According to state data, as of Monday, Feb. 15 the state has the lowest Covid test positivity rate it has had in months.
As of Feb. 15, the Covid test positivity rate is 2.83 percent, with 580 new positive Covid cases, bringing the total number of total Covid cases in Connecticut to 270,822.
As of Feb. 15, there are 606 patients hospitalized due to Covid symptoms and 7,449 deaths in the state due to Covid.
At his press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 16, Gov. Ned Lamont said that the low test positivity rate was good news for the state.
“This is a trend that is incredibly positive,” Gov. Lamont said. “It’s a trend that we see throughout the region. We’re about the same rate as Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Our rate is little lower than New York, but as part of a region that’s good and part of a country, that’s good.”
However, Gov. Lamont said that there are still concerns about Covid variants.
On Feb. 15, a Fairfield County resident tested positive for the South African variant, aka the B.1.351 variant.
The variant is more contagious than the original Covid virus.
He added that there is a growing concern about a variant from the United Kingdom.
“I heard today from the federal Covid task force that 50 percent of all infections by March could be the United Kingdom variant,” Gov. Lamont said. “We have seen what that variant did in terms of a fast spread in places like Britain and Portugal.”
Lamont: “The vaccine is on the way!”
According to state statistics, Connecticut is still one of the top states for vaccinating its residents, currently the fourth highest when it comes to vaccinations.
As of Feb. 15, 66 percent of the state’s residents 75 years and older have been vaccinated, with 23 percent of residents 65 to 74 years-old vaccinated, and a total of 691,836 total doses were administered.
“You give us the vaccines, we give residents a shot in the arm,” Gov. Lamont said.
Gov. Lamont said that, within the next few days, the federal government will start increasing its distribution of vaccines to Connecticut by 22 percent. He said that vaccine supplies will also be increased to pharmacies throughout the state.
“Hopefully the pace will pick up as the vaccinations continue to pick up,” he said. “We are going to be getting more vaccines from the federal government, a 22 percent increase in supply.”
However, Gov. Lamont cautioned that winter storms have been disruptive when it comes to vaccine distribution to the states, including Connecticut.
“Here in New England we’re pretty good at storms, but if you look at places like Texas they’re not so sure how to handle storms,” Gov. Lamont said. “Out of Kalamazoo, where Pfizer comes from, they are de-icing planes and trying to get people to sort the vaccines. That may slow us up for a couple of days. That’s true for Memphis and Louisville where Moderna comes from via Federal Express.”
Reopenings to continue
A few hours after Gov. Lamont’s press conference, the state’s Office of the Arts announced that effective Feb. 17, performing arts venues may operate at 50 percent capacity with spacing and can sell concessions and food.
Back at the press conference, Gov. Lamont announced that starting on March 19, private, social, and recreational events at commercial venues will be allowed with fifty percent indoor capacity capped at 100 people, and up to 200 people outdoors.
Gov. Lamont added that further restrictions may be lifted over the next few weeks, all contingent on the state’s statistics.
Statistics as of Feb. 15
Total cases in Litchfield County: 10,743
Winchester: 477 cases, five deaths
Torrington: 2,691 cases, 126 deaths
Barkhamsted: 127 cases, one death
Colebrook: 38 cases, no deaths
New Hartford: 268 cases, three deaths
Norfolk: 59 cases, no deaths
Testing: Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s drive-thru testing is at 211 High Street in Torrington from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Community Health & Wellness (CHWC), Torrington, will continue to offer free COVID-19 testing throughout the month of February. Testing will be conducted on Fridays in an outdoor tent at its Torrington facility at 469 Migeon Avenue, from 9:30 a.m. until noon. The dates are: February 19, and February 26.
Testing is available on a walk-up/first come first serve basis, with no appointment, insurance, symptoms, or doctor order needed. For those who wish to preregister, a form can be found on the CHWC website at www.chwctorr.org. The test is free, with results known within three days.
More testing will be announced in the future throughout the winter months. In addition, appointments can be made for testing at CHWC’s Torrington facility by calling 860-387-0400.
According to a press release issued on Friday, Feb. 12, CVS Pharmacy at 49 Main Street in Winsted is scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments to individuals over the age of 65.
Please note that if problems are experienced with Internet Explorer, try using the Google Chrome browser to navigate their site. Residents without computer access may call (888) 300-4419.
Other vaccine providers – all located in Torrington:
Walmart Pharmacy – 970 Torringford Street – no phone appointments available
Walgreens Pharmacy – 28 Elm Street – no phone appointments available
Torrington Area Health District – 350 Main Street – no phone appointments available
Hartford Healthcare 153 South Main Street – 860-827-7690
Charlotte Hungerford Hospital – 540 Main Street – 860-827-7690
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