A City, If You Can Keep It: Follow Up – The County of Winters, CA

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I promised Taylor and Crystal this would be short as an update and follow up to last week for the online edition. I submitted this late Monday to capture the data as if it were Tuesday morning and line up with how the state evaluates counties.

Looking backward: as of last Tuesday, 7-day averages of new cases per 100,000 people was 4.08 for two weeks putting Winters in Red Tier 2 which allows 25 percent indoor capacity for businesses (I mistyped last week and said this was Tier 3 when it is actually 0.09 over Tier 3). As of the morning of Sept. 8 those same evaluation dates are 6.12 and 4.08.

This discrepancy is due to some cases being added beyond a 7-day lag as well as a data integrity issue I will briefly discuss below. I do not know if the State updates averages retroactively but our result does not change. For reference, the difference between a 6.12 and 4.08 7-day average for 100K people in Winters is a single case: a total of three in seven days vs two in seven days. This is a perfect illustration of the volume knob moving by one vs moving by 10 as I discussed last week.

Our scores for the morning of Sept. 8 is 12.24 and 6.12 average new cases per day per 100,000 people for two weeks. The spike is from two days in a 7-day period with three cases each. This does not change our Tier however, because two consecutive weeks of scores outside your current tier are needed to move forward or back. Both days are unique in that we have not had a day with more than one new case in about a month. It remains to be seen if a trend will develop but we still have single digit weekly case totals.

On the topic of case totals: Winters population corresponds to Tier 1 with four or more new cases per week, Tier 2 with two to three cases per week, Tier 3 with one case per week, and Tier 4 with zero. Single cases can determine our Tier. As a contrast, Davis can have between 18 and 31 cases and be in Red Tier 2, between five and 17 cases and be in Orange Tier 3. If we have four or more new cases in Winters we are locked down.

The troubling thing for me since I have tracked our cases daily for two weeks now, is that cases will move days after they are initially reported. Aug. 14 had one case and now has zero, Aug. 12 had two cases and now has zero, and Aug. 25 had four cases and now has three. I suspect the dates are being updated and those cases are being tallied on different dates since our total isn’t changing. But without unique case identifiers and access to the County’s data set it is hard to say for sure what is going on or why.

None of the possible reasons inspire confidence in the data handling. Data transparency is poor with Yolo County and this issue has been recurring since I began tracking the daily changes. Either way, our businesses could have had two weeks of limited indoor business by now including the long hot weekend, something that I bet would be a Godsend for many of them.

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