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NYC "medium risk" date for COVID


After being a global epicenter for the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, a summer and early fall of low spread relative to much of the rest of the U.S., and a steep rise in the late fall and early winter, New York City is now seeing an unusually slow decline in COVID-19 cases and test positivity. This may be attributable to the B.1.526 variant, which seems to elude some of the immunity given by both vaccines and having contracted the disease.

The New York Times evaluates risk levels in U.S. counties using cases per capita and test positivity rates. Their tracker for New York City assessed the risk in the city as "extremely high," the highest risk level, for the 67 days from December 29 to March 5 inclusive. March 6 was the first day that it instead read "very high."

This question serves as a companion question to "NYC 'low risk' date for COVID"

On what date will the New York Times COVID-19 tracker for New York City assess the risk as "medium"?

The question resolves with the first date that reads as "medium risk" on the New York Times's NYC COVID-19 tracker. Note that the publication of the assessment takes place the following day: for example, the first "very high risk" date was March 6, but this was published on March 7. In that case, the question would resolve as March 6, not March 7.

The question resolves ambiguously if the Times stops publishing the tracker or eliminates "medium risk" as a category before ever assessing the risk as "medium."

As of now, the NYT defines a county as at a medium risk level if it reported an average daily rate of about 1 case per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. (For these purposes, New York City, which technically spans five counties, is treated as one county.) Note that the Times defines a high risk level as follows: "A county is at a high risk level if it reported an average daily rate of about 3 or more cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks. A county with fewer cases may also be in this category if more than 10 percent of tests had a positive result over the past two weeks. This can mean that the county is not testing enough, and that the number of cases may be undercounted." Thus, even if about 1 per 100,000 are testing positive daily, if the positive test rate is quite high, the Times might still evaluate NYC as high-risk.

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