On a day the state experienced its lowest positivity rate since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Connecticut along with New York and New Jersey added eight new states with rising infection rates to the list of those from which visitors and returning residents must quarantine for 14 days.
That doubles the list the tri-state governors launched last week to 16 states on the quarantine list, all of them in the deep South or west of the Mississippi River.
Of 21,416 Connecticut tests reported — the largest amount in a single day — 152 came back positive. That’s an infection rate of just 0.7 percent, the lowest to date.
Hospitalizations declined to 98 and there were two fatalities related to the virus. Neighboring Massachusetts reported its first day of zero deaths in months — a marker Connecticut is still aiming for — and removed Connecticut from its mandatory quarantine list.
While all that is good news for the state, Gov. Ned Lamont is still keeping a wary eye on the rest of the nation.
The list includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Lamont announced the expansion of the list via his Twitter account Tuesday morning.
States are added to the list based on two criteria — a new daily positive test total higher than 10 per 100,000 residents or a 10 percent or higher positive test rate over a 7-day rolling average.
“Right now in the last few days, we’ve been less than 1 percent, so there’s a real incentive not to have highly infectious people coming into our state,” Lamont said. “And by the way, the shoe was on the other foot just about 90 days ago.”
In Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Nevada, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Utah, the positive infection rate is over 10 percent for a 7-day moving average, according to data from Johns Hopkins coronavirus resource center. In the remaining seven states — Arkansas, California, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee — the rolling average is on the rise and the daily positive rate is higher than 10 per 100,000.
If people have recently been tested for the virus, they could show negative test results to shorten their mandatory quarantine.
Dr. Michael Parry, chairman of infectious diseases for Stamford Health, said he’s hopeful the travel advisory will discourage people from coming to the state from highly infectious areas and reintroducing the virus to the state.
“Their June is what we were seeing in April with rapidly rising numbers of cases,” Parry said. “We have gone through that peak and are one the other side of the curve ... My hope is that Connecticut and New York and New Jersey and Rhode Island will continue to have a diminishing number of cases and hopefully when these other states realize that you can’t open up without taking precautions, they will reach a peak and that will decrease and they’ll have a curve that will look like ours.”Read Full Article
Through June, with one day of reportable results left in the month, the percentage of tests showing positive results in Connecticut stood at 1.84 — among the lowest in the United States. In the month of June, Connecticut has averaged 130 positive tests a day on 7,072 average daily tests.
That compares with far more dour May results: 451 positive tests per day, or 8.8 percent of the 5,131 average daily tests — numbers that would have put Connecticut on its own quarantine list.
But Parry said while the June numbers are good news, they don’t translate to communitywide immunity, so protections such as masks, thorough hand-washing and maintaining social distance will likely continue to be advised well into the future.
“This is a highly contagious virus so unless you’re very rigorous about that you will see rising infection rates,” he said.
Adherence to the travel advisory and quarantine won’t be strictly enforced in the state, as Lamont has said there won’t be any serious repercussions for people who violate the order. By contrast, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened fines of $1,000 for anyone unwilling to comply.
Lamont said Tuesday morning traffic at Bradley International Airport has declined again since the advisory was implemented last week, and said he’s continued discussions about the possibility of offering COVID-19 testing at the airport.
“I think we’re going to get there and get it done,” Lamont said. “I was talking to the president of JetBlue just today about how perhaps they should test in Florida before someone infected even gets on the plane. Then they have a certificate when they arrive here. I can tell you that flights are down and passengers are down since the quarantine was put in place so there are fewer people coming from infected areas to Connecticut.”
Lamont said last week his administration has been in touch with hotels and travel agents in the state. Travelers landing at Bradley or checking into a hotel in the state will likely be asked to fill out a form asking them questions about where they’ve been and whether they’re experiencing any symptoms.
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