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December 9, 2021

Amid omicron variant, Hartford HealthCare has 206 COVID-19 cases; 88% are unvaccinated

Photo | HBJ File Hartford HealthCare flagship Hartford Hospital’s Seymour Street campus.

Hartford HealthCare doctors said during a virtual media briefing Thursday morning that COVID-19 hospitalizations are up both in the state and across the health system as they continue to learn more about the omicron variant.

Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s chief clinical officer, said that as of Thursday, the Hartford HealthCare system had 206 COVID-19 patients at its various hospitals, including 61 at Hartford Hospital.

Kumar said the numbers, which are similar to numbers recorded in Feb. 2021 and Nov. 2020, were up due, primarily, to the cold weather, holiday season and unvaccinated individuals.

Of the 206 COVID-19 patients in acute care facilities, only 24 were vaccinated, Kumar said.

The HHC doctors who spoke Thursday said a lot of data on omicron – the new COVID-19 variant – is still outstanding. But, they said, there was some good news.

Eric Arlia, senior director, system pharmacy, Hartford HealthCare, said Pfizer just announced on Wednesday that a booster “will significantly increase the antibodies against omicron.”

All the speakers said the data still shows that – whether it’s the delta or omicron variant – the best way to stay safe is to mask, get vaccinated and get boosted.

“Vaccines protect you from dying,” Kumar said. “We are not in crisis mode; we are managing well.”

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