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Another county begins releasing town-by-town COVID-19 caseload

Throughout the region counties have been taking different approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, many are releasing town-by-town data for those who test positive. The most-recent county to join that list is Cayuga, which saw a recent spike in cases.

“Our health care providers have shared there are likely undiagnosed cases of COVID-19 in our county,” Cayuga County Department of Health said in a statement. “People can be transmitting the virus and not realize it. The purpose of knowing this is so you can focus on actions you and your family can take to continue social distancing, reduce trips to only essential requirements, wear a face covering in public and clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.”

Other counties though are not releasing that data. Seneca, Wayne, Yates, and Ontario are releasing little in the way of regular town-by-town data.

Last week in a press release, officials in Seneca County said that the move was made to ensure that people remain vigilant.

There has not been a statewide policy on how data should be released, which has created some variations in what data is released. For example, some counties are reporting total number of tests completed while others report the number of test results received. Another common wrinkle in the data is the way in which confirmed cases, or active cases are reported.

Another challenge with data is that the state’s tracker for county-by-county data has been consistently off throughout the crisis. Individual health departments have been releasing information, which does not match with what the state lists.

The takeaway at this point is that it’s county-dependent on whether more specific, individualized data will be released.