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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #571
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Stupid question, if a local college campus decides to test all 9-10,000 students in a week, could that push up numbers for a whole county by virtue of just the quantity of test being more than what you were doing? My wife says, "no" but I don't want to believe it. Her rational is the number of sick would be every present and vaguely known, while the number of healthy people is what the test is actually detecting.
    I think it's hard to say but perhaps there is some validity to both sides. On one hand, true, people who are sick will end up being tested (hopefully) anyways, so the figures would just come in more quickly. But on the other hand, if there are asymptomatic cases (and there appear to be), then those people will be discovered by the mass testing, I presume. So in that sense I think it would raise the number.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I think it's hard to say but perhaps there is some validity to both sides. On one hand, true, people who are sick will end up being tested (hopefully) anyways, so the figures would just come in more quickly. But on the other hand, if there are asymptomatic cases (and there appear to be), then those people will be discovered by the mass testing, I presume. So in that sense I think it would raise the number.
    It's pretty much bound to raise the number of cases reported, whenever you test a bunch of people you wouldn't otherwise test, while everything else stays the same.
    But will that number make a significant difference that'll show up against the normal variability from week to week? No way of knowing without being told more about the populations involved.
    Even if it did show up, would that lead to a change in the social restrictions imposed on the surrounding area? No way of even guessing, without having a lot more information about prevalence and transmission in that area. But no public health policy-maker is going to say anything as simplistic as, "Ooh, look, this number is bigger than it was last week, let's lock down."

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Just a question, but how are figures counted in the US? In Japan (which is a bit strange), an infection is counted as being in the hospital where the test was done. So areas that have big hospitals automatically get more cases than places without big hospitals.
    I believe that here its reported based on circumstances and there are "two numbers" for each diagnosed case. The number that you would used for statistics boils down to where you personally live, no matter where you were diagnosed. A second number is used to group cases at specific locations, say a particular site or business. That one is used to make sure people aren't creating COVID incubators at work, school or other places. It's a segregated number and doesn't count towards the local statistics or averages. We'd hate to find out a testing facility is the cause of infections.

    For example, we have a relatively new medical complex downtown. It's huge, whole city blocks. 9 of them. It turns out that when COVID reared it's ugly head, it was obvious that developers in that area built housing marketed specifically to medical workers at this new complex. They got a hot zone near the medical complex and then all down the metrorail line away from the hospital in both directions. All the sites of new housing marketed to people working in that particular sector were plainly visible to even the most armchair bound observer. That fire went out faster than the general numbers, probably because they were medical workers.

    Before you ask about our "metro rail line", we have one. It goes up and down Main Street. That's all. One street has rail service. Silly, I know.

    (Edit - I should qualify that, being a social studies teacher and all. When you asked about the United States, I answered for New York State. Each State has different standards and methods. It works most of the time, but I am sure you could see how it's like herding cats.)
    Solfe

  4. #574
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    It's pretty much bound to raise the number of cases reported, whenever you test a bunch of people you wouldn't otherwise test, while everything else stays the same.
    But will that number make a significant difference that'll show up against the normal variability from week to week? No way of knowing without being told more about the populations involved.
    Even if it did show up, would that lead to a change in the social restrictions imposed on the surrounding area? No way of even guessing, without having a lot more information about prevalence and transmission in that area. But no public health policy-maker is going to say anything as simplistic as, "Ooh, look, this number is bigger than it was last week, let's lock down."

    Grant Hutchison
    I took a couple GIS courses, I could look up the data but don't want to. (Edit again - Its actually kind of cool, they have a DB and several interfaces. It's a lot like pulling data out of astronomical catalogs.)

    My college, the one in the zip code where I work, has 15,000 students that are all being tested in the coming days. That is relative to 256,000 residents of the City of Buffalo. Our tipping point for implementing lockdown is 5%. Additionally, the large medical complex plus all of the associated housing is at the other end of that zip code, with several smaller schools in between. Like 5, ranging in size from 30 students to 1,000 students. They want to lock things down by zip code, but this area has a really high "use population" that isn't really attached to residency.

