Back in the yellow Covid column


Good afternoon,

Delaware is back in the yellow category.

Covid Exit Strategy and the widely viewed Johns Hopkins dashboard showed the percentage of positives rising to a worrisome 7.5 percent. By the weekend, the rate had dropped to 3.9 percent, based on a seven-day average.

The statistical spike that put Delaware into the Covid Exit’s red zone more than likely sent Delaware in the quarantine category that requires Delaware travelers to isolate for two weeks in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Earlier today, Delaware and Maryland were for now taken off the list.

Granted, Delaware should be doing better. To match the Jersey-New York figures, Delaware would have to see the number of daily positive cases drop well below 50 over an extended period while maintaining the current level of testing.

Still, at no point did Delaware’s number ever approach the 7.5 percent rate, according to the Delaware state dashboard.

One likely factor was the delayed calculation of positive tests that come in from a host of labs.

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That may have been enough to briefly put Delaware in Exit Strategy’s red zone.

Delaware is now one of. a handful of states are in the yellow zone, with even fewer states in the Mid-Atlantic and New England in the green category. The bulk of the 50 states are in Covid Exit’s red or dark red zone.

One factor driving the numbers is Delaware’s small population, high testing rate and the lack of a common platform that allows apples to apples comparisons.

It’s a nationwide issue, since the federal government did not come up or even suggest a common user-friendly dashboard system or common metrics.

What we see are state, county, and even city dashboards of varied design. Some are extremely primitive.Delaware has one of the most comprehensive dashboards.

Still, coming up with comparisons is difficult as governmental units put an emphasis on different metrics.

It plays into the natural reluctance of people to accept new, science-based findings We saw an example of that yesterday with the outcry over kindergarteners wearing masks at school and public places.

It is now known that children spread the virus and in some cases contract it. That’s a change from March and April. What we are seeing here is the tendency of humans to stick with the first piece of news. The revised guidance is often viewed with suspicion.

For now, we are stuck in a crazy-quilt system with small states, like Delaware, paying the price. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer

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