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WPCNR CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Statistics from New York State Covid Tracker. Observation and Analysis by John F. Bailey. January 23, 2023:

Westchester completed its third straight week of preventing covid from spreading saturday.

The county reported 1,441 new covid cases for the 7 days Sunday January 15 through Saturday January 21. The county is reported  as having an infection rate of 10% on 14,809 lab verified tests for 1,441 new cases for the week.

Considering it takes two weeks to measure how persons are catching the disease from new positives and given the fast infection rate of the new XBB.1.5 variant (2 days) the 1,896 infections at the end the week January 8, infected 1,441 new persons, meaning one new case infected 1.5 persons the last two weeks.

Or if you want to be more positive about the infection rate, figure  that the XBB.1.5. variant  you could take heart that 1 person was only infecting 1 to ½ a person over the two weeks ended Saturday night.   The  XBB.1.5 variant was just starting to the New York area big time two weeks ago. 

Last week’s stat of 1,520 (Jan 8 to 14) divided by new infections two weeks ago (1,896) would mean that the XBB.1.5. variant emerging on the New York area roughly January 8 to 14, saw 1 new infection only infect 1.2 people.

Now two weeks later the new infection is rate is 1.5% or one person is infecting just ½ a person.

If the state, and Westchester County Health Departments give us their accurate infection rate figured by the data they have (in more detail), we might know whether the XBB.1.5. variant is being contained as it appears the last three weeks.

You have only yours truly who is trying to keep track of this and of course, YOUR LOCAL EPIDEMIOLOGIST, Dr. Katelyn Jetelina.

Why this silence from the state? From the County? From the School Districts?

The best I can figure for you is that you, Westchester County residents are doing better, practicing safer socializing, because so far covid cases are being contained for three weeks now, despite the nasty XBB.1.5 variant.

But frankly I’m puzzled.

What is the daily new case count in Westchester (given every day)? Could it be lagging behind substantially do to absence of honest reporting  positive by covid positive persons? Or is the state just behind keeping up with the inflow of positive tests?

Westchester the last 7 days has a daily new case rate of 13.6 new cases a day per 100,000 population.

Westchester has 1,004,457 persons according to the completed census of 2022.  Persons reading my analyses which I do from time to time, KNOW the number of 100,000 increments making up the 1,004,457 is 10.04.

To get the number new cases a day the last 7 days you multiply 13.6 cases per one day by 10.04 which gives us 136 new cases daily, multiply that by 7 and you get 952 new cases a week.

Multiply 952 new infections a week by 4 weeks  and Westchester is growing cases by 3,808 a month according to the covid tracker Saturday.

But, here’s what I don’t understand.

 Even with the containment of covid for three weeks now, we are on target for6,000 infections this month if you go by the daily reported  average new case rate OF 13.6

So how come the state reports we only got lab-tested results of 1,441 the week ended Saturday?

An explanation be could  that persons are not getting lab tested when they discover they are positive for covid. Their cases may not be as serious, and we are told people are not getting as sick. Either the average new cases daily statistic is lagging behind or cases are not being reported by people walking positive.

However if people are covering up they are positive so they can continue to go to work, then the state’s only daily case rate for Westchester  County shows we are either lagging in case reporting, or worse not getting straight data from the population.

 Medical facilities and caregivers, school districts, parents or the state is (for the purpose of morale and “getting back to normal” and keeping the economy going) is underreporting,or behind in counting new cases or people are not reporting positives and seeing doctors.

Last week the state said we had  1,441 new cases. If we were getting 13.6 cases average new  cases daily  the last 7 days we should have had about 955  last week, not 1,441 as reported for the week, which would be fantastic.

I think this means there are either delays in reporting daily cases or God forbid, many more are being treated in the county and the reporting is really backlogged. Last time the County Executive reported hospitalizations for covid it was 285 and that was a week ago.

The state reports 4,862 cases the first 3 weeks of January.

Another week of 1,500 new cases would give us over 6,000 for the month in the county for January, compared to 9,103 in December.

The takeaway despite what appears to be a data delay  on daily new cases,   we have contained covid in January, cases are down 34%

A word of caution: Westchester County positive testing percentage of those tested was 10% for the week on lab-verified tests of 2,115 average per day (14,809 lab verified results for the week).

If 10% of all people tested test positive for every 2,000 tests there could very well be far more people positive out there. Say we test 6,000  that is 600 new positives. Nassau and Suffolk County have hitting those kind of positives most days for weeks now. If Westchester tested 10,000 you might find 1,000 positives a day.

Given a 10% positive rate in Westchester, it seems we have fewer infections reported than we should be seeing reported.

You need to continue to be wary: Winter Recess is coming up for a full week in February generating new opportunities for socialization and infection.

The relaxation of  reporting protocols of new covid case reporting by state, the State Education Department does not appear to be telling an accurate story how daily average new cases for Westchester County, in my opinion.

It would be in the best interests of the public to return to reporting all cases in the county and in the school districts to see the movement of covid infections, as well as individual communities in Westchester County as it used to do.

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