WESTCHESTER IN BETTER POSITION STARTING SCHOOL AS SPREAD RATE OF COVID DROPS, BUT MONKEYPOX A WORRY. SCHOOL BEHAVIORS WILL DETERMINE SUCCESS OF SCHOOL REOPENING WITH THREAT OF COVID AND MONKEYPOX EFFICIENT MONITORING

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WESTCHESTER HAS 6,325 CASES OF COVID PRIOR TO START OF SCHOOLS THIS YEAR COMPARED TO 5,704 A YEAR AGO.

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. August 29, 2022 UPDATED 5:15 P.M. WITH COUNTY EXECUTIVE GEORGE LATIMER STATE OF COVID-MONKEY POX TODAY “ACTUALITY”

Westchester County has 621 more cases of covid as of the end of August this year than the county did at the end of August last year, when covid was slightly rose  through August into Labor Day, averaging 1,301 a week going into the start of schools last September.

This afternoon, County Executive George Latimer continued his cautious approach to covid an had this good news about Monkeypox spread in this video clip below:

George Latimer confirmed the continued diminution of covid cases and a slowing of monkeypox in the county today. (To see and hear his comments click the white > arrow to the left of the clip screen above.)

As of August 27 this year, Westchester has lowered the rate of new cases by 39% from July numbers to 6,325 or 1,581 new infections a week, despite having 10,298 new covid cases in July. This, whatever the cause, vaccine coverage, low testing quantities, or careful social behavior, Westchester delivered an improved ratio of how infected persons spread the disease, a rate of spread equaling 1 infection only infecting .61 of another person (10,298-July divided by 6,335 August new cases). That is a spread rate that contains and limits spread of the disease.

The Labor Day Weekend last September ushered in a new spread of the disease in September that delivered an average 1,067 new cases a week over the next month. In October that 1,067 produced 2,560 new covid cases 1 infecting every 2 persons, with remote learning and partial attendance and social distancing in effect through most of the county school districts, as well as masking and social gathering restrictions.

Those 2,560 October infections in 2021 last fall produced 4,068 new cases in November during the Veterans Day and Thanksgiving weekends, a spread rate (with many social restrictions and school restricted attendance and distancing precautions in effect) of 1 person to 6 persons  (4,068 divided by 2,560 October covid cases), which in turn lead to an explosion of new covid infections in the December holidays followed by 36,000 infections in January stymied by the vaccines by April.

So we are in what appears to be a greatly improved position the disease did not spread excessively in the last 28 days of August. Infections went down from the excessive 10,298 covid infections in July.

The Mid-Hudson region reported 386 new cases last week, an infection rate of 7%. The entire region including Nassau and Suffolk reported cases equaling 66% as many cases as New York City five boroughs.

In two weeks the number of cases went down across the Mid-Hudson region, despite the continued leading spread rate of Nassau and Suffolk Counties

In two weeks the hot spots of Covid infections in the towns and cities declined significantly. Only 8 reported over 100 cases on August 24 , Log page on left, and 5 had cases in the 90s. Daily infections went down, too.

The number of active cases in the leading locations across the county went down as the comparison shows with infections averaging 7% of those tested (and verified by lab testing).

A good week in Covid management.

This may be the effects of the long ballyhooed “Herd Immunity” and vaccinations taking effect.

However the vaccinations in the school population across the state released by the state health department last week show 97% of pre K children have not had any vaccinations. Completed Vaccinations of 5 to 11 year olds in the elementaries of New York are only at 54.6% meaning almost half of 5 to 11s are not fully vaccinated. In another grouping: those elementaries with at least one dose that is even less. The Middle school to high school is also very at risk from not full vaccination coverage.  The potential for infections being spread in school particularly with absence of testing protocols has potential for regenerating last year’s spread.

That is the situation the state faces as schools start.

The situation is aggravated by the tidal wave of monkeypox infections in New York City that is ahead of covid infections.

School districts should be aware of theses potentials for infections and perhaps have some backup plans if the CDC relaxation of standards should appear to be premature considering the vaccination gaps in the elementary middle school and high school populations in New York State.

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