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COVID Explainer: Why Are Infection Rates Going Up As More Get The Vaccine?

Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Across the Northeast, COVID-19 cases have increased despite more residents getting vaccinated. Connecticut and New York rank among the worst in the nation for new infections, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Connecticut reported a daily positivity rate of just over 5% earlier this week. This is the highest it’s been since late January. New York remains close behind with a 4% rate.

Dr. Ajay Kumar is chief clinical officer at Hartford Healthcare.

“Now we are finding it more in the younger population, and its concerning because obviously we want to limit the number of hospitals or a number of things that are possible but that population is still getting infected,” Kumar said.

Data from the Connecticut Department of Public Health shows the highest case rates are in those aged 20-29. The state has urged college students not to travel for spring break.

“If you’re going to spring break, beaches and other areas where you are going to be congregating, if you are going to be congregating in those areas where there’s increase risk of transmission, be careful. It could be challenging. Our advice would be remain cautious,” Kumar said.

Kumar said up until now vaccinations have been given to people 45 and above. He said hospitals have seen fewer of them getting admitted for coronavirus while unvaccinated young people get exposed to the virus and its more contagious variants.

“As we open for everybody, a large number of Connecticut residents, hopefully most, will receive the vaccination or get the vaccination and after that hopefully we see a decline or reduction of hospitalizations of COVID patients,” Kumar said.

Governors have no plans to roll back restrictions and said they will continue to expand access to vaccines. They encourage residents to stay vigilant, wear masks and keep their social distance.