COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-04-23

Thursday, April 23, 2020, NYS Gov. Cuomo - If the Infection Rate is 13.9 Percent, 2.7 Million People have been Infected

We have undertaken the largest, most comprehensive study of New York State to find out what is the infection rate. Sample size so far, 3,000 people statewide. We have preliminary data on phase one and this is going to be ongoing. We did about 3,000 tests in about 19 counties, 40 localities across the state.

The surveys were collected at grocery stores, box stores, et cetera. That's important. It means you're testing people who, by definition, are out of the home and not at work, out and about shopping. They were not people who are in their home, isolated, quarantined, who you could argue would probably have a lower rate of infection because they wouldn't come out of the house. They're probably not essential workers. So that has to be calibrated.

What we found so far is the statewide number is 13.9 percent tested positive for having the antibodies. So they were infected 3 weeks ago, 4 weeks ago, 5 weeks ago, 6 weeks ago, but they had the virus, they developed the antibodies and they are now quote, unquote recovered, 13.9 percent, just about 14 percent.

Regionally, Long Island at 16.7, New York City at 21.2, Westchester, Rockland 11.7 and rest of state, 3.6. Rest of the state is basically upstate New York. By age, we did not survey anyone under 18, 18 to 24, 8 percent. 45 to 54, 16 percent. 75 plus, 13 percent. How many 75-year-olds were out shopping and about? That is the group that's supposed to be isolating because they are the most vulnerable. 65 to 74 also.

If the infection rate is 13.9 percent, then it changes the theories of what the death rate is if you get infected. 13 percent of the population is about 2.7 million people who have been infected. If you look at what we have now as a death total, which is 15,500, that would be about .5 percent death rate.

Two big caveats. First, 3,000 is a significant data set, but, it's still preliminary. And, when we say there are 15,500 deaths, those deaths are only hospitalization or nursing home deaths, that does not have people who died in their home. It gets even more complicated because in California, they're now finding deaths that go back to last December or January that they believe were COVID-related. People didn't even know about COVID at that time. If you go back to December and January, look at the number of deaths, check them for a COVID-related death - I don't even know how you do that practically - you'll see that total number of deaths go up.

It supports the decision that we talked about to have a regional analysis and decision-making. Upstate New York is 3.6 percent. New York City is 21 percent. What you do in a place with 21 percent is not the same thing necessarily that you would do in a place with 3.6 percent. It's the same theory that some states open now, and New York doesn't. Because the facts should dictate the action on reopening.

But there's a second complicating factor: what you do in a region still has to be coordinated because you have a pent up demand in the whole tristate area where one region opens up for business - you could see people come in, literally, from the tristate area and overwhelm that region. We try to rationalize with Connecticut and New Jersey because there have been facilities in Connecticut that were open and you have all sorts of New York license plates there. So, understand on that regional analysis that you still exist in a tristate area with millions of people who are looking for something to do, to get out of the house, put the kids in the car, and go.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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