Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled a daily testing results dashboard to complement the early warning dashboard for New Yorkers and local governments to easily track the COVID-19 daily test results by region and county as all regions in the state are now reopening.
This dashboard is now online HERE.
“Every region of the state is now reopening, so we need to look at the facts and the numbers through a different lens now,” he said. “We're all reopening. Everything is reopening; the question now is could there be any spike in the rate of transmission upon reopening? That is the relevant question.
“This is a whole different universe for us now. You re opening. People are getting back on Metro-North and getting back on trains, could you see a spike in the virus? You have a lot of protests, people in close proximity, could you see a spike in the virus? About 600,000 people are coming back to work in the Metropolitan region, can you see a spike in the virus? So, now what we want to look at is the day-to-day testing that we're doing, OK?
“In some ways, the number of deaths right now is not important. The number of deaths are so low that it really comes down to how they classify the cause of death for those people. Was the cause of death heart disease or hypertension or heart attack or was it the COVID virus? But the number of deaths are so low, thank God, that that that number is no longer really that informative.
“The day-to-day testing is. What does that mean? We do about 50,000 tests every day. Watch that daily number. That's like getting your blood pressure reading every day, your cholesterol count every day. You know exactly how healthy your body is if you get those numbers on a daily basis. You look at that day-to-day testing number; you will know on a day-to-day basis what is happening – and that's what elected officials should start looking at and that's what citizens should start looking at.
“So, we're going to design a new dashboard. When we started this, we put up a dashboard so that citizens and elected officials could go to a website. They look at the dashboard, they'll know exactly where they (are).
“And when we started this, a big part for me was about informing the people, because people were going to do this. Government was never going to do this. I could just provide the information, but then they had to get the information, accept the information and be smart about the information.”
Image courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
He added, “This is what people should look at every day: hospital administrators, elected officials, citizens. The percentage of positive tests per day by region, and then you can look at it by county. This is the number to focus on. How many tests did we do yesterday in the region and what percent is positive of those tests?
“So, Capital Region, we did 1,889 tests just yesterday, 18 people were positive – 1% is roughly what the 18 is. This will tell you on a day-to-day basis if you start to see tremors of a spike, and if those numbers start to move, then you want to know right away why and how.
“You see the numbers start to move, you go to those 18 people who tested positive in the Capital Region and the tracing operation then talks to those 18 to try to find out who those 18 were in contact with. ‘Who do you live with? Who do you work with? Where were you? Who did you get infected possibly?’ And then you call those people. But tracing can also lead you to a situation that caused the infection. Maybe five of those 18 or work in the same place. Oh, now let's go look at that employment center.
“So, this is the new dashboard. This is the new focus. We're all concerned about the same thing, is there increasing spikes, and this is going to do it.
“You can look by region and by county. And these are the numbers by county. Westchester County, 2,500 tests yesterday – just yesterday. Snapshot 35, 1.4%. Now, the numbers are relatively small, so day-to-day you'll see some up and some down. That shouldn't set off any alarm bells. But if you see it's ticking up – and it's ticking up for a number of days – then it's something that people have to pay attention to.
“So, we're in a new phase. We're feeling good. We've done great. But we have to stay smart, because reopening resets the whole game.
“When you reopen and people start coming out in some ways, you go right back to day one; and we know as a fact that reopening has very often caused problems. We know as a fact that reopening other states, we're seeing significant problems. Florida has the highest number of cases yesterday. Wall Street Journal, 12 states that reopened and are now seeing spikes. This is a very real possibility. Countries around the globe that reopened are seeing spikes.
“Just because you reopen does not mean you will have a spike, but if you are not smart, you can have a spike. We need to be as smart and diligent as we were up until today, going forward. And my hesitancy is, well now people think it's OK. ‘Oh, we're reopening, well then we're fine.’ No. No; we're not fine. We've made great progress, but we have to stay smart, we have to stay disciplined.”