Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio
The state tested 8,359 people for COVID-19 yesterday. Two percent of those tests came back positive. Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s weekly COVID-19 infection rate ticked upward again Wednesday after the state recorded its first back-to-back daily rates at or beyond 2% since mid-June, according to Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration.

Of the 8,359 tests completed Tuesday, 164 — or 2% — were positive. Monday’s rate was 2.4%, the largest single-day tally since mid-June.

Connecticut last logged back-to-back days at or beyond the 2% threshold on June 14 and 15.

After most recent two reports, the state’s average infection rate for the past week stood at 1.6%. It hovered at or below 1% for much of the summer, but Connecticut’s rate remains one of the lowest in the nation.

Lamont, who recently eased pandemic-related restrictions on businesses for a third time since shutdowns began last spring, said he would consider tightening rules again if weekly infection rates approached 5%.

The Lamont administration also reported 16 more people hospitalized with the coronavirus, boosting the total to 188. That sum has grown by 50 patients over the past week, an average of just more than seven patients per day.

That’s the most people Connecticut has had hospitalized with COVID-19 since June 15, when the tally was 201 patients. That’s still well below the peak of 1,949 people hospitalized with the virus on April 21.

Administration officials said just 2% of Connecticut’s hospital beds currently are being used by COVID patients. And hospital beds statewide are only half full — taking into account patients with all types of conditions — leaving significant capacity should the pandemic worsen again.

The latest report also included four more deaths from COVID-19, pushing the statewide total since the pandemic began to 4,537.

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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