HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – In the fight against coronavirus, Connecticut continues to be one of the nationwide leaders.
The percentage of people testing positive in the state is still under two percent.
This has some people puzzled because at the beginning of the month, Connecticut was home to major protests and was also the first state in New England to reopen casinos.
This is a question that many people have asked online. They see photos from areas like Walnut Beach where the beach was packed, yet the numbers are some of the best in the nation.
Channel 3 asked Governor Ned Lamont and a health policy doctor to explain how this is happening.
According to covidexitstrategy.org, Connecticut is one of seven states exceeding expectations in the fight against coronavirus.
The 14-day trend of positive cases is down by more than half, testing is exceeding expectations, there’s adequate hospital space, but most importantly, the percentage of people testing positive remains low.
“We’re down to about one percent,” Lamont said.
“I think we went from being a hotspot to being a national leader on these issues,” said Dr. Summer McGee, University of New Haven Health Sciences.
All encouraging words coming from Connecticut at a time when in just the last 23 days, the state has seen protestors stand shoulder to shoulder while gamblers from across the northeast flocked to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
Many want to know why the health consequences many experts expected hasn’t materialized.
“I think what we’re finding is wearing the mask is the biggest determinant in terms of what we see, in terms of the infection rate,” Lamont said.
Dr. Summer McGee, the Dean of Health Sciences at the University of New Haven agrees with Lamont.
“It’s much harder to have community spread because so many people for so long did such a good job of staying home and not going out in public, now that they are, they’re following these public health measures like wearing masks,” Dr. McGee said.
Dr. McGee also points to the methodical way the state has reopened. Connecticut is working with a 30-day buffer between phases of reopening.
“We need at least three or four weeks to see if the actions we’ve taken around reopening are going to have an impact,” Dr. McGee said.
Several southern states opened months ago, spacing their phases out by weeks and in some cases, days.
Dr. McGee says the numbers show they’re now paying the price. Infection rates in states like Florida are exceeding 10 percent of those tested.
“They didn’t take the time to really ensure that what they had done in that earlier phase wasn’t going to result in a spike in cases,” Dr. McGee said.
It’s resulting in Lamont considering a 14-day quarantine for those arriving from hard-hit states.
After making positive strides, experts don’t want to lose that momentum.
“We can’t be in a race, we’ve got to take our time and be in this for the long haul and if we continue to do that here in Connecticut, I think we’re going to have a much more successful fall and hopefully be able to keep our economy open,” Dr. McGee said.
Overall as a state, Connecticut appears to be doing well, but there may be a flare up of sorts in southeastern CT.