Recent events have demonstrated that the novel coronavirus remains a tremendous risk to our health and national security.
On Oct. 2, President Donald Trump revealed that he and first lady Melania Trump had become infected. Nearly 30 people connected to the president also have tested positive for the coronavirus, raising questions about how closely White House personnel are enforcing safety protocols.
State authorities are keeping an eye on infection clusters throughout New York. During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo corrected some reports claiming that the state’s overall infection rate has increased. Numerous rapid and diagnostic tests were conducted in these hotspots, which inflated statewide statistics.
“Some have reported that the state’s infection rate is going up — that is not a fact,” Mr. Cuomo said, according to a story published Friday by The Daily News. “That is incorrect. The clusters are what we are watching. ... The statewide infection rate is actually lower than it has been.”
It’s good that the state’s overall infection rate has decreased. But officials have to closely monitor what’s occurring in these hotspots to ensure the spread of infection is controlled.
The Arcade village offices were closed until further notice last week after five emploees contracted COVID-19. Village officials don’t know exactly how it arrived, but said they’ll be reinforcing safety measures including the use of masks.
“It was more like (people were following general distancing), but I think we got a little lax as most of the community has,” said Mayor Jay May. “We think we’ve beaten this thing down, and we’re far from it, to be honest with you, so we had to go back and reinforce our protocols again, strengthen them back up again, and make sure everybody knows they’ll be strictly adhered to.
Classes also went temporarily online-only at Elba and Pioneer central schools.
There is certainly good news to report about the pandemic. Infection rates in specific parts of the country have gone down, showing that the virus is under greater control. This means that fewer people are being exposed.
While there are clusters in New York where problems have broken out, the numbers have definitely improved since the height of the outbreak several months ago. This reflects how seriously many people take this health care crisis. It also shows their determination to protect themselves and their loved ones.
However, we’re not out of the woods yet. Infection rates could grow just about anywhere, so we all need to remain vigilant.
The basic rules of safety still apply: Wear a mask when around other people; remain at least 6 feet away from them; keep surfaces as clean as possible; wash your hands frequently; and isolate yourself if you become infected or were exposed to someone else who is infected.
We continue to wish the best for Mr. and Mrs. Trump as they recover. Regardless of their political views, compassionate and sensible Americans have no desire to see anyone suffer the consequences of this horrible condition.
Yet it’s useful to learn from this example. Mr. Trump often downplayed how grave the coronavirus is, and he reportedly failed to follow safety procedures strongly recommended by health experts.
We hope these measures are now being implemented in the White House. These are steps we all need to take to ensure this pandemic eventually ends.