Coronavirus News Update – Nov. 22: Why New York City and New York State Can’t Agree on the Positivity Rate

By Anna Breuer on 22 November 2020
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An empty Times Square, an area usually bustling with tourists

Confused about New York City’s 3% positivity rate?  So is much of the rest of the world.  The city and New York State calculate the positivity rate differently. The state tallies each case on the day the test result is made available, while the city counts it when the test sample was provided.  In addition, the city only counts polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, considered the gold standard in testing, while the state also counts antigen tests, which are less reliable.

Dr. Deborah Birx spoke to the nation late last week, urging Americans to wear masks and wearing one herself from the podium. In multiple television news interviews, she has urged people not to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, citing the risk of intermingling households at a time where the number of virus cases is surging and the country has added a million new cases in under a week.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the drug Regeneron, an experimental antibody treatment.  The drug was given to President Trump under a compassionate use provision after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.  A similar treatment developed by Eli Lilly was given emergency approval by the FDA earlier in November.

Authorities in New Mexico said they would require grocery stores to close if four or more of their employees test positive for the coronavirus. Fourteen stores have already been forced to temporarily close under the new orders.

Another Republican Senator has tested positive for the coronavirus.  Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who regularly wears masks but who was went sans mask on Thursday at an indoor event where most people also forewent masks.  A rapid antigen test came up negative but a subsequent PCR test showed she was positive for the virus.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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