Daily coronavirus updates: Connecticut stuck in COVID-19 holding pattern as positivity rate dips but hospitalizations increase

Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant

After mixed signs in December about the trajectory of Connecticut’s COVID-19 outbreak, the state’s holding pattern has continued into January, with some metrics suggesting the ongoing surge has begun to ease while others indicate it continues at close to peak force.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday announced 4,516 new COVID-19 cases on 85,344 tests since Saturday, for a rate of 5.3% — much lower than the state recorded late last week. Connecticut’s seven-day positivity rate now stands at 6.6%, down a touch from recent days.

The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut, however, increased Monday, after having decreased steadily over the past week. The state currently has 1,111 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, according to state numbers, up 55 since Saturday though still lower than at any point in December.

It is possible, though not certain, that the unexpected increase in hospitalizations Monday is evidence of a post-Christmas spike experts warned of.

What’s clear is that COVID-19 continues to cause mass death in Connecticut. Lamont on Monday announced 69 new coronavirus-linked deaths over the past two days, making 6,168 total during the pandemic. The state has now reported 264 COVID-19 deaths in the past week, its most in any seven-day period since May.

Since March, there have been 194,636 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut.

The United States has recorded 352,620 COVID-19 deaths during the pandemic, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University. There have been nearly 21 million confirmed COVID-19 cases this year in the United States. Around the world there have been a reported 1.8 million coronavirus-associated deaths.

Alex Putterman can be reached at aputterman@courant.com.