Connecticut has one of the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates in the nation. As a result, Governor Ned Lamont announced yesterday that public schools will reopen in the fall. Of course, there are required safety measures. Mask-wearing and smaller classes are mandatory. There will be new routines for lunch, bus travel, and arrivals and dismissals to accommodate social distancing, as well as new protocols for daily cleaning.
Educators can plan for students to return to public schools, boarding schools, and colleges because the pandemic numbers in Connecticut are moving in the right direction. Today’s report on covidactnow.org indicates that our state’s infection rate now stands at .75. This is Connecticut’s current R number, which is the reproduction rate of the virus. It needs to remain below 1 (which means that each infected person only infects one other) for active cases to shrink in number. Here are the encouraging R numbers for our neighboring states: Massachusetts – .75, New Jersey – .77, and New York – .83. Additionally, the positive pandemic test rate in Connecticut has decreased to 1.4%. By way of comparison, Arizona stands at the other end of the COVID-19 spectrum with an R number of 1.20, indicating that active cases are rapidly increasing, and a positive test rate of 22%.
Please know that our administrators scrutinize the numbers every day. Active cases in East Haddam remain unchanged over the past three weeks. Consequently, plans are moving ahead to reopen our campus in September. However, we will make a final decision about bringing students back on August 14. We want to be certain that the state’s reopening remains safe. If everyone continues the effective combined practices of mask-wearing, social distancing, and regular hand-washing, there should be more good news from Connecticut.
PS: The view above is from the campus pond.