Today’s edition reports the largest week-over-week spread of COVID-19 in Lincoln County since the beginning of the pandemic. But without context for the five new cases, what conclusions should the community draw?
The state says patient privacy prohibits the release of more information – the same excuse for its refusal to release data by ZIP code earlier in the pandemic. Public officials seem to pull out the old “patient privacy” excuse when convenient, rather than when it actually applies.
The state says there is no community transmission here, so how did these five people contract COVID-19?
Are they health care workers?
Are they relatives?
Did they recently travel to another location with community transmission?
Did they fail to follow a guideline or guidelines that might have prevented their exposure?
Is the uptick in cases simply the result of the gradual uptick in testing?
To simply say: “Five new cases! Watch out!” does not help Lincoln County residents as we continue our efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – efforts that have been effective to date.
Without context, the data has little value and little ability to change behavior, if behavior needs to change.