WPCNR CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Latest Covid Activity Figures from New York State Covid Tracker. Observation & Analysis by John F. Bailey. September 20, 2022UPDATED 2:15 P.M. E.D.T.:
New Covid cases August 28 through September 18 totaled 3,740 compared to the same period last year.
It should be noted the three weeks of September last year surge in cases of 3,546 set the momentum for steadily increasing infections in October and November creating 3,076 new cases of covid in October, 3,757 in November, which lead to 41,000 infections the month of December and 36,000 in January. The spread was finally contained by the end of April after vaccinations began in January of 2022.
However when statewide mandates on covid preventive behaviors were lifted in June, infections steadily rose through June and the end of July, then began a 6 week consecutive decline in infections until last week.
The pattern may repeat itself. The main hope is that covid hospitalizations are down and the disease is lasting about a week for people who get it. But the disease does lay them low. The arrival of the new booster shots now available at the Westchester County Board of Health it is hoped the boosters should help those ready for the booster to fight off the omicron and delta variants which infect more quickly (as short as 48 hours after exposure).
This reduced period for symptoms to begin in persons exposed to covid, may be the reason behind the first significant increase in new covid cases in 6 weeks.
For the week ended Saturday, Sept. 11 to 17, the New York Covid Tracker reported 1,468 new Lab confirmed persons testing positive, compared to 1,026 September 4 to 11, a 43% increase in new cases.
No covid daily case updates were published by the state on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week. The Governor’s Press Office did not respond to my questions as to why the covid daily count was paused. This covid tracker report has to be continued, with no interruptions, in my opinion, otherwise there will be no ongoing record of the containment or lack of containment of the disease going forward.
After 10 days of school in the county the state school covid tracker has not started reporting yet. This was crucial to see if school spreading of disease, (entirely possible because there are no requirements for students to be vaccinated with covid). The other reason to expect a spread is as I have written previously school districts are lifting many restrictions: no masking, no social distancing, no plastic screens between desks in the classrooms.
Now in a little noticed change, there will be no covid state school report cards breaking down infections of students, administrators, teachers and staff for every school in the state.
UPDATED: IN AN AUGUST 22 LETTER FROM THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ANNOUNCED THAT SCHOOLS WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO REPORT DAILY POSITIVE COVID RESULTS TO THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID SCHOOL REPORT CARD. SO GOING FORWARD THIS YEAR THE INFORMATION ON THE STATE OF COVID INFECTIONS WILL BE STRICTLY UP TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS NOW OPERATING AN A VERY OPEN ATMOSPHERE WITH RELIANCE ON HOME ALLEGEN TESTS. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IT HAS COME TO LIGHT THAT SCHOOL REPORT CARDS ON COVID WOULD NOT BE AVAILABLE TO PARENTS THIS YEAR.
White Plains School Superintendent Dr. Joseph Ricca told WPCNR this afternoon that White Plains school nurses would continue to report cases of covid in their schools to the Westchester County Department of Health. Dr. Ricca said that in the first 10 days of School in White Plains, they have seen some cases of covid, but not near the levels of covid in the previous covid years. Ricca said it was up to the Westchester County Department to make public that data.
Asked if the school district would report White Plains schools covid cases regularly to parents as a standard report on a regular basis as district policy, Dr. Ricca said the district did not plan to do so at this time.
I asked him at what level would covid situations would be reported. Ricca said the district would be looking for “clusters” of infections in classrooms or schools or other situations and parents would be informed. He said there would not be detailed reports of how many students, administrators and teachers were sickened by covid on a school by school basis.
Last year in White Plains, unprecedented cooperation by parents children, teachers, administrators held infections of school populations to 25% (1,974). This reporting of new cases that gave confidence the covid plague was being contained from spreading exponentially was a great confidence builder.
With basically open schools now across the county, with an atmosphere of “we just have to live with covid” will be, the disease may come back.
September is starting in infections at the same pace as last September. Perhaps this is just temporary.
I hope so.
The state has to keep reporting those new school infections. I hope they will. So the pattern that started the climb to the huge covid cases in December and January 9 months ago could be repeating itself.
Cases around Westchester County the last two weeks are up. Currently 9 areas continue to have over 100 cases.
White Plains had 208 active cases the last 2 weeks, experiencing 50 new cases a day. New Rochelle reported 223, 43 new cases daily. Yonkers, long the place where the most covid infects are went to 635 active cases up from 576 a week ago—the number of new cases a day in Yonkers was 187.
Mount Vernon reported 202 cases, 59 new cases a day.
Greenburgh next door to White Plains reported 194 active cases, running 57 cases a day.
The northern part of Westchester is suffering similar outbreaks.
Cortlandt reported 135 active cases the last two weeks, 25 daily.
Yorktown hit 167 active cases with 32 new each day.
North Castle and New Castle combined had 95 active cases, 21 a day
Ossining Village, 120, 18 a day; Peekskill reported 73 with 12 daily and Port Chester 73/ 12 a day.
The average new cases per day for the 9 communities with over 100 active cases is 53 new cases of covid a day.
Cross your fingers.