Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19, May 12, 2021

  “Shared expectations lead to predictability.”

The UUS:E church is scientifically monitoring the pandemic to identify when it will be safe to reopen.  Some modifications to the building and program may also be required, but we will monitor the disease by viewing the five data metrics from the group, Covid Act Now, to identify an acceptable risk to gather together. is the website to find this data.  Click on the Connecticut map on opening, and scroll down to view the 5 graphs.

271. Mandatory Metric 1: “Daily New Cases per 100,000 population”

         Q: What does this metric measure?

         A:  Within Connecticut, newly diagnosed cases of COVID-19 are reported daily to the State Health Department.  This data is collected and displayed on this graph.

         Q:  What does it predict for future trends?

         A:  An increase in cases over time indicates the public may not be covering their faces with masks, keeping social distances, nor washing their hands. On the other hand, if the daily curve bends downward, it shows mitigation is working, and the disease is coming under control.

         Q:  Why is this given in units of 100,000 population?

         A. This shows the prevalence or proportion of a group having a disease. Incidence is the counting of patients.  “New Hampshire may have a lower incidence (number) of cases, but Connecticut has a lower prevalence (proportion) because of its increased vaccinations.”

         Q: Where are we now?    

         A:  On May 7, this metric had been dropping for the past 6 weeks and was then at 14.0/100,000 population.  This daily ratio identified 497 new cases.  (The detail was shown by placing the cursor over the line at any point, and the black box appears.)  The data shown was in the orange category.

         Q:  What is the goal before we can reopen?         

         A: “The metric must be within the yellow – medium category at or below 5 new cases per 100.000 population or (178 or fewer people) for 21 consecutive days (3 weeks).”

272.  Mandatory Metric 2: “Infection Rate”

         Q:  What does this metric measure?

         A:  It gives the average number of infections each person with COVID-19 gives to others.  If 10 people spread it to 16 new patients, the rate would be 1.6.

         Q:  What does it predict about future trends?

         A If the infection rate remains at .9, fewer people will catch the disease each cycle and the spread of the disease can expect to be diminishing.  In reverse, if the infection rate is 1.5, the disease can be predicted to spread.

         Q:  What can be done to mitigate against this spread?

         A:  Testing and contact tracing can identify newly infected people early, isolate them before they infect others, and slow down the train of progression.

         Q. Where are we now?

         A.   On May 7, this metric showed it was fluctuating in the green area, below .9 for about 4 previous weeks.

         Q:  What is the goal before we can reopen?         

         A: “The metric must be in the green – low category at or below 0.9 for 21 days (3 weeks).”  It is noted that on May 7, the trend was slowly moving upward just .04 away from the threshold.  Check it to see if it remained in the green since last Friday!

273. Mandatory Metric 3: “Positive Test Rate”

         Q:  What does this metric measure?

         A:  It determines if a sufficiently large number of tests are being done to validly identify people in the state who can infect others.

         Q:  What does it predict about future trends?

         A If testing is adequately done, it serves as a “roadmap” to define the extent of the disease.  If enough people are tested, those tested positively, especially the asymptomatic patients, can be isolated to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

         Q: Where are we now?

         A: On May 5 we were in the green zone for the past 16 days and at 2.0%. It is noted this trend has remained downward for over 6 weeks.         

         Q:  What is the goal before we can reopen?

         A: “The metric must be in the green – low category at or below 3% for 21 days (3 weeks).”

274. Mandatory Metric 4: “ICU Capacity Used”

         Q:  What does this metric measure?

         A:  It identifies the percentage of all the ICU beds in the state that are filled.

         Q:  What does it predict about future trends?

         A: The smaller the number of ICU beds available, the more hospitals have to adjust for any surges beyond that capacity.  From stopping elective surgeries to free-up ICU beds, to setting up ICU equipment in other units, to transferring patients to other hospitals to the dire decision to enact critical standards of care, medical care will suffer.

         Q: How prepared are we in Connecticut?

         A: This state has established and frequently exercises a system to manage patient surges.  Coordinated transfer of resources between hospitals, and organized patient transfers between hospital are often implemented for other medical issues.  The number of hospitals and other resources help to reduce the impact of this issue for this state.

         Q: Where are we now?

         A:  On May 5, the ICU capacity used was 56%.  Thus, nearly half the capacity has been available should there be a surge of COVID patients.  It’s noted that for the past 8 months – since this data has been collected – this state’s metric has constantly remained in the green area.

         Q:  What is the goal before we can reopen?         

         A: “The metric must be in the green – low category at or below 70% for 21 days (3 weeks).”

275. Advisory Metric 3: “Percent Fully Vaccinated”

         Q:  What does this metric measure?

         A:  It measures the percentage of all residents (adults and children) of Connecticut who have received full vaccinations.

         Q: What are “full vaccinations?”

         A: Vaccinations are displayed in two categories:

Partially vaccinated having received:

1 dose Pfizer. or

1 dose Moderna

Fully vaccinated having received:

1 dose Johnson and Johnson, or

2 doses Pfizer, or

2 doses Moderna

         Q: Why not the higher number?

         A: Those with just one of the 2 required shots have a reduced immunity from the vaccine and that immunity has not proven to last as long as full vaccinations.

         Q: Why is this an “Advisory Metric?

         A: It is not color-coded to guide decisions predicting the future course of COVID-19.  For example, if a variant emerges that ignores the vaccines now used, the other four metrics would show the disease surging while this metric would simply continue to increase its percentage.