    There is zero chance that most of the people at Buff State would have COVID, but it's in a location that has many other populations that could easily kick this out of the range of "lock down a zip code" to "lock down a whole city".
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Nov-09 at 03:44 AM.
    Solfe

  5. #575
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post

    (Edit - I should qualify that, being a social studies teacher and all. When you asked about the United States, I answered for New York State. Each State has different standards and methods. It works most of the time, but I am sure you could see how it's like herding cats.)
    I'm actually "from" New York State (well technically not, because I was born in New Haven, but we moved to NY when I was 4. And definitely, I understand the part about herding cats. There's a recent, umm, let's say major event going on where the fact that rules are different in different parts of the country has stood out a bit...

    Also, I didn't know that Buffalo had a single rail line, but I think there are other places like that. In Japan, there is one city I know of (Naha, Okinawa) that has a single rail line (a monorail) that basically runs from the city center to the airport.
    As above, so below

  6. #576
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    I'm actually "from" New York State (well technically not, because I was born in New Haven, but we moved to NY when I was 4. And definitely, I understand the part about herding cats. There's a recent, umm, let's say major event going on where the fact that rules are different in different parts of the country has stood out a bit...
    Yeah, I danced that issue pretty well. But I also read news out of Canada, Argentina and UK. Obviously, no one is going to be the same, but I think New York has a so-so handle on the situation.
    Solfe

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    New development in Denmark with the Mink connection. For the first time anywhere, as far as I know, freight has been stopped. The worry is that the new strain of virus would defeat the vaccine under development. When freight stops the situation is critical for the economy of course, it cannot be stopped for too long. In the delivery strike in UK 18 years ago, (approx) the supermarket shelves emptied in days, as did the fuel distribution.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  8. #578
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    Our tipping point for implementing lockdown is 5%.
    Five percent of what?

    Grant Hutchison

  9. #579
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Five percent of what?

    Grant Hutchison
    A rolling average of 5% positive rate of all tests given, over a 7 day period.

    Edit - I probably don't have the phrasing right. Let me try again. They are looking at a rolling average of all test given over a 7 day period, where the average daily result is 5% positive. That sounds more correct to me, but what do I know? I'm bad at math.
    Solfe

  10. #580
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    A rolling average of 5% positive rate of all tests given, over a 7 day period.

    Edit - I probably don't have the phrasing right. Let me try again. They are looking at a rolling average of all test given over a 7 day period, where the average daily result is 5% positive. That sounds more correct to me, but what do I know? I'm bad at math.
    OK. That's what I guessed it was. Five percent test positivity is a standard threshold recommended by the WHO, at which communities might move in or out of restrictions.
    So testing your local college is more likely to drive that figure down rather than up, because you'll be testing a whole bunch of people who don't otherwise meet your local testing criteria, and are therefore less likely to have the disease than everyone else who is being tested. Your raw case numbers will go up, but your test positivity rate will go down.
    But your local public health people will be aware of this, and I'm sure will segregate the college data during their analysis.

    Grant Hutchison

  11. #581
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    New development in Denmark with the Mink connection. For the first time anywhere, as far as I know, freight has been stopped. The worry is that the new strain of virus would defeat the vaccine under development. When freight stops the situation is critical for the economy of course, it cannot be stopped for too long. In the delivery strike in UK 18 years ago, (approx) the supermarket shelves emptied in days, as did the fuel distribution.
    Is freight restricted in Denmark? All I can find are restrictions on hauliers arriving in some other countries from Denmark, and on hauliers who have visited Denmark in the last two weeks. (That's bad enough for Denmark, I guess.)
    So we may have an impending bacon shortage in the UK--expect panic buying.

    ETA: WHO web page about the mink SARS-CoV-2 variant.

    Grant Hutchison
    Last edited by grant hutchison; 2020-Nov-09 at 03:45 PM.

