WPCNR WESTCHESTER CORONA VIRUS REPORT. News & Comment by John F. Bailey. December 6, 2020:
It’s now official.
The second wave of Covid is officially here. The New York Times said so.
The New York Times published today an article on page 4, with the headline, One of the First Hot Spots in the U.S. Confronts the Next Wave. The article mainly focuses on New Rochelle as having 73 new cases on Friday, and New York State 11,271. Westchester Friday which the article did not mention had 758 infections. New Rochelle has about 10% of the new positives.
It is about time.
The number of positive cases in Westchester has been going up steadily for 10 weeks starting right after Labor Day and now reaching positives increasing at the rate of 7% of Westchester Tests administered as testing positive per day.
This just in as of 2 PM on Sunday: New York Covid Tracker reports Westchester County had 727 new Covid Positives out of 11,471 persons tested, an infection rate of 6.3%
This is not good.
It is a creeping terror.
In the last 9 Days through Friday December 4, there have been 7,352 new covid positive cases identified in Westchester County. At the exponential spread of 1:1 that the state uses as a stabilizer, the 7,352 infections over the nine days November 25 through December 4, each person of those 7,352 have the potential to spread the disease to one other person, if exposing to two, 14,704 persons. If each encounters 3 people they spread it to 22,056. If they spread it to 6, that is 42,000.
The Westchester hospital capacity is 30,000 beds. At the 4% hospitalization rate which is what hospitalizations from Covid are running, this would mean 1700 new hospitalizations from these 7,352. The number infections has been doubling each week. The last 9 days have seen a doubling of covid infections.
At this rate the hospitalizations over the next 27 days to December 31 if the positive infection rate 6.9% remains the same, at 753 every two weeks we would have 1,506 new infections, and 60 new hosptalizations, if each new infected person only spreads it to one person. If they spread it to as many as 6 you would have 4,518 new infections, if we contained the spread keeping it at 753 every two weeks. Yet those 4,518 new infections could result in 180 hospitalizations, if they each only infected one other person. If each of the 4,518 new infections spread it to 6 people you would have 25,000 more persons infected with covid with possibly 1,000 hospitalizations.
The rising numbers since the holiday season began officially November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving) means heads of each town and city in Westchester have to consider seriously proactive measures to stop the exponential spread of the virus now. They should seriously consider penalties for the behaviors leading to this spread that is approaching out of control careless behavior and starting to really impair the county to take care of the wave of hospitalizations head even if the second wave is contained at a mere doubling every two weeks.
- Public Gatherings Enforcement. The Supreme Court decision on imposing unequal penalties on churches compared to businesses not withstanding, officials should forbid all churches from holding religious services in their buildings of all kinds Ministers, Pastors, Priests, Mullahs Rabis could travel to homes and administer communions, marry persons, christen children any service just as restaurants can provide food by takeout, or in the cases of churches it would be “Bring to You Out.”
As a challenge, I believe all cities and towns in the county should ask all leaders of all religious places of worship to suspend all religious services unilaterally to avoid the spread. You can practice your faith by going into churches by yourself and praying. You do not have to go to church to communicate with God. This would be a tremendous public gesture on the part of religious organizations much needed to save their flocks.
- Social Gatherings Enforcement. To prevent spreading via indoor parties, all entertainments planned by families would have to be registered with the individual towns with date time and persons expected to attend and where they are from, including the names. If parties are not registered and neighbors report such parties, the families and guests would be tested and quarantined. It is not hard to spot unregistered parties just patrol and look for the cars parked on the street. Apartment building managers can ask each apartment dweller to register their entertainments, how many and who is coming. Those that do not register who hold a party will be fined.
- Travel Monitoring Enforcement. If traveling out of the state or out of town for the holidays, persons need to preregister their trip with town and city officials, and be tested when they return and quarantined. If you do not, on return you are automatically tested and quarantined. This can be tracked by airport departures train departures and tolls on bridges. You won’t catch them all but it will cut down on residents leaving the state and bringing a virus back in to New York.
- IMPROMPTU ASSEMBLY ENFORCEMENT: Adults or teens, public assembly for recreation or hanging out or walking, shopping in malls, or in parks should wear masks. Those not wearing masks should be asked to leave the facility or fined by the towns, cities, county responsible for the facility and tested on the spot. (This has to be done.)
- TRACING AVOIDANCE ENFORCEMENT. Persons not responding to tracing calls should be fined immediately charged to their phone or cellphone, the fine being rescinded IF they respond to the call. This is very important since more persons are ignoring tracing calls to avoid quarantining. I’d say a $50 fine would be appropriate.
- Mask enforcement. An imperative. A penalty in each town or village should be assessed on each person not wearing a mask in stores, or on the street in parks, playgrounds. The penalty assessed by a summons like a parking ticket, if they have a mask and do not put it on. They should be asked to do so. Bicyclists and joggers particularly.
- Close or Fine the malls and the bars and restaurants, if they will not enforce masking on their private property. And assess a fine again via summonses provided by the local police.
These suggestions are submitted as possible policies that should be seriously considered by any responsible leader of city town or county.
You cannot go on with this rate of spread in Westchester County.
We have tried persuason. Pleading with citizenry. And the virus has come back. It is time to enforce with consequences if public health directives are not obeyed.
TV spots won’t do it.
Money talks, nobody walks without a mask.