Post #1032: William and Mary COVID-19 testing rate.

 

I tried to do a quick comparison of the COVID-19 testing rate on the William and Mary campus relative to the testing rate in Virginia.  The ultimate goal of this is to (gu)esstimate the effect that more intensive testing of the W&M student body has had on the count of COVID-19 cases discovered.

Turns out, that’s a very hard thing to do, for a lot of different reasons.  That’s not going to stop me from giving an estimate.  But it does stop me from giving  good estimate.

Best guess, the mandatory testing regimen at W&M ought to identify about three times as many cases as the voluntary, symptom-driven testing found in the community.  The fact that it does not — that we don’t see a case count that is three times the community rate — probably reflects the self-selection of the W&M student body, and the fact that their pre-campus COVID-19 infection risk is (probably) much lower than that of the average 21-to-30-year-old Virginia resident.

For me, the bottom line remains the same:  I want to see W&M improve, relative to that community benchmark, as the semester progresses.  That’s how I’ll feel comfortable that W&M is controlling the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Continue reading Post #1032: William and Mary COVID-19 testing rate.

Post #1010: William and Mary and the power of big round numbers.

Source:  William and Mary COVID-19 dashboard, updated to COB 2/15/2021.

I pulled up the William and Mary COVID-19 dashboard this afternoon and my heart skipped a beat.  I immediately read this as saying that THEY’VE HAD A HUNDRED CASES OF COVID-19 ON CAMPUS!  It took me a minute to realize that what it actually says is that they’ve had a hundred cases of COVID-19 on campus. Continue reading Post #1010: William and Mary and the power of big round numbers.

Post #995: William and Mary, off to a charmingly mediocre start this semester

My daughter is due to return to William and Mary this weekend, so it’s time for me to start focusing on colleges again, starting with the COVID-19 situation at W&M.

As an aside, she’s taking a whole-house humidifier with her, for her apartment suite.  I just happened to have a spare one around, new in the box, owing to the analysis of Post #894.  In addition to the two that I’m currently running in my house.  Continue reading Post #995: William and Mary, off to a charmingly mediocre start this semester

Post #878: College safer than home, for COVID-19?

Source:  William and Mary COVID-19 dashboard ,downloaded 10/24/2020.

Is my daughter safer from COVID-19 while at college, than she would be at home?  That’s the point of today’s calculation.  And the answer is a qualified “yes”.

You’ll see a lot of statistics regarding the number of COVID-19 infections within some defined population.  A few weeks back, the news was that nearly 20,000 Amazon.com workers had contracted COVID-19.  Back in June, it was 11,500 grocery store workers that had been infected.   Separately, you will see ongoing statistics on the large fraction of health care and first responder personnel who have been infected.

These are nice bits of click-bait, and do their job of getting people mindlessly angry at somebody.  Throw a big number in your face, get you to respond with your emotions and not your brain, and they’ve done their job.

Nobody ever stops to ask:  How many infections would be “normal” for the population in question?  Does the stated count of infections represent excess risk, above and beyond what the average American faces? Or does it just match the existing “background” rate of infections in a comparable US population?

Take Amazon.com, for example.

Continue reading Post #878: College safer than home, for COVID-19?