  12. #582
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    OK. That's what I guessed it was. Five percent test positivity is a standard threshold recommended by the WHO, at which communities might move in or out of restrictions.
    So testing your local college is more likely to drive that figure down rather than up, because you'll be testing a whole bunch of people who don't otherwise meet your local testing criteria, and are therefore less likely to have the disease than everyone else who is being tested. Your raw case numbers will go up, but your test positivity rate will go down.
    But your local public health people will be aware of this, and I'm sure will segregate the college data during their analysis.

    Grant Hutchison
    Ugh. Our numbers are going up and the college testing should be pushing it down. A lot of people out there are misbehaving, I guess.

    I wanted to blame the college students! It's always the college students! Sigh. It's starting to look like the whole county, not one zip code. We'll find out more later today.

    And in other news, I found webcam at The City of Deerfield Beach on Youtube. It's soothing. It's what I do to get a grip.
    Solfe

  13. #583
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    And in other news, I found webcam at The City of Deerfield Beach on Youtube. It's soothing. It's what I do to get a grip.
    Although I'm not much of a beach person, that is pretty nice. I've been checking in on the Lake Hood camera every now and then since it's the only way to approximate the view from my office window, now that I'm working at home.
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  14. #584
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Is freight restricted in Denmark? All I can find are restrictions on hauliers arriving in some other countries from Denmark, and on hauliers who have visited Denmark in the last two weeks. (That's bad enough for Denmark, I guess.)
    So we may have an impending bacon shortage in the UK--expect panic buying.

    ETA: WHO web page about the mink SARS-CoV-2 variant.

    Grant Hutchison
    I think you are right. I deliver and install float tanks and try to keep up to date with restrictions. We have been travelling as goods carriers and mobile workers, loosely technical terms, with paperwork but the Denmark restrictions are new. Of course we cannot visit the USA but we can send freight there. If goods drivers are forced to quarantine it makes transport very slow.
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    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
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  15. #585
    On the news there was a report of someone claiming to have tested positive for Covid but didn't have it, some people got worried and then it was found out the employee didn't have or was tested. He lost his job and won't be getting it back.
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  16. #586
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Backroad Astronomer View Post
    On the news there was a report of someone claiming to have tested positive for Covid but didn't have it, some people got worried and then it was found out the employee didn't have or was tested. He lost his job and won't be getting it back.
    I don't know how it is everywhere else but in NY if you get sick with COVID, your employer has to pay you sick time. Lying about COVID which results in you getting paid time off escalates things quickly. Just say you hate your job and quit.
    Solfe

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    My employer is taking the COVID situation very seriously. We do as much work as possible from home, but some things require being in the facility.
    Possible exposure to an infected person can be pretty costly to the company. Any close contacts have to go into isolation, facilities have to be closed for decontamination, etc.

    While they want us to report possible illness, I suspect they would be very displeased with someone faking it- especially if they claimed they tested positive.
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  18. #588
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    My employer is taking the COVID situation very seriously. We do as much work as possible from home, but some things require being in the facility.
    Possible exposure to an infected person can be pretty costly to the company. Any close contacts have to go into isolation, facilities have to be closed for decontamination, etc.

    While they want us to report possible illness, I suspect they would be very displeased with someone faking it- especially if they claimed they tested positive.
    I didn't even think of the collateral damage. That's ugly.
    Solfe

  19. #589
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    Well, my county made it one week but not two. We slipped a tier, mostly that means non-essential inside business services are banned again, so no inside dining (it had been at 25% normal occupancy), no haircuts, etc. I do wonder how many restaurants will survive COVID-19. There are a huge number of them within a couple miles or so (a while back I looked for restaurants on one of the internet maps and realized I hadn’t been aware of half of them).

    Ah well.

