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The Yale-New Haven Health’s mobile COVID-19 testing site at Stonington Human Services on September 25, 2020. Sun file photo

STONINGTON — The number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed continues to decline in southeastern Connecticut, with the latest data from the Ledge Light Health District showing the smallest number of new cases reported during a single week since late September.

The latest data from the Connecticut Department of Health, which was released late last week, shows that in the week ending Feb. 20, a total of 175 new cases were diagnosed in Ledge Light's nine partner communities. It marked the sixth consecutive week of decline and was the lowest one-week total since Oct. 3 when 190 new cases were reported in the region in a single week, up from 109 new cases the week before.

In a message to Connecticut residents on it's COVID-19 data page, Ledge Light urges local residents to continue wearing masks and social distancing to prevent another spike in the spring and summer months.

"It is important that we remain diligent in our efforts to mitigate the effects of a second or third wave throughout the summer and fall," the health district said.

Both Stonington and North Stonington have also seen decline in recent weeks.

In Stonington, officials reported 56 new cases Feb. 7-20, down from 78 in the two-period ending Feb. 13, 115 cases in the period ending Feb. 6, and 152 cases in the period ending Jan. 30. The community has had 946 confirmed or suspected cases since the pandemic began, and COVID-19 has been cited as a contributing factor in the death of 28 resident.

A total of 17 new cases were reported in North Stonington in the two weeks ending Feb. 20, down from 27 cases over the two-week period ending Feb. 13. There have been 237 cases involving North Stonington residents since the start of the pandemic, including four in which the virus was considered a contributing factor in an individual's death.

In a post on the Town of Stonington website Friday, First Selectman Danielle Chesebrough urged residents to continue to wear masks and follow social distancing protocols. She also urged eligible residents to consider receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

"The good news is that more providers are coming on-line and appointments are starting to open up," she said on a new page dedicated to vaccination efforts. "The state should also be receiving an increased amount of vaccines from the federal government, which will help increase availability."

According to statistics provided by the town, 22.24% of Stonington residents have already received a vaccine. In Connecticut, 17.6% of all residents have received a vaccine, with 8% considered to be "fully vaccinated." Connecticut Department of Health data shows that 73% of those over 75 years old and 44% of those ages 65 to 74 have been vaccinated.

To assist the general public, the Town of Stonington website maintains a page designed to provide residents with information related to vaccination timelines, appointment scheduling, eligibility, resource links and more. The page is updated regularly as new information is made available through federal and state channels, officials said.

For more information, visit the webpage https://www.stonington-ct.gov/home/news/vaccine-information-as-of-february-25-2021.

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