CONNECTICUT —The state Department of Public Health reported 490 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 69,127 since the pandemic began. There were another nine coronavirus-associated deaths, increasing the state’s fatality toll to 4,604. Seventeen additional hospitalizations were reported.
The regional spike in coronavirus cases has added a new wrinkle to the state’s ongoing mitigation-through-travel-restrictions strategy. Both neighboring Rhode Island and Massachusetts exceed the minimum metric needed to stay off the list.
“We’re going to work something out with Massachusetts,” Gov. Ned Lamont said during a news conference Wednesday. He acknowledged that it’s impossible to enforce travel restrictions between Connecticut and its immediate cartographic neighbors as “people ride across the border to get milk.”
States are put on the advisory list if they have a daily positive coronavirus test rate higher than 10 cases per 100,000 residents, or a 10 percent or higher positive rate over a seven-day rolling average.
Last week, Lamont and the governors of New York and New Jersey came to an arrangement in which each state’s travel quarantine restrictions would not be applied to each other’s residents. Lamont said that all the regional governors continued to confer on the matter, and teased a “7-state consortium.”
Using the experiences of schools in Europe as his north star, Lamont predicted that grades K through 8th in Connecticut would likely remain open. “They have been experiencing a very low infection rate in those classrooms,” the governor said. “High schools are more likely to stay hybrid.”
Lamont said that although the positivity rates in some local university towns were climbing, it was the sports and social activity, not the learning, that was turning them into “red zones.”.
“In a classroom, with a mask on, following the social protocols, is one of the safest places you can be right now,” Lamont said.
Testing for the coronavirus continues at a rapid pace, with 14,305 performed in the past 24-hour reporting period. A total of 2,232,603 tests have been performed.