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COVID-19 test positivity rate at 2.1%, 130,000 vaccine doses expected next week

The number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut on Thursday dropped by 10 from the previous day, bringing total hospitalizations to 485, and the positivity rate from 46,017 COVID-19 tests was 2.12%, according to data from Gov. Ned Lamont's office.

There were 511 hospitalizations from COVID-19 on Tuesday, 500 on Monday and 535 last Friday. New London County had 31 hospitalizations on Thursday, up from 24 on Friday, 23 on Monday, and 29 on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Nineteen people died statewide from Wednesday to Thursday, bringing total deaths from COVID-19 to 7,614.

The governor's office reported that as of Thursday, 887,325 vaccine doses had been administered, including 304,539 second doses. The state has vaccinated 73% of the population over age 75 and 44% of the population between ages 65 and 74.

Vaccine eligibility expands to those ages 55 to 64 on Monday. Connecticut also expects to receive 30,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, pending anticipated approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

When combined with Moderna and Pfizer doses, that would bring expected doses for next week to 130,000. Lamont is encouraging people not to "brand shop," saying all vaccines are safe and highly effective.

Department of Public Health data show that 116 of the 169 cities and towns in the state are in the red zone, meaning case rates higher than 15 per 100,000 over the past two weeks. Exceptions in southeastern Connecticut are that East Lyme is in orange alert level and Old Lyme is in yellow alert, respectively meaning 10-14 and 5-9 cases per 100,000.

For the week of Feb. 17 to 23, Connecticut reported 38 COVID-19 cases and seven deaths among nursing home residents, with 29 cases and zero deaths among staff.

The governor didn't hold his usual 4 p.m. briefing on Thursday, but he did hold a news conference Thursday morning in Waterbury, to tout the city's vaccination plan for educators.

e.moser@theday.com

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