STAMFORD — The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Stamford has exceeded 1,000, double what it was a week ago, and far outpacing other communities in the state.

But city and health authorities say drawing conclusions from the numbers is tricky, since the large number can be indicative of more aggressive testing, and not just greater spread of the highly contagious illness.

Stamford currently has four testing sites — Westhill High School, Stamford Hospital, Cummings Park, and 2001 West Main St. — and more could be added, said Arthur Augustyn, spokesperson for the mayor’s office.

Stamford had 24 confirmed deaths due to the virus as of Thursday afternoon, matching Norwalk for the highest number of fatalities. However, as Mayor David Martin has pointed out, Stamford’s death rate per capita is still below smaller communities such as Norwalk and New Canaan, for example.

“Mayor Martin continues to push for more testing,” said Ted Jankowski, director of public safety for Stamford. “The more tests conducted, the more positives will be seen.”

As of Thursday afternoon, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Stamford was 1,113. A week earlier, that figure was 508.

However the figures are interpreted, there’s no question that treatment of patients with COVID-19 is on the rise at Stamford Hospital, where members of the Army, National Guard and Navy are working to create more patient capacity.

An administrator at the hospital said earlier this week that one or two coronavirus patients were dying each day at the hospital.

And the situation is likely to only get worse, according to Martin, who said this week that the peak of coronavirus cases in Stamford is two or three weeks way.

In a video posted on Instagram and Facebook earlier this week, Martin said the virus is affecting everyone.

“This is a serious disease and you should take it seriously,” he said.

He said the number of cases of COVID-19 is growing exponentially.

“If the peak is two to three weeks away, that means that the disease is being transmitted now and what is not well understood by some people is that you can be carrying the disease and passing it on to other individuals even though you have no symptoms,” he said.

Martin added that police, fire and ambulance service workers are being tested twice a month for potential exposure to COVID-19.

“That is not only to protect them should they get exposed to the disease,” he said. “It is also to protect the public.”

He ended the video with words of encouragement to Stamford residents.

“The city of Stamford is getting ready, the hospital is getting ready, I know that we can get through this is we all continue to work together,” he said.

ignacio.laguarda@stamfordadvocate.com