By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
Doctors from Connecticut’s two largest health systems say they believe the latest wave of the COVID-19 pandemic could peak in the state.
Their comments came as Gov. Ned Lamont’s office released data Thursday showing the state recorded 161 COVID-19-related deaths over the past week, bringing its total during the pandemic to 9,442. were up from 121 reported the previous week in what the state said was the largest weekly increase in COVID-19 deaths in Connecticut since February 2021.
But the state also saw hospitalizations drop to 22 as of Wednesday, with 1,917 patients treated for the virus.
Dr Ulysses Wu, head of infectious diseases at Hartford HealthCare, said that while one-day’s data in and of itself is not proof that the recent wave has peaked, it appears to be part of a larger trend .
“I think if you take the big picture from 1,000 feet you start to see a decrease in rate of climb again and that’s very important,” he said. “So if you look like we’re on a roller coaster, maybe we’re getting close to the top at this point, for at least that curve at this point.”
Dr Thomas Balcezak, chief medical officer for Yale-New Haven Health, said that during the first wave of the virus there was a spike and then a sharp drop in cases. He said it probably wouldn’t be this time around.
“Every subsequent wave since then we’ve seen a much smoother decline and a bigger shoulder or even a plateau,” he said on Wednesday. “I think what we will see in the next five or six days is that we will start to see a decrease in the total number of inpatients, but it will be a slow decline over the next four to six weeks. “
About 14% of COVID-19 patients in Yale’s healthcare system are in the intensive care unit, up from around 22% in the virus’s first wave in spring 2020, Balcezak said. The percentage of patients on ventilators increased from 17% to around 8%, he said.
“Unfortunately, a smaller percentage of a larger number still represents a lot of patients who fall into these categories,” he said. “So as we take better care of these patients, when the disease is less severe, especially when boosted, we still need to be on our guard.”
Hospital officials said they had dealt with three types of COVID-19 patients during this outbreak. The first are the patients suffering from the disease itself. The latter are patients hospitalized for pre-existing conditions that have been exacerbated by COVID-19. The third are female patients, such as women giving birth, who tested positive for the virus in hospital for unrelated reasons.
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