State public health officials say 163 of Connecticut's 169 towns are now at the highest alert level for COVID-19. That's a slight decrease over the previous week's total of 164 towns.
As of Wednesday, public health officials report 874 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
The Department of Public Health rolled out its color-coded alert system in the fall. The move came after health officials initially listed alerts for a handful of towns in southeastern Connecticut in anticipation of a winter surge.
That surge is now here. For weeks, the highest-level “red” zone alert has dominated virtually the entire state.
Towns are included in the red zone if they have an average daily COVID-19 case rate over the last two weeks that is 15 or more per 100,000 population.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 hospitalization numbers in Connecticut have hit somewhat of a plateau.
Since late November, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Connecticut has bounced between a low of about 1,000 people around Thanksgiving to a high of 1,269 people on Dec. 14.
But that winter spike is still well below the spring hospitalization peak Connecticut experienced in April, when almost 2,000 people were being treated in hospitals.
State officials say they’ll encourage people to get tested for COVID-19, even if they don’t have symptoms, if that community is on the red zone list. Town-by-town alert data will be updated weekly.
According to DPH, the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing homes, assisted living centers or correctional facilities.
This post was updated on Wednesday, Feb. 3, at 5:49 p.m. ET, to reflect the most recently released data from the state Department of Public Health.