Virus Update: 33 total (8 new cases this week)

by beth on May 1, 2020

The Town updated the figure of Covid positive residents today. Three new cases were confirmed as of today, making it an increase of 8 patients this week.

It’s the biggest one week spike to date since the first resident was reported positive in March. (Given past difficulties in getting tests, this doesn’t necessarily mean the number of sick residents is increasing.)

new cases per week in Southborough

Southborough’s total of confirmed patients over time is still just 33 with 12 in isolation. (Click images below for data on age groups.)

confirmed cases as of May 1 http://www.mysouthborough.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Age-groups-covid-19-as-of-May-1-2020.jpg

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 moving baseline, etc. May 2, 2020 at 10:42 AM

As the weeks pass the number of tests performed each day increases. As more tests are administered, more positive cases will be found. How can meaningful measurement be obtained when the baseline continually changes?

If a constant number of people were tested each day that would provide some sort of measure whether the number of positive cases were increasing or decreasing.

To daily change the number of tests administered and examine the raw numbers is misleading.

The expression, often and incorrectly attributed to that old saw Mark Twain, “lies, damn lies and statistics” comes readily to mind.

Has anyone given thought to the “everyday heroes” who are in lockdown? The whole reason we, as a society, are doing this lockdown exercise is to attempt to “flatten the curve”. That effort is focused on preventing a situation in which our healthcare system may be overwhelmed. We, the common people, are voluntarily locking ourselves down in order to give “the system” a break.

So – everyone who is restricting their movements and activities needs to give themselves a pat on the back for you’re heroes too!

The healthcare workers and first responders wouldn’t be dealing with the limited number of patients and cases they are without the overwhelming support of you, the ordinary people, who have so far, agreed to so many restrictions.

Congratulations!

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2 n May 4, 2020 at 10:30 AM

“So – everyone who is restricting their movements and activities needs to give themselves a pat on the back for you’re heroes too!”

Talk about moving baselines!

Definition of hero from m-w.com:
1a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability

b: an illustrious warrior

c: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities

d: one who shows great courage

Redefining the word devalues its use to describe those putting themselves at risk to take care of the rest of us.

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3 Tony H May 3, 2020 at 3:30 PM

How do we have 8 new cases this week? Everything has been shut down for a month or more. No schools, most businesses closed, and restaurants closed with the exception of take out. Where are these cases coming from? Please don’t say more testing. If there are trends in where new cases are still emerging (senior housing, healthcare workers..) that would be helpful for the board of health to share.

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4 Anne Jones May 4, 2020 at 7:53 AM

Tony,
The jump in Southborough covid-19 cases, while certainly discouraging, may not be as scary as it looks at first glance. It’s almost impossible to isolate members of a household from one another. Once someone in a family comes down with covid-19, the disease can spread rapidly from one person to everyone else in the family. So it’s possible that the eight new cases are confined to two families.
However, the increase in new cases is evidence that all of us, children as well as adults, need to follow social distancing practices strictly. I took a walk down Parkerville Road on Sunday between Southville Road and Finn School. Many people were out enjoying the fine weather, but almost no one wore a mask. Children whizzed close to me on bikes and scooters. My fellow pedestrians generally distanced themselves from one another, but often by only three or four feet. We all need to be more careful.

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5 Vinny C May 5, 2020 at 7:16 AM

All that the 8 new cases tells us is that we had 8 new cases. Tony H is right-we have no idea where or why we have 8 new cases, and some actual info, instead of pure speculation would actually help. One family, two families, teenagers, pets, subway, take-out orders, who knows! It’s hard to tackle the problem when we don’t know the problem.

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6 Jack May 4, 2020 at 9:43 AM

Agreed with Moving Baseline that we’re overall doing a great job when compared to many surrounding towns. Hopefully it stays that way as the weather continues to improve. I do think that, while not perfect, tracking the number of positive tests is still relevant (if we as a country didn’t track that, we’d be like North Korea, with no positive tests, and little public motivation to slow the spread and come up with solutions).

As far as where the new cases come from, without knowing the details, there are many plausible explanations. Many people in town are doctors, nurses, store employees, etc. Just because precautions are taken, it’s clear that this virus can’t be stopped 100% of the time by wearing a mask and gloves. I’m also glad I’m not of high school age (or with children that age) – it would be tough not to see physically see classmates, teammates, girlfriends/boyfriends, etc for two months and counting – kudos to those who have been able to isolate in that situation.

Hopefully those who are currently positive have a full recovery, and that we can continue to limit increases in cases throughout the summer.

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7 Rachel May 4, 2020 at 11:37 AM

I took a no-contact drive on Easter, and saw so many homes with multiple vehicles in their driveway and on the road. I’m betting we had a little jump after Easter because of things like that. Plus, yesterday I saw a junior high kid get dropped off at his girlfriend’s house (my neighbor). It was so frustrating seeing the two hug and tik tok for about an hour. I’m not sure how the parents of both kids would be okay with that! I understand that some people “need” to have contact with people, but I wish the parents would let the kids know it is not okay. Who knows how many times this has happened? We just saw it because we were sitting in our backyard yesterday.

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8 arborist May 6, 2020 at 8:44 PM

Why can’t the board of health run a covid-19 dashboard on the website like other towns and the state are doing, it is much easier to see the real facts, better than a graph

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9 beth May 7, 2020 at 8:42 AM

Not sure what you want on the Town’s dashboard, but they do have one. The info from that is the graphic I pasted in the bottom left of the post. (Sorry that I forgot to include a link to their dashboard. I’ve shared it plenty in the past and keep a link to it near the top of my Covid-19 in Southborough page.)

The graphs are my representation of their data.

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