Why does Connecticut have the lowest rate of COVID-19 in the country? It starts with vaccination.
... Connecticut has recorded fewer COVID-19 cases per capita than any other U.S. state over recent weeks, and experts say there's one simple explanation above all others: vaccination.
"If you look at the relationship between vaccination coverage and new cases, they seem to be strongly related," said Dr. David Banach, an epidemiologist at UConn Health. "I think that offers a good part of the explanation."
As of Saturday, 69.4% of Connecticut residents were fully vaccinated, behind only Vermont. That total included 79.7% of residents 12 and older, most of any state. Although geography, weather and human behavior may also help explain why Connecticut's recent delta variant spike was not as intense as surges elsewhere, experts say vaccination is clearly playing a key role....
Though Lamont declined to impose a statewide mask mandate this summer as the delta variant surged, local officials in most of Connecticut's largest towns and cities chose to do so. According to a recent survey from the nonprofit DataHaven, 51% of adults in the state report wearing a mask "very often" when leaving their homes, and 84% say they do so at least sometimes.
To Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer at Hartford HealthCare, this is key.
"One thing I like to believe is that Connecticut has generally been a bit more compliant with masks and social distancing than most of the states in our country," Kumar said. "I'm really proud of our state in how we have managed the pandemic at this time."
Of course, Connecticut's status as the model of COVID-19 containment could change quickly....