By Dr. Stephanie Paulmeno, Greenwich Dept of Health
Here is the latest update (3-16-23) of not only our current COVID-numbers in Connecticut, but also a comparative look at how we have been doing in the different tracked areas for COVID-19 just since the beginning of this year; January 2023.
The Greenwich Department of Health uses CT-Department of Public Health data to track and trend our COVID-19 numbers weekly. I used to track and record them on a daily bases going back to 2021, but on June 30, 2022,the state switched to providing only weekly reports. Deaths are reported every Thursday, and the COVID data on Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities was also presented separately on Thursdays.
Seeing each weekly set of numbers at one point in time is interesting, but you get a very different view when seeing the figures from any given point in time in comparison to the figures from previous weeks, months and years.
This attached 2-page chart shows how Connecticut has trended since January 2023. In looking at these consecutive numbers I ask that you to look at the key categories of new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. We continue to have thousands of new cases every 7 days, and our deaths attributed to COVID-19 every 7 days continues to range between 33 and 75; which is way too many lives lost to a largely vaccine-preventable contagious illness. The recently added 2nd page of the GDoH chart now includes a list of the over 13 COVID-19 variants that are currently circulating in Connecticut, as well the percentage of our different Connecticut age groups that are fully vaccinated, with the rest therefore being only partially protected or not protected at all.
Please focus in on the numbers of new cases we have had over each last 7-day period, as well as the numbers of people in Connecticut who are still dying from COVID-19 every 7 days. While our numbers have certainly improved, please take into account that they only reflect people who get COVID-19-tested in labs, and NOT those doing home tests, thus we know our figures are higher than we see here. Our Positivity Rate has not been under 5% since 12-13-21. This figure of 5% is the level at which communities are guided to begin loosening up their restrictions that are/were in place to contain the spread of the virus to others (COVID-19 Testing: Understanding the “Percent Positive” | Johns Hopkins | Bloomberg School of Public Health (jhu.edu) Those of us doing contact tracing and monitoring calls are aware that when we call an individual, there are often many others in the family, young and old, who have not tested despite exposure, and in many cases, despite being symptomatic. One does
not need to be symptomatic to have COVID-19, or to suffer the system-wide impact of a COVID-19 infection.
We continue to lose way too many people to COVID-19, which perhaps could be improved if we had better Bivalent COVID-19 booster rates, which were designed to build antibodies against both the newer Omicron variants as well as the older earlier versions, unlike the antibody boosting capacity of the pre-bivalent vaccines.
There are many false narratives about the safety of the vaccines, and all kinds of misinformation being spewed about thousands of deaths. This is completely untrue Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination |CDC. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes the bivalent vaccine to be both effective and safe following numerous tests Bivalent boosters provide better protection against severe COVID-19 | National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is supported by both the FDA COVID-19 Bivalent Vaccine Boosters | FDA and the CDC Safety Monitoring of Bivalent COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Booster Doses Among Persons Aged ≥12 Years — United States, August 31–October 23, 2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov) and Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination | CDC
We in public health urge you to consider your and your family’s own risk factors, as well as the risk factors of those with whom you interact, in making personal decisions about your own mask-wearing, attending group gatherings, and getting you and your children vaccinated and boosted with the bivalent booster vaccine.
Who should receive an updated booster vaccine? (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
The CDC recommends 1 updated booster dose (3-2-23):
• For everyone aged 5 years and older who completed their primary series.
• For children aged 6 months–4 years who completed the Moderna primary series.
• There is no booster recommendation for children aged 6 months–4 years who got the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine primary series.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health also reports out weekly on the cumulative number of number of SARS-CoV-2 variants (mutations) that have been identified among Connecticut residents who became infected. As of 3-16-23 this was our breakdown (Governor Lamont Provides Update on Connecticut’s Coronavirus Response Efforts) :
• Omicron: 31,880 cases
• Delta: 17,233 cases
• Alpha: 2,524 cases
• Iota: 1,083 cases
• Other: 1,046 cases
• Gamma: 137 cases
• Mu: 84 cases
• Epsilon: 60 cases
• Lambda: 38 cases
• Beta: 23 cases
• Eta: 10 cases
• Kappa: 2 cases
• Zeta: 1 case
In Fairfield County, Connecticut, the COVID community level is Low (on 3-15-23) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC.
CDC recommendations for maintaining your health and safety include:
• Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, including recommended booster doses.
• Maintain ventilation improvements.
• Avoid contact with people who have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
• Follow recommendations for isolation if you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
• Follow the recommendations for what to do if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19.
• If you are at high risk of getting very sick, talk with a healthcare provider about additional prevention actions.