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As Case Numbers Rise, Lamont Announces New Initiatives To Stop COVID-19 Spread

Clinical staff members coronavirus drive-through test
Joe Amon/Connecticut Public/NENC

Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that COVID-19 hospitalizations have climbed to over 100 for the first time since June, prompting officials to announce new initiatives to combat the rising coronavirus infection rate.

Lamont, in front of a Charter Oak Health Center that serves as a community coronavirus testing site in Hartford, announced resources for those who need to self-isolate or quarantine. Community resource coordinators will be available to help find places to quarantine for those who live in multigenerational homes. The state is dedicating $220,000 each month to short-term hotel options.

Amy Porter, commissioner of the Department of Rehabilitation Services, says that if a contact tracer calls a resident about possibly having been exposed to the virus, that call will come with an offer to set up the resident with a coordinator.

“They’re here to help people who have to stay home, identify what their specific barriers are and work with the individuals in their communities to help with those needs,” said Porter.

She said coordinators can make sure residents get COVID-19 kits with thermometers and pulse oximeters. They also will help the resident coordinate with a food bank or other food delivery service.

This announcement comes after the state’s positivity rate climbed to 1.8% for the first time in months. Lamont said November will be a key month in helping to determine how well Connecticut is fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

“By the end of November, we will have a better idea of where we stand in terms of easier testing, five-minute testing, where we are in the therapies and perhaps where we are with vaccinations by the end of the year,” said Lamont. “It’s a key few months.”

The governor said officials are watching the positivity rate closely. He said the increase in cases does not appear to be connected to in-person learning at colleges and K-12 schools. He said he doesn’t believe the positivity rate is high enough to postpone Phase 3 of reopening, set to begin Oct. 8. 

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