I suggest that the newspaper report the number of active infections by county. This number is important because the number of active cases is an indication of the potential for readers to be exposed to a person with coronavirus.
A sample calculation may be helpful. On June 25, Lycoming County had 175 cases and in 2010 the population was 116,000. Statewide, the established coronavirus recovery rate is 78 percent. Applying 22 percent to 175 yields 39 active infections in Lycoming County. And 116,000 divided by 39 is 2,977. Therefore, in Lycoming County on average, a reader must come in contact with 2,977 people to be exposed to someone with an infection. This number tells us to stay out of large crowds where there are great numbers of people. If you stay out of large crowds, your risk of getting infected is quite low.
In Sullivan County, the exposure number is 1/9,500. The exposure numbers are not absolute. It is true that there are more infections than reported. It is also true that a great percentage of the people with infections are sick and stay home. These factors balance each other and with increased testing, the number of unreported infections goes down.
LANCE E ROBSON
Submitted via Virtual Newsroom