Data informs decision-making: Putnam Pushes State for Zip-Code Breakdown

BREWSTER, NY— Thanksgiving has always been a time for family and friends to gather. Unfortunately, as Putnam County’s COVID-19 positivity rate and daily case count have been on the rise, local officials are encouraging residents to modify holiday plans and keep their families safe.  The county is also working with the state to get information to residents, businesses, and schools that might be impacted by the Governor’s micro-cluster designations.  

The New York State Department of Health uses a variety of metrics to determine when an area will be designated a micro-cluster. Two of these metrics are readily available for residents to view: the positivity rate based on a seven-day rolling average, and the number of cases per 100,000 people. These daily metrics are available online at https://forward.ny.gov/percentage-positive-results-county-dashboard. To learn more about the other metrics considered for a micro-cluster designation, New York State has released a more detailed explanation of the strategy here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/MicroCluster_Metrics_10.21.20_FINAL.pdf  

   “The majority of our residents continue to make responsible choices that keep their community safe. However, we do rely on the state data to keep people informed– which is why we continue to push for the state to provide us with a town or zip code breakdown of their metrics.  The governor’s mention of Brewster ‘nearing yellow zone designation’ confirms that our request to view Putnam County on a hyper-local level is a necessity,” says Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. The village of Brewster and its growing case numbers were mentioned by the Governor in his press briefing on November 23.   

Health Commissioner Michael Nesheiwat, MD advises, “We continue to encourage all residents of our county to adhere to the recommendations that helped us flatten the curve earlier this year. Putnam County has seen a sharp rise in positive cases related to social gatherings and parties. The spike that is occurring locally is a result of our actions. Whether you are in closer proximity to Brewster, or you are further west, nearer to Peekskill, it is clear that our numbers are rising, and we all must make responsible choices to keep our families and our neighbors safe.”   

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services provided directly and through collaboration include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com; or find us on social media @PutnamHealthNY.