WPCNR CORONA VIRUS SURVEILLANCE. From the New York State Covid Tracker. Observation & Analysis by John F. Bailey. September 13, 2022:
The week of September 4 to 10, the week after Labor Day 3-day weekend, ended with the NYS Covid tracker reporting 1,091 new persons testing positve for covid., down 155 cases from last week’s total of 11,246.
This was the sixth consecutive week since July 31-August 6 where weekly new infections in the county have stabilized. Over that period infections per week have been:
July 31-Aug 6: 2,062; Aug 7-13: 1,664 (down 20%); Aug 14-20: 1,299 (down 22%); Aug 21-27: 1,300 (Even); Aug 28-Sep.3: 1,246 (down 4%); and the week ended Saturday September 10: 1,091 (down 12%).
Total positives in these six weeks of decline in new cases numbered 8,662, 1,443 infections a week down from the 11,489 new covid-infectees the 4 weeks of July,where Westchester averaged 2,827 new cases a week. The covid infections continue at 1,000 a week now a decline of 1,384 new cases or 49%.
The possibility of getting infected now is less. Consensus of the leaders around the county is that covid is in decline. The county suspended covd updates beginning this week.
The last two weeks profiling the number of cases by community around the county shows lowering numbers of new cases. Instead of 17 communities averaging 100 new cases a week the numbers have improved but you should protect yourself. I had to take an in home test last week administered by Brenda Starr, and I want to tell you these at-home tests are not easy. You have to stick a swab up your nose just like Governor Cuomo, affix it to the plastic test strip which (looks like a flashdrive) and wait 15 minutes. The instructions have to be read carefully. If you have trouble reading English, and are nervous you may not get enough nose fluids to sample. The device shows you if you got enough. But mind you–if you have shaky hands you could hurt your nose if you go up too deep. It is as easy as it can be, I guess but at no time did I realize these at-home tests required easing a swab up your nose transfering to a small device that serves as a receptacle for your nose-retrieved sample, then you have to wait 15-20 minutes.
The wait is agonizing.
I wonder how many try the test throw up their hands because they need a second person, or get exasperated and do not complete it. I think that may be a reason why many persons seek out lab tests at medical centers and pharmacies– the discomfort of the tests and misunderstanding them. (Since we have no idea how many at-home tests are administered where people are positive, there is no way to tell whether the documented lab tests provided to the New York State Covid Tracker indicate a much higher rate of ghost infections in the general population than we saw during this diminution over the last six weeks.
Diminution is a very comfortable word leaving you with the feeling covid is dwindling like the summer wind.
The infection rates of persons since only lab-certified test results are being used, have been high in my opinion, landing heavy percentages of new infections a day across 7 counties of the Mid-Hudson Region , New York City and the hotbeds of covid spread, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The infection rates I see leafing through my day-by-day percentage of infections per county are consistently above the infection rate level, (total persons newly infecting 1 other person or less than one other person) you need to stop covid spread.
The infections rates just last Friday, September 9 the infection rates for Westchester County and the 7 other counties in the Mid-Hudson and Long Island were:
September 9 POP 7-Day Avg Day Spread/100M Tests Positives Infection Rate
Westchester 1,004,000 20.3 (211/wk/844 Mo.) 2,913 196 5.7%
Rockland 338,329 20.3 ( 68/wk/476/Mo.) 766 66 8.2%
Orange 382,000 17 (65/wk/260/Mo.) 1068 65 6%
Dutchess 294,000 23.2 (68/wk./272/Mo) 504 68 14.2%
Ulster 70,088 18 ( 13/wk/52 /mo) 225 33 14%
Putnam 97,668 15.2 (15/wk./44/mo) 230 15 7.6%
Sullivan 78,624 17.2 (14/wk/56/mo) 208 13 6.4%
MID-HUD POP 2,264709 18.74(90/WK/360/MO) 5,914 455 8%
NASSAU 444,967 31 (138/wk/551/MO) 4,767 420 6.5%
SUFFOLK 1,532,424 36.1 (553wk/2,212/MO) 5,313 534 6.4%
Sad to say, as long as Nassau and County continue their upwards of 1,000 new cases of covid a day to the tri state area, infections in New York City are not going to go down. As school begins with virtually no covid distancing and vaccination requirements, the disease will still be out there every day. Will it gain momentum? Will children be as resistant to the disease as anti vaccine and anti social restrictions advocates hope they are and hope is the operative strategy.
With a 25% infection rate in the White Plains Schools last year, with all precautions taken, masking and social distancing, I doubt if dropping all precautions against covid is wise. I hope so. That is what is at play here in politicians, leaders, parents, children: hope.
Though the spread is coming down, are there a lot of ghost cases out there? Is home testing a reliable way of finding out whether you have the disease or just a way of ignoring you might be positive and sort of self-quarantine?
If I had tested positive last week on that at-home test, I do not know what my reaction would have been. I had symptoms. But just knowing I should take the at-home test due to particular possible exposure, I had to take the test.
The greater doubt I have is that the high infection rates across all 9 counties surrounding New York City are not stopping new cases.
The average infection rate is 8.9% over all 7 Mid-Hudson Counties. 1% is the no-spread Holy Grail, and the 7 counties are running 10 times that on very low test quantities.
People are getting it who are vaccinated. People are spreading it who do not have symptoms. The lab tests may be lulling us into a false sense of security. The disease whips up more new variants than craft beers.
But I don’t think we should feel secure. I am apprehensive.
Instead the lab verified tests may be giving us a false definition of the true picture of infected persons every day out there. If the population at large is not testing and the low number of lab,medically conducted tests analyzed by the labs infect at 8% rates,–this could mean that if you were testing 10,000 a day in Westchester like we used to, you’d have 900 infections a day in Westchester alone, or the chaotic 6,300 cases a week levels we saw at the end of January. Even if you have a 4% average infection rate Westchester is getting
With the latest doubts being raised about the under 5 vaccine for kids, it calls into question how good is the FDA vetting process anyway and is it driven to be too hasty in order to advance political fortunes? The medical profession seems to be disagreeing right and left on covid medicines, seriousness, and disease ability to spread.
The information wars have spread to covid to everybody’s peril.
Under no circumstances should the state suspend publishing the daily covid new case counts. Right now it is the only reasonably explicit covid progress system for the state. If it is suspended to build public confidence, this would be a serious mistake.
Without a scoreboard we will not know the score.
Without a steady hand on the covid helm with willingness to act prudently, the disease will continue to afflict, cripple and impede the metropolitan area confidence.
It’s in your hands and mine, to take care of ourselves and loved ones.