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  20. #590
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    More than 125K new cases in the USA yesterday, second most ever. On a Monday, which are usually low. USA deaths will probably hit a quarter of a million within two weeks, and politicians are still in denial. Damn.
    I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner tomorrow. She's going to lecture me about my blood sugar. I'm having a hard enough time dealing with 2020 as it is.
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  21. #591
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    More than 125K new cases in the USA yesterday, second most ever. On a Monday, which are usually low. USA deaths will probably hit a quarter of a million within two weeks, and politicians are still in denial. Damn.
    I have an appointment with the Nurse Practitioner tomorrow. She's going to lecture me about my blood sugar. I'm having a hard enough time dealing with 2020 as it is.
    Funny, though the numbers are obviously smaller, he also had an increased number in Tokyo (usually it is low on Monday, but it was fairly high). It may be that the oncoming winter is having the predicted effect.
    As above, so below

  22. #592
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    It may be that the oncoming winter is having the predicted effect.
    It definitely is here. It has been getting cooler, and downright cold the last few days. This is the third time we’ve gone to a more restrictive tier. We were slowly improving a month ago. The medical experts interviewed on the news think it is a combination of colder weather making people stay in and too many people letting their guard down.

    Just heard on the news, they expect at least half of the local restaurants to go out of business from this latest backwards shift. I wonder what that will mean for other businesses? I have noticed some store signs disappearing here and there, though not many that matter to me so far.

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  23. #593
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    I've been slowing processing what was reported as a yellow zone in Western New York. It looked like an area of the county was going to get hit with a yellow zone lockdown. It appears that it is the whole county. My school is shutting down again and going to full distance learning. Mostly, it's an issue with test requirements. We can't get our hands on testing kits and the staff to do it in the time frame required.

    Back in April, I started doing a podcast about Dungeons and Dragons and old games. It's a bit harder than it looks. I think will will offer my services and equipment to my school and start recording any sort of printed media the other teacher's are using for their classes. A lot of kids can't read yet, or are more engaged where there is crisp, clear audio information. It will probably be better received than my podcast.
    Last edited by Solfe; 2020-Nov-11 at 04:04 PM.
    Solfe

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    I believe the schools in my county have opened, but we are an outlier in the region.
    Another record number of cases in the USA yesterday, and the 7-day average of deaths is over 1000. Stay safe, folks.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  25. #595
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    Yeah, your county has a tiny fraction of ours. We are definitely not opening schools any time soon.

    Apparently the work on a vaccine is going well. I maintain hope that my kid will be back in school by the end of the year.
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  26. #596
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Funny, though the numbers are obviously smaller, he also had an increased number in Tokyo (usually it is low on Monday, but it was fairly high). It may be that the oncoming winter is having the predicted effect.
    Why is Japan often just reporting Tokyo-area numbers? Are there no appreciable numbers in the rest of the country?
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  27. #597
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    Once again Texas is out in front. We are the first state to record one million cases!

    Take that, NY and CA.
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  28. #598
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Once again Texas is out in front. We are the first state to record one million cases!

    Take that, NY and CA.
    Congratulations! You must be very proud.
    A: "Things that are equal to the same are equal to each other"
    B: "The two sides of this triangle are things that are equal to the same"
    C: "If A and B are true, Z must be true"
    D: "If A and B and C are true, Z must be true"
    E: "If A and B and C and D are true, Z must be true"

    Therefore, Z: "The two sides of this triangle are equal to each other"

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    I got my library card renewed for which I had to show up in person with picture ID, but I wasn't asked to remove my mask. How do I know that I wasn't someone else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiery Phoenix View Post
    Why is Japan often just reporting Tokyo-area numbers? Are there no appreciable numbers in the rest of the country?
    I don't quite understand, and would want to ask a question in return. What do you mean when you say "Japan is reporting"? Do you mean the Japanese government? In that case, the figures for all the cases in different prefectures are reported (publicly and to the WHO, for example). Do you mean, "why does the media often just report the cases from Tokyo?" In that case, I wasn't really aware I think they may do it for other places as well when the place is well known, like "cases in NYC" or "record number of cases in Los Angeles." But in my case, it's more simple, it's just the fact that I live in Tokyo so, like other people reporting the cases in their counties, I obviously pay more attention to that.

    And actually, if you look at the figures here for example: https://www.nippon.com/en/japan-data/h00657/, Tokyo does have the highest number of cases (though not per capita), it is by no means the only prefecture where there are significant numbers.
    As above, so below

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