Covid-19 numbers are looking better with each passing week. On Tuesday, March 2, Putnam’s 7-day infection rate was 15.69 cases per 100,000 population, the lowest that it has been since mid-October. In the first week of January, Putnam’s 7-day infection rate hit a high at 61.75, four times greater than Tuesday’s rate.
The 7-day infection rate can be predicted by earlier trends in active case numbers. Putnam’s active case numbers hit a high on December 5. The infection rate high followed 28 days later on January 2. The active case number dropped by 25% during December. This decline translated into a drop in the infection rate from 61.75 on January 2 to 27.20 on January 30th.
The drop in Putnam’s infection rate during February was 28%. This decrease was preceded by an active case drop of 20% between January 2 and January 30. The active case drop in February was 47% and is likely to result in an infection rate below 10.0, deserving of a yellow coloration on the DHHR Covid-Alert Map before the end of March.
The active case number is a measure of the coronavirus presence and its potential to multiply. Vaccines bring the promise of making it all but impossible for the virus to multiply. On March 2, the DHHR reported that 5,645 Putnam residents are fully vaccinated and another 1,714 had received the first shot.
Healthcare workers and older residents make up a large contingent of the fully vaccinated. DHHR data suggests that the vaccines are reducing the number of new infections. During November, over 15% of all new infections were individuals of age 70 and older (before the vaccine was available). In February (after 10% of total population had received both shots), only 5% of new infections were contracted by those 70 and older.
Covid is not likely to disappear unless at least half of the population is vaccinated.