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State’s Positivity Rate Spikes to 5.25 Percent Following Holiday Weekend

November 29, 2021

The state’s COVID-19 positivity rate jumped to 5.25 percent Monday as the nation braced for the arrival of the new, highly transmissible Omicron variant.

The positivity rate remained less than 4 percent last Wednesday (3.72 percent) and Friday (3.61 percent) during the holiday week.

The World Health Organization has warned of a possible “high infection risk” following the discovery of the omicron variant in South Africa. The variant has more mutations than any previous COVID-19 in the part of its genome linked to the spike protein, which the virus uses as a gateway to infect host cells. This scenario, scientists fear, could enable Omicron to evade immune protection generated by vaccines.

“Hopefully,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu, Hartford HealthCare’s System Director of Infection Disease and Chief Epidemiologist, at a Monday morning media briefing, “it will reinvigorate our battle against COVID. I think people were tired of hearing about the Greek letter delta. We see the relaxation. If there’s any silver lining to come out of this, I am hoping this will renew our spirit to actually fight against it now.”

Here, in podcast form, is the media briefing about Omicron with Dr. Wu; Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Clinical Officer; and Keith Grant, APRN, Hartford HealthCare’s Senior Director of Infection Prevention.