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Tracking COVID’s resurgence across Connecticut

Originally posted at FOX61

HARTFORD, Conn. — Testing for COVID-19 is increasing as the state is seeing a spike in positive cases.

A large portion of the state in a red alert and many people have concerns and questions.

In Meriden, cars were at a standstill waiting for their turn at the drive-thru and the same was seen at the Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

“We are open from 8:30 to 4, recently we just started those hours this week. We are open five days a week we’re offering testing, no appointments are needed,” said Vanessa Briones who is the COVID operations manager at the Community Health Center.

Even with more testing available, the number of positive cases are increasing at the same time.

This is the reason why Yale and other research collectives are tracking infections, through wastewater.

“When a person is infected with the coronavirus that causes covid-19, that infection often can spread to the gut and that means when they use the toilet and stool comes out, their stool will be infected with that virus, so that means that it’s going to show up at the wastewater treatment plant and the more people infected, the more we’re going to see at a wastewater treatment plant,” said Jordan Peccia.

You can see over 60-percent of the state completely in the red, but where is the spread coming from?

The latest data showing Bridgeport and New Haven with significant spikes within the past few days… numbers the state hasn’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic.

This is understandable with the positivity rate of new cases jumping up again over six percent… since this past Thursday.

The Department of Public Health is reporting a positive rate of around 6-point-4 percent.

While state leaders push for a new COVID-19 tracker app on smartphones, researchers say they will continue to monitor through other means.

“Testing data isn’t always perfect and especially when there’s an outbreak the testing system gets strapped, it gets a little bit slower and sometimes we’re not able to test everyone we want to test. The wastewater doesn’t see any of that. If a person is sick and infected, it’s going to show up in the wastewater,” said Peccia.

Health officials say going forward people need to hunker down and if you feel sick… get tested … A process that is now easier to do.

Josh Geballe said, “We’re up to 238 testing sites in Connecticut we’ve added about 40 in the last week and a half… We’ve actually deployed 50 members of the National Guard to beef up the testing at some of the sites that are working to expand.”

Health officials say as the state continues to see a rise in hospitalizations it’s good to continue practicing health safety guidelines to help bring down the curve.

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