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Why ‘Breakthrough Infections' Becoming a Must-Watch COVID Number

April 22, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine is proving remarkably resilient, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting fewer than 6,000 cases of the virus in fully vaccinated Americans.

These cases, called breakthrough infections, represent a tiny percentage (0.007 percent) of the 84 million fully vaccinated based on last week's numbers from the CDC. Days after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky briefed reporters on the numbers. The CDC numbers include 43 states and territories and likely underestimate the cases, said Dr. Walensky, who noted that about 30 percent with a breakthrough infection experienced no symptoms. Fewer than 400 people required hospitalization and 74 people died.

"But you still need to be aware of the individuals within your circle and identify people at high risk," says Keith Grant, APRN, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Hartford HealthCare. "It is a pandemic with significant mortality, so please be as safe as possible""

Half of all Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More than two-thirds of people at least 65 years old are fully vaccinated and 81 percent have received at least one dose. Connecticut ranks second among all states in vaccine doses per capita. So far, 61 percent of Connecticut adults over age 18 have received at least one dose. (Above, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is vaccinated earlier this month at the Hartford Department of Public Works.)

With those promising numbers, the state has announced all COVID restrictions on state businesses will be phased out by May 19.

Effective May 1 • Bars that do not serve food can open for outdoor-only service. (No alcohol indoors.) • No eight-person per table limit outdoors. (The limit remains for indoor service.) • A midnight curfew, instead of 11 p.m., for restaurants, entertainment venues, recreation venues and theaters.

Effective May 19 If the state's infection rate remains low and the vaccination rate increases, any remaining business restrictions end.

To be resolved: Indoor and other large outdoor events, including concerts, await recommendations from the state Department of Public Health. The state also will clarify where masks will be required after this date.


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