Connecticut COVID cases approach 200,000

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By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

HARTFORD — The number of COVID-19 cases is approaching 200,000 with an additional 4,516 new infections that were recorded over Saturday and Sunday.

There now have been 194,636 cases reported since early March out of nearly 4.5 million diagnostic tests, according to state health officials.

Gov. Ned Lamont said a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus has not been detected in Connecticut yet after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported Monday that a man in his 60s living in upstate New York has tested positive for the strain.

The percentage of positive tests declined to 5.3% on a daily basis after reaching 9% twice last week on Wednesday and Thursday. Lamont said the seven-day rolling average was 6.6%.

There was a net increase of 55 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend to 1,111 on Sunday night. There had been a combined decline of 150 patients in the previous three reports.

“We still have good capacity at our hospitals,” Lamont said.

Roughly 78% of the state’s 8,079 inpatient beds were occupied in the latest federal reporting period that ended Dec. 29, and 63% of intensive care unit beds were filled. COVID-19 cases accounted for 16% of all inpatients.

There were 69 more coronavirus-associated deaths reported on Saturday and Sunday. This raised the death toll to 6,168. The month of December was the third most deadly month of the viral outbreak behind April and May with 904 coronavirus-linked deaths.

Locally, there have been 1,952 cases in Naugatuck since March and 68 coronavirus-associated deaths, according to state data. In Prospect, there have been 500 cases and one death. There have been 303 cases and four deaths reported in Beacon Falls.

From Dec. 13 through Dec. 26, the state reported 255 coronavirus cases in Naugatuck, 61 in Prospect and 54 in Beacon Falls. These numbers did not include cases among people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

Elio Gugliotti contributed to this report.