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WPCNR CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Data from New York State Covid Tracker. Observation & Analysis by John F. Bailey

December wrapped up its covid case count Saturday with 9,003 cases for the 31 days.

This was the highest total of covid new positives since July when there were 10, 298.

Previous monthly highs for the year were June, 9,642; May, 13, 13,055; April, 8,964; February 4,389. January, 77,828. (January was preceded by December 2021 when there were 44,880 infections).

Westchester’s last week of covid 2022, finished with 1,771 new cases of covid Saturday, actually the first week in December the county held infections to under 2,000 cases.

The county started the new year Sunday January 1 with 197 new infections of 1,253 tests a 14.6% positive rate. Westchester averaged 20.4 new cases daily the last 7 days per 100,000 of population which works out to 205 daily Westchester cases, 1,435 cases a week and 5,740 cases a month. I wish some officials would make sense out of this to the public because we ran 9,003 new cases this month.

I had originally predicted a possible 8,000 to 12,000  cases by December 12, based on November 2022 being higher in infections than last November (2021) when we experienced 4,006.Infections this year in November, one month ago were double last year.

 Infections in Westchester ticked steadily up to  200 infections the last 10 days of November were double last years. In the last three days of November the infections from the travel and meet vacations of the Thanksgiving break hit  405, 359, 410 and 367. In the first 5 days of each week from Sunday through Thursdays from Dec 4 to 8, December 11 through 15, and Dec 18 through 22, and Dec 18 through 22, Westchester averaged 348 new cases a day the first 5 days of the week indicating in my opinion the rapid infections persons got over the “social days of Friday Saturday and Sunday.

It is interesting that Christmas Weekend was quieter.

Sunday the 25th was peaceful , with  only 425 cases Christmas Day and Monday. Cases spiked at midweek  on  Wednesday the 27th when 314 new infections were lab certified positive, 371 on the 28th, 325 the 29,,,then just as in the previous weeks before Christmas the Friday and Saturday 30th and 31st quieted with 210 and 226

Now we start back to normal.

Schools wide open countywide. Superintendents of Schools not sharing infections of covid publicly, thanks to the State Education Department ruling districts did not have to report infections of covid among students, teachers and staff on a weekly basis. In my opinion, this was a reckless decision. The Governor should not have gone along with that.

Look, if the schools are really controlling and nomitoring covid then reporting low numbers to the State Education would be a good thing. Just saying you’re low does not mean you’re low.  Show me the grades!

So when all the mingling in the schools begins again in January, we have no idea the effects of covid infections, sporsadic un lab-tested testing analysis, all the sensitive relaxation of rules. Hey, I would so like to think that all parents are responsible and will not fail to test their children if they are showing symptoms, but what if it justifies jeopardizes their employment, or a single mother or father’s employment? Testing sporadically in the schools means we have no idea how many school districts stand. I think the State Education Department should reverse this decision. That’s what those November and December numbers say to me.

Perhaps the County Health Department might ask the school districts for their numbers of covid infections for the year. Are the districts even keeping records when they are told they do not have to? This is just bad management, and obfuscation of reality for the sake of keeping the economy moving at the expense of children and their parents and caregivers’ sanity, and the polishing of politicians’ reputations.

Another thing to bear in mind as we get back to “normal” when do you start to deal with the infections of  4,500 the last two weeks as they come out mingling. Not their fault.

But this means more people in Westchester are going to get sick. Despite assurances hospitalizations are down for covid, how far down are they? What about the flu and the RSVP infections? Do we have enough covid medication?

I do not think health policy should be made on what is convenient for politcians who do not like to make decisions people don’t like.

These are the new covid cases averages per quarter, cases per month and per day and per week for Westchester County. December 2022 had an average of 291 cases per day. The County averaged 10, 972 cases per month. After social restrictions and commercial restrictions were lifted by the State legislature, In the monthly spike graph at the base you can see when restrictions lifted in April and May and June another wave began July remained about the same in September and October, gathered momentum in November and now has gained strength in December.

This has been a lousy year for controlling covid in Westchester County due entirely to the failure of the state legislature which eliminated masking, social distancing, and mass congregations and gatherings, sports, dining which have directly jumpstarted covid after it had been stymied by the vaccines in April, and by July, we started our run of a third wave in the fall a fourth I hope this is not beginning of a Fifth.

School District policies, County policies and state officials  and the politicians reluctance to report facts and interpret them and tell us what is happening with real numbers and what they mean instead of analyzing “the now” and “the new” and what the trends may mean cannot make comparisons to how many infections we had last year to justify their performance. We have vaccines now. If we continue to spread the disease because policies are lazy and ineffectual, this plague will be around a long long time.

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