Some CT travel restrictions ‘a real possibility’ as COVID cases rise


With key COVID-19 metrics climbing in July amid concerns over the delta variant, Gov. Ned Lamont said certain Connecticut travel restrictions could return.

Travel restrictions were broadly lifted in March as the vaccine rate rose and cases started to drop off, but in Connecticut and other parts of the country, the number of infections and hospitalizations have started to slowly rise in recent weeks.

“Travel is a real possibility, obviously little Connecticut doing by itself would not be very effective, most people come in by car,” Lamont said last week. “Look, Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida, they’ve got 10 times the infection rate and beginning to have 10 times the hospitalization rate we do, so you’ve got to watch it.”


In Connecticut, the positivity rate among new COVID-19 tests jumped from a low of 0.30 percent in June to a recent high last week of 2.71 percent. Hospitalizations, a metric that Lamont has repeatedly said is among the most important in his decision making, have also been increasing from a low of 25 on July 9 up to 76 on Friday, state statistics show.

Meanwhile, the state has been working to drive up the total number of residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19 despite a sharp decline in demand.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 72.1 percent of all eligible Connecticut residents — people age 12 and over — were fully vaccinated as of Saturday afternoon. That number has been slow to increase in recent weeks as providers contend with vaccine hesitancy.

Despite an increase in infections and hospitalizations, Lamont has said he has no plans to reinstate other COVID-19 restrictions such as universal masking.

This comes as the delta variant, first found in India, continues to spread throughout Connecticut. The latest report from researchers at the Yale School of Public Health and Jackson Labs shows that 80 percent of all samples sequenced are delta variant.

The variant has drawn significant concern from officials given that researchers believe that it is 60 percent more transmissible than the alpha variant, which previously was the dominant strain in Connecticut.

The variant has led to outbreaks among unvaccinated people across the country.



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