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WPCNR CORONA VIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Statistics from NYS Covd 19 Tracker. Observations & Analysis by John F. Bailey. September 29, 2022 UPDATED 1:30 P.M. with Wednesday new cases:

Westchester County began the week with 135 new cases of covid Sunday September 25, 160 new persons testing positive Monday, the 26th, and 194 new cases of covid on Tuesday, September 27, nnd this just in from Governor Hochul, 198 new cases Wednesday. This week starts with an average 171 new cases a day  compared to last week when the first four days yielded 966 positives, Sunday through Wednesday.

This last week of September could show a significant decline from last week when Westchester registered 1,495 new cases of covid. Currently Westchester is running 171 new cases a day which would — providing no jump in cases   in midweek—could produce 1,197 cases for the week a 18% decrease.

If last Thursday, Friday and Saturday figures main last week’s number of infections, (197, Sept 22; 167, Sept 23 and 135 Saturday, the 24) Westchester will go up to 1, 696 infections for the week, which would be the fourth straight week the County has failed to contain covid infection spread.

Should today, tomorrow and Saturday continue to drop positive infections Westchester will cut back infections signiicantly for the first time since in 3 weeks–the week of the most positive decline was September 4 to 10, when infections dropped to 1,026 from 1,246 the week before Labor Day

For the record the County beat back new covid infections all of August dropping the number infections for August to 7,072 compared to 10,298 for all of July–a 31% drop. Four weeks of steady decline in August has now been followed by a month of covid gaining momentum.

It is disappointing to see the progress or lack of progress in September.

However this is the week when there could be higher numbers of infections from schools just beginning to start. We will know if School District administrations report the new covid cases in timely fashion, and the County Health Department publishes the new school infections by district. The school districts are by law required to report new covid cases to the County Health Department.

Last September the infections totaled  4,925 infections  for the month from Labor Day to October 2 with remote learning in schools, social distancing and intense testing in schools.   peaked at 695 cases in the last week of September after schools under remote learning.

This year, with schools open with virtually no social distancing and no masking rules no glass separations between desks, Westchester has already seen 5,694 new cases of covid for the month of September, up 769 cases or 16% ahead of last September covid spreading pace.

In the last month in September 2022, Westchester has recorded  a 7%  positive average of those tested in 4 weeks, testing positive with tests being reported at only 2 to 3,000 a day.

 In September of 2021, things were quite different.

The month that started the third wave of covid into December and January of this year,  the average of number of tests were  about 9,000 a day.  Social distancing and limited gatherings and restaurants theatres were closed, people worked remotely, there was no vaccine.

At this time  last year we in Westchester County  were  limiting the disease. 

When schools were in remote learning, the average number of infections of covid on much higher testing universes a day, was  2.2%.

We were very unhappy with  that.

Governor Cuomo who had stopped covid spread still urged us to not let up. But  we relaxed and built covid spread in October November and December  despite an average positive test rate of 2.2%. By December the Thanksgiving holidays with intense mingling had to be  mostly responsible for  new positives exploding to 11,000 in the week before Christmas with new positive tests of those tested 

Well, things are quite different today in September 2022.

We are having more infections a day, more infections per week  with a vaccine, but with greatly relaxed social conditions and business and school operations.  The state is no longer reporting weekly school infections leaving that up to the schools.

The county is infecting at a much higher rate than last September which produced a great universe of infections last January, February and March, with April finally containing covid again in Westchester County.

Predictably, we relaxed again as the state legislature took away Governor Cuomo’s powers to manage Covid and decided themselves to open up socialization, businesses, restaurants, school restrictions and over the summer, masking. People have even resisted getting completely vaccinated.

Well “getting back to normal” policies in time for the elections were eagerly adopted by the legislature,  and Governor Hochul went along with that, but she has continued covid reporting as always, a positive. Otherwise, we will not know where we are.

The worst new policy — we no longer hold the schools accountable for monitoring and controlling school spreading of the disease.

Maybe this will work, but school districts cannot cover up clusters of infections if they develop. We were on remote learning last year and the disease ballooned in schools even when infections were at 2% levels through October and November. In White Plains we had highly responsive parents, teachers, administrators and staff, we still wound up with 25% of our 7,900 plus students, administrators, staff and teachers getting covid.

The attitude that covid is just something we have to live with is permeating our leadership today. They don’t to make you unhappy going to the polls.

People get less sick with covid. They are not getting hospitalized as frequently. That’s good. You can thank the vaccines for that.

But I have heard of more people I know getting covid in the last month than I have encountered than during the whole epidemic.

I am going to get my booster Friday.

As Bob Dylan wrote, “Trust yourself.”

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