HARTFORD - Connecticut officials expressed concerns Thursday about inconsistent mask wearing and people shunning coronavirus vaccines after 37 people became infected in outbreaks at a summer camp, group home and a party.
Gov. Ned Lamont and acting Health Commissioner Deidre Gifford said most of the people who became infected were not vaccinated and some of them spread the virus to relatives who did not go to those locations. All three outbreaks happened last month.
Lamont and Gifford did not release the locations of the outbreaks. They said they included:
- An overnight summer camp where seven campers, four staff members and two relatives of campers became infected. Of the six infected people who were eligible for vaccines, two were fully vaccinated. Most of the camp's daily activities were outside, but campers slept inside cabins at night.
- A group home where 14 residents and three staff members contracted the virus. None of the staff members was fully vaccinated, but 12 of the residents were fully vaccinated. Five of the people were hospitalized, including two residents and a staff member who were not vaccinated. Officials said mask wearing was inconsistent at the group home.
- A party attended by 11 people that resulted in five of them being infected. Two relatives of the partygoers also contracted the virus. Six of the seven infected people were not vaccinated, despite being eligible for vaccines. No one wore masks or practiced social distancing at the party, and the outbreak prompted the cancellation of a school's sports teams practices.
The Department of Public Health said social gatherings involving a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people should always be held outside, and all indoor gatherings should include masks regardless of vaccination status.
In other coronavirus-related news:
22 MORE DEATHS
State officials reported Thursday 22 more deaths from COVID-19 since last week, bringing the total number of Connecticut deaths during the pandemic to 8,416. The state reports deaths only on Thursdays.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped by 10 to 354 since Wednesday. Of the people now hospitalized, 262, or 74%, are not fully vaccinated.
The Public Health Department said 9,875 people who were fully vaccinated have contracted the virus as of Thursday. More than 378,000 total infections have been reported in the state since the pandemic began.
A 78-year-old state prison inmate has died after contracting the coronavirus for a second time, the Department of Correction said Thursday.
The male prisoner was detained at the MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution in Suffield and died early Wednesday morning. Officials said he had several underlying health issues and had recovered from his first coronavirus infection last December.
Prison officials said the inmate was brought to hospital on Aug. 9 and test positive a second time. He was treated and returned to the prison on Aug. 16.
The inmate, who was serving a 40-year sentence for sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor, was the first state prisoner to die from COVID-19 since January and the 20th inmate to die during the pandemic.