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Connecticut’s positivity rate reaches 9% as omicron variant spreads

Nathaniel Rivard 20, of Naugatuck leans back as COVID collection specialist Jon Schwartz administers a swab test during Griffin Health's COVID-19 drive-thru testing site at Tunxis community college on November 12, 2020 in Farmington, Connecticut.
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday morning that 9% of the coronavirus tests returned since Monday were positive.

Lamont said that’s the highest single-day positivity rate since the state began doing significant amounts of testing more than a year ago.

“While 9% is a staggering number, I want you to know that we do have the means to keep you safe,” Lamont said. “More importantly, you have the means to keep yourself safe.”

Lamont urged people to get a booster shot at one of the several locations offered across the state and wear a mask in indoor public places.

Even with the state’s current holiday surge of COVID-19 and the rapid spread of the omicron variant across the country, doctors say a booster still protects against serious illness. Limiting serious illness can also help keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

The leader of Yale’s COVID Tracker project said omicron is now the dominant variant among outpatients tested by Yale-New Haven Hospital. Fifty-six percent of the patients who tested positive for the illness have omicron.

Yale public health professor Nathan Grubaugh said he expects omicron to become the most common variant of the illness in the state by Christmas. He said omicron should have taken over as the dominant variant across New England by Dec. 21, based on regional data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Matt Dwyer is a producer for Where We Live and a reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department.