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  • Covid-19 Cases Reach New Highs: What Have We Learned? - As I write in late July, Covid-19 cases continue to reach new highs at the national level.  The number of new cases reached more than 66,000 a day in the week ending July 18th, using a seven day rolling average.  That number is about two and one half times the…
  • Covid-19: Rapid Growth in Cases Exposes Vulnerabilities - Although the Northeast, particularly New York State, was the epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak in March and April,  states like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts imposed stringent measures that limited personal interactions, such as closing all non-essential worksites, limiting gatherings to groups of 10 or less, and requiring people…
  • Despite Agitation to Reopen Businesses, Upstate Covid-19 Cases Are Not Declining - Upstate areas are seeing increasing pressure to reopen currently closed businesses as the economic damage from Covid-19 restrictions increases.  With millions of New Yorkers unemployed and businesses facing the prospect of permanent closure, there is real need for relief.  But reopening should take place in a way that does not…
  • Reported Covid-19 Cases Increase in Upstate New York - Although New York State is seeing a decline in the number of new reported Coronavirus infections, the decrease is concentrated in downstate New York.  Reported new Covid-19 cases in upstate areas are increasing.  The increase is associated with an increase in the availability of tests for the virus. New Cases…
  • New Covid-19 Cases Decline Throughout New York - The number of new reported cases of Coronavirus in New York State has begun to decline.  The chart below, which shows the three-day moving average of new cases, indicates that after plateauing from April 3rd to April 10th, a decline began, with cases decreasing from a peak of more than…
  • Will New York Reopen for Business by May 1st? - Recent reports show that President Trump would like to reopen the national economy within a few weeks.  The Washington Post reported that "President Trump — concerned with the sagging economy — has sought a strategy for resuming business activity by May 1."   More recently, the President said that he expected…
  • Coronavirus’s Impact in New York State – The Curve Flattens - Although Coronavirus cases continue to increase in New York State, the rate at which they are increasing is slowing, most likely because the State and Federal actions requiring social isolation have slowed the transmission of the disease.  The decrease in the rate of increase is evident in both downstate and…
  • Coronavirus’s Upstate Impact - There is much that we do not know about the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Because testing has been severely limited, and available only to health care workers and hospital patients in most cases, we don't know the real extent of the virus in the community.   Because the virus is…
  • Local Leaders’ Role in Combating the Economic Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic -  The Covid-19 health response has shut down New York’s local economies.  With most business activities on pause, local government leaders should be addressing the economic impact now and preparing for the time when businesses are permitted to reopen. To date, the health impact of the virus in Upstate New York…
  • Countering the Economic Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic - We have seen alarming estimates of the potential impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on disease and death, as well as on our economy.  Some have suggested that more than half of our population could be infected - more than 160 million people and that one or two percent of those…
  • The (Sometimes Un-)Affordable Care Act - Consider four families of four with two children living near Albany, New York. The breadwinners in the family had recently taken jobs that do not offer health insurance. As the Affordable Care Act was written, they were required to purchase health insurance. Families one and two earn nearly the same…
  • Income Inequality in Metropolitan Areas - In many respects, the American economy has done extraordinarily well since the great recession of 2008. We have seen a long period of growth in employment, while unemployment has dropped to levels not seen in many decades. But this period has also seen a troubling increase in income polarization, which…
  • A Closer Look at Student Performance in Upstate City Schools - Parents in central cities seeking good educations for their children face the disconcerting reality that relatively few city school children pass standardized tests required by New York State, suggesting that the schools are failing.  In Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse and Schenectady, less than 20% of students passed state required English Language Arts…
  • Education, Economic Status and Student Performance in New York School Districts - Note:  A more recent, closer look at this subject may be found here:  https://policybynumbers.com/a-closer-look-at-student-performance-in-upstate-city-schools In 1966, James S. Coleman and associates wrote the report, "Equality of Educational Opportunity," for the United States Department of Health Education and Welfare, as required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The report was…
  • Rochester’s Broken School System - Kent Gardner argues forcefully in the Rochester Beacon that Rochester’s school system is broken and in need of radical change. Gardner’s post highlights the efforts of a local organization, ROC the Future, to bring about reform of the city’s school system. Gardner is correct – students in the city’s schools…