Nearly 45% of CT residents may have contracted COVID, CDC says


New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows as many as 45 percent of Connecticut residents — more than 1.5 million people — may have contracted COVID-19, far more than the number of confirmed cases reported by the state.

Among younger people, the proportion is far higher. CDC data shows as many as two out of every three residents under the age of 18 may have contracted COVID-19.

According to state data released Wednesday, there have been a total of 817,999 COVID cases reported in Connecticut. But the CDC says there may have been 1.59 million total infections in the state.

The CDC conducts random testing for COVID antibodies, called seroprevalence studies. If those antibodies are found in a person’s blood, they have more than likely contracted the coronavirus at some point. Researchers then mathematically extrapolate those testing results to determine the extent of COVID transmission to provide this data.

The latest CDC data shows that 44.4 percent of all people tested had evidence of an infection. A larger proportion of young people have had COVID, the CDC data shows. As many as 66.5 percent of residents up to the age of 17 had evidence of COVID antibodies in their bloodstream, the CDC reports.

“These findings illustrate a high infection rate for the omicron variant, especially among children,” the CDC wrote in its report.

The state is well below the national average. The CDC said Tuesday that 75 percent of people under 18 nationwide had contracted the virus. For the total population, the CDC said 57.7 percent had contracted COVID-19.

“Connecticut historically has adopted more of a cautious approach to COVID compared to other states,” said Dr. Scott Roberts, associate director for infection prevention at Yale New Haven Hospital. “We are among the highest vaccinated states.”

The CDC said states with higher vaccination rates tended to have lower transmission, which Hartford HealthCare’s Dr. Ulysses Wu said made sense.