COVID deaths inch up; Rhode Island back on travel advisory

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By Paul Hughes, Republican-American

HARTFORD — The COVID-19 death toll in Connecticut inched closer to 5,000 as coronavirus-associated deaths topped 200,000 nationally on Tuesday, officials reported.

An additional death reported since Monday brought the number of fatalities to 4,496 since the first death of a state resident was announced in mid-March.

In Connecticut, state health officials reported Tuesday that there have been 3,601 confirmed COVID-19 deaths of people who tested positive around the time of their deaths and another 895 probable deaths.

Probable deaths involve untested persons whose death certificate lists COVID-19 as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death. Probable and confirmed deaths had been reported together until June 1 when federal reporting guidelines changed.

The 1,434 confirmed and probable deaths in Hartford County led Connecticut’s eight counties. There have been 1,421 in Fairfield County, where the virus first surfaced in the state.

The death toll in New Haven County reached 1,113 through Tuesday. There have been 140 deaths in Litchfield County, 193 in Middlesex County, 114 in New London County, 66 in Tolland County and 15 in Windham County.

The Naugatuck Valley Health District reported Monday there have been 37 confirmed deaths associated with coronavirus and four probable deaths in Naugatuck. Health officials have reported no coronavirus-associated deaths in Beacon Falls or Prospect.

Whites accounted for 3,286 of the statewide deaths, while Blacks represented 662 and Hispanics 400.

There were 136 deaths per 100,000 population among white residents, 171 deaths per 100,000 among Black residents, and 68 per 100,000 among Hispanics.

The Department of Public Health reported the median age of those who died among the white population is 47 years, compared to 34 years among Blacks, and 29 years among Hispanics.

TRAVELERS FROM NEIGHBORING RHODE ISLAND are once again subject to the state’s travel quarantine after COVID-19 rates picked up in the Ocean State.

The Lamont administration Tuesday announced Rhode Island rejoined the watch list of states and territories with high rates of coronavirus infection along with four other states — Arizona, Minnesota, Nevada and Wyoming.

No states and territories were removed in this week’s updated tri-state travel advisory for Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. The three states instituted the regional policy on June 24 to check the spread of COVID-19 from outside the three states.

There are now 33 states subject to the reporting and quarantining requirements, plus the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam. The watch list is updated every Tuesday.

The tri-state travel advisory applies to travelers from states that either have a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a positivity rate higher than 10% over a rolling seven-day average.

Travelers from listed states are required to self-quarantine for 14 days unless they have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of travel, or until they test negative after arriving in Connecticut.

Rhode Island is back on the watch list because statewide numbers that were released Monday showed the number of cases there had neared 11 per 100,000, said Max Reiss, director of communications for Gov. Ned Lamont.

The Rhode Island Department of Health reported 92 confirmed coronavirus cases and two more deaths on Tuesday. The state has now had more than 24,000 confirmed cases and 1,099 deaths.

There have been 56,160 cases in Connecticut with the addition of 136 more on Tuesday and 4,496 deaths.

As of Monday there had been 434 confirmed coronavirus cases in Naugatuck and 59 in Beacon Falls.

The Chesprocott Health District’s weekly update reported Sept. 18 showed there have been 88 cases in Prospect.

Elio Gugliotti contributed to this report.