This Formerly Safe State Is Having a "Serious Outbreak," Official Warns
One city has seen a 345 percent increase in COVID cases in the past two weeks.
As the U.S. begins to see an overall drop in COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations, some parts of the country are still struggling to get the virus under control. Recently coronavirus cases have started to spike in one state that had been thought of as "safe." Connecticut Public Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford, MD, just declared that the city of Danbury is experiencing a "serious outbreak."
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) put out an Aug. 21 COVID-19 alert encouraging residents of Danbury to stay home due to the significant spike in cases in the area. According to a statement from the DPH, "Between August 2 to 20, Danbury recorded at least 178 new COVID-19 cases, a sharp increase over the previous two-week period when only 40 new cases were recorded." This represents a 345 percent rise in new cases.
The DPH is attributing much of the current outbreak to both domestic and international travel. Connecticut is now requiring anyone traveling to the state to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to prevent further transmission.
"We really need an all hands on deck approach. We need everyone in Danbury to take extreme precaution," Gifford said in a statement. The DPH is asking that residents of Danbury stay home when possible, wear masks, limit indoor gatherings to those they live with, and avoid large outdoor gatherings. According to Danbury mayor Mark Boughton's Twitter, parks and sports are being shut down in the city for the time being to prevent further spread of the virus. However, officials have not yet addressed if the uptick in cases will affect the planned return to school.
Connecticut has been one of the few states that was able to keep cases relatively low throughout the pandemic. The state's highest seven-day average was just over 1,000 back at the height of the pandemic in April, and was most recently just over 100, according to data from The New York Times. Anthony Fauci, MD, even praised the state for how it has handled COVID during a briefing. "Connecticut is in a good place," he said on Aug. 3.
But if Danbury's cases continue to climb, the city's coronavirus surge could cause the state's reported cases to spike drastically, pushing Connecticut into dangerous territory. And for a state that managed to turn things around, This Former "Red Zone" State Now Has the Lowest Infection Rate in the U.S.