HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – The northeast is becoming a COVID hotspot again.

Several states in the northeast, including Connecticut, have the highest number of coronavirus cases per capita in the last seven days.

Experts point to the number of variants in Connecticut now.

The UK variant, the New York variant, and the Brazil, South African, and California strains are all in the state.

The spread of the UK variant could be contributing to the spike.

“The continues relaxation of prevention measures as cases are still high and while concerning variants are spreading rapidly throughout the United States are a concerning threat to the progress we have made,” said Rochelle Walensky, CDC Director.

According to the CDC, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut are among the top ten states with the high number of new cases per capita in the past week.

In Connecticut, the numbers aren’t as bad as last spring or even this January, but cases are inching up, even as vaccinations continue.

“The combination of more transmissible variants, plus the relaxing of some guidelines, combined with COVID fatigue, have contributed to a real increase,” said Dr. Summer McGee.

University of New Haven’s Dr. Summer McGee says there’s a concern over the New York and UK variants, especially since both are more infectious.

Dr. McGee says she’s concerned that relaxed restrictions, plus the emerging variants may cause another spike.

“We may see COVID spikes that are more rapidly increasing before we can get to herd immunity in our state,” Dr. McGee said.

Hospitalizations have been declining in the state. Doctors say that’s because more young people are contracting COVID.

Deputy Director at the Jackson Lab for Genomic Medicine Mark Adams says so far, the vaccinations have proven to do a good job against the variants.

“The evidence that’s available to date is that the vaccines are still mostly effective against the lineages,” Adams said.

Physicians suggest people get signed up for a vaccine as soon as possible. While they’re waiting, they suggest continuing to wear masks, social distance, and limit interactions outside of your family.

“The light is at the end of the tunnel, but we’re not there yet,” Dr. McGee said. S

Some healthy experts are concerned that the US could experience a third wave like some parts of Europe.

Right now, several European countries are experiencing new lockdowns because of surges.

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