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Norwich Schools Suspend In-Person Classes As Community COVID Rate Rises

Marc N. Belanger
Wikimedia Commons

Norwich Public Schools along with Norwich Free Academy will return to remote learning for two weeks because of a spike in coronavirus cases in the area. Town and health officials held a press conference Thursday after the COVID-19 positivity rate spiked to six percent. 

Health officials say they cannot pinpoint where the outbreak started; the uptick in infections doesn’t appear to be tied to any one event or site within the city, but is general throughout the community. 

Backus Hospital reported that as of the weekend, 12 people were being treated there for COVID-19 symptoms.

"Right now at Backus Hospital we are dealing with patients admitted with COVID-19 at high if not similar rates that we did at the height of the outbreak," said Dr William Hogan.

The hospital will set up a drive-through testing site at Dodd stadium in an effort to ramp up the community's ability to track the spread of the disease.

Governor Ned Lamont said the state will implement measures to prevent additional spread. At a Thursday morning press conference he said the outbreak in Norwich looks a lot like the one that hit Danbury in late August.

"We are going to bring in the cavalry," he said. "Extensive testing and track-and-trace and see where this is coming from until we get it at bay. I think you are going to see a lot of action going on right now."

In addition to the Norwich situation, Lamont said he’s also keeping a close eye on New York City where some communities have eight percent positivity rates.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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