than half of the state’s 169 towns and cities on high COVID-19 alert status.
The analysis of case rates, death rates and hospitalization rates based on the vaccine status of affected persons since February showed rates have increased the most among the unvaccinated population. The delta variant was first detected in the state in May.
Another 27,385 people received a first dose of a COVID vaccine since last week, and the fully vaccinated population increased by 24,390 people, according to the latest weekly update.
Through Thursday, 2,438,692 state residents have received at least an initial dose, and 2,239,666 people here are fully vaccinated, meaning they have had a second shot of the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or a shot of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
NEARLY 80% OF THE 380 PATIENTS hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday were unvaccinated, or their vaccination status was unknown.
There have been 2,985 new hospital admissions since May when the delta variant was first detected in the state, and the running total reached 38,058 on Thursday. There was a net increase of two hospitalized patients since Wednesday, after a net decline of 13 the day before.
There were 122 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hartford County on Thursday, 105 patients in Fairfield County and 90 patients in New Haven County.
Another 31 patients were hospitalized Thursday in New London County, 10 patients each in Middlesex and Windham counties, 11 in Litchfield County, and one in Tolland County.
The death rate is considered a lagging indicator of community spread behind the infection and hospitalization rates. There were 25 more coronavirus-related deaths reported since last Thursday. There now have been 8,355 deaths attributed to COVID-19 or complications from the viral disease.
State health officials reported an additional 388 cases of COVID-19 since Wednesday. The positive test rate topped 3.6% based on the 21,649 test results that were received.
There now have been 369,920 cases of COVID-19 reported since March 2020. That equates to 1% of the state’s overall population. There have been 29,375 new cases reported since early May when the delta variant first surfaced in the state.
Locally, there have been 3,789 COVID-19 cases in Naugatuck, 1,023 in Prospect and 616 in Beacon Falls since last March, according to health officials. There have been 95 coronavirus-associated deaths in Naugatuck, six in Beacon Falls and five in Prospect.
The DPH reported there have been 7,121 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among fully vaccinated people.
There have been 53 deaths among breakthrough cases. The fatalities include 38 people age 75 and older, six people each in the 6- to-74 and 55-to-64 age groups, two people in the 45-to-54 age group, and one person in the 35-to-44 age group.
Elio Gugliotti contributed to this article.