The Niagara County Update yesterday, led by Legislature Chairwoman Becky Wydysh and Public Health Director Dan Stapleton, touched upon progress in data during a report on COVID-19 in our area.
“Today, we are at 2.9% (positive COVID tests) since the crisis began, which continues to be less than half of what the New York State average is excluding New York City,” Stapleton remarked, adding, “So, those numbers are where we want them to be, where they continue to decrease.”
Stapleton also touched on the daily infection rate, saying, “The other number we look at is the infection rate on a daily basis. We like to be right around one percent. We believe that until we have a vaccine, we’ll continue to hover between one to two percent.” He added, “Right now, today’s rate is .4%, we’ve been consistently under one percent for a number of days now, and those number continue to improve.”
Stapleton further explained the numbers required for schools to reopen, noting, “Another important number that we look at is the infection rate, which needs to be at five percent or less in order for schools to get the approval from the Governor to open up. At the rate we are at now with .4% we are way below that threshold.” He added, “We’re the envy of a lot of other states, and other counties, in New York State.”
Next, Wydysh prompted a conversation on hospitalization rates in Niagara County. Stapleton explained the situation:
“Well, with the four people we have in Niagara County today, the hospitalizations across the state are 637. You look back at just a few short months ago, we had 18,000 more hospitalizations than we do now. There is no other number in this whole report that is more influential than that we are down by that much.”