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Connecticut tops 500,000 infections, hospitalizations rise

December 29, 2021 GMT

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut on Wednesday topped 500,000 coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, as the omicron variant fueled new cases and pushed hospitalizations statewide over 1,100 for the first time since January.

The state reported 7,520 new cases since Tuesday’s data was released, out of nearly 42,300 tests administered. The positive test rate was just under 18% — the highest daily rate since widespread testing began last year. Officials said some of Wednesday’s data include test results from the the past several days to a week.

Gov. Ned Lamont’s office also reported an additional 150 people were hospitalized Wednesday, bringing the total to 1,113. About 74% of the hospital patients are not fully vaccinated, officials said. Hospitalizations have nearly tripled since Dec. 1.

During a surge in infections that began in the fall of 2020, hospitalizations peaked at 1,269 on Dec. 14, 2020. The highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began was 1,972 on April 22, 2020.

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Many testing sites around the state were seeing long lines and running out of testing materials this week. Lamont on Tuesday called up nearly 100 members of the Connecticut National Guard to help distribute about 3 million COVID-19 at-home tests and 6 million N95 masks to cities and towns for them to give to residents.

Lamont said in a statement Wednesday, however, that out-of-state shipping and warehouse problems were causing a delay in the at-home tests arriving in Connecticut. He did not indicate when the state will receive the tests that it will provide to local officials.

The 500,000 infections represent about 14% of the state’s population of 3.6 million people. The state, which only reports deaths on Thursdays, topped 9,000 deaths from the virus last week.