A drop in the number of COVID-19 cases reported locally the past two weeks is raising hopes that the downturns are not a mirage.
The state’s most recent report, issued Dec. 31, showed 107 positive cases in Plainville. This is down from 144 the previous week and 159 the week ending Dec. 19.
Meriden had 318 cases for the week ending Dec. 19 and 317 cases for the week that followed. Wallingford had 141 cases reported by Dec. 19 and 139 for the week that ended the day after Christmas. Southington went 151/146; Cheshire, 83/68; and North Haven, 70/68.
Compare this to the numbers reported earlier in December. Meriden had 367 cases for the week ending Dec. 12, Wallingford had 192 cases that week, Southington had 190, Cheshire had 94 and North Haven had 85.
“There is potential for us to return to some sense of normalcy in 2021, but until then we all need to continue to do our part and protect ourselves and loved ones,” Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said.
However, health leaders, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, were concerned about travel between Christmas and New Year’s, and people ignoring pandemic safeguards, both causing a dramatic increase in infection rates and turning any hope of significant decrease of the disease into a mirage.
“We have a big problem,” Dr. Fauci told The Washington Post. “Look at the numbers — the numbers are really quite dramatic.”
The first and worst sign at hand is Connecticut’s rising positivity rate. Lamont reported 2,045 new cases on 22,839 tests, for a positivity rate of 8.95 percent, on Dec. 31. He had reported a 9.1 percent positivity rate on Dec. 30, despite state hopes that the numbers were beginning to nosedive, with 1,696 new cases on 18,548 tests.
Dec. 30 saw the state’s highest single-day positivity rate since the spring, and the state’s seven-day positivity rate rose last week to 6.65 percent, up from 5.6 percent at the start of the week, officials said. Yet paradoxically, as of Dec. 31 the state had 1,136 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. That's 31 less since Dec. 30, and the fewest since late November.