About this site

This site contains information about the Covid-19 pandemic in Westchester County, NY and the surrounding metropolitan area. The Westchester County government has created a dashboard that includes Covid-19 cases counts by municipality and current and historical county-level cases data. This site builds on the dashboard by providing per capita municipal case counts and historical data by municipality. In addition, this site includes data about Covid-19 in hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.

Data sources

New York State Statewide Covid-19 Testing

New York State Department of Health

This dataset includes the number of tests and positive cases of Covid-19 in New York State. The data is reported by county. It is updated daily and includes all tests reported by the end of the prior day. Tests include those administered by clinical laboratories as well as pooled or batch tests reported by colleges and universities.

Tests are assigned to a county based on the patient’s address. If that cannot be determined, the address of the health care provider who ordered the test is used.

If a person has multiple specimens tested on the same day, they are only counted as one test. If a person is tested on multiple days, each day’s test will be counted separately. An individual will only be counted positive one time, regardless of the number of positive tests that individual has.

Most recent data: Sep 22, 2021
Update frequency: Daily
Geographic aggregation: County (New York State only)
Where it’s used: New and total tests, new and total cases, test positivity rate


Coronavirus (Covid-19) Data in the United States

The New York Times

This dataset includes the number of cases and deaths due to Covid-19 in the United States. The data is reported by county. It is updated daily and includes all cases and deaths compiled by Times journalists by the end of the prior day. The data is based on reports from state and local health agencies across the county and each state may have a slightly different reporting methodology.

For counties in New York State, the Times uses data reported by the NYS Department of Health. There is a one-day lag in the NYS data in the Times dataset. For example, data counted on December 16 by the New York Times was reported on December 15 by NYS DOH.

Beginning August 6, the methodology for assigning deaths to counties in New York State was modified. Currently, deaths are assigned to the county of residence. Before August 6, deaths were assigned to county in which the death took place.

Most recent data: Sep 23, 2021
Update frequency: Daily
Geographic aggregation: County (United States)
Where it’s used: New and total deaths, new and total cases (metro area)


Westchester County COVID-19 Dashboard

Westchester County Department of Health/GIS

This dataset includes the number of Covid-19 cases in each of the 43 municipalities of Westchester County. It is updated on (most) weekdays and includes all cases in which a positive coronavirus test is associated with a confirmed address in Westchester County. With each update, the County posts the number of new cases, active cases, and total cases per municipality. The number of “active cases” refers the number of positive tests in the past two weeks.

Often, the data reported by the county differs significantly from the data reported by NYS DOH. Given the lack of information shared by the Westchester County Department of Health about this data, I only use the County data to compare municipalities within Westchester. The data released by the County should not be directly compared to data released by the State or other sources.

Unfortunately, the County does not currently post historical data. From early May until December 11, the County posted a map on most weekdays to the WestchesterGov Twitter account. I have extracted the historical cases data from the maps posted on Twitter. This extraction process is imperfect, but until more accurate historical data is released, this is best I can do. Extreme caution should be used when looking at municipal-level trends due to these limitations.

On Dec 23, 2020, the County released a dashboard that contains the same information that was posted on the daily map, with the addition of other metrics reported by New York State. This dashboard does not contain any municipal-level historical data either. Each day, I take a snapshot of the data reported on the dashboard to create trends for municipalities.

I have decided to use the “active cases” metric as rolling 14-day average for most of the municipal-level on this site, as it seems to be the best balance between accuracy and recency If you or anyone you know works for the County, please encourage them to release more detailed historical data!

Most recent data: Sep 23, 2021
Update frequency: Weekdays (usually)
Geographic aggregation: Municipality (Westchester County only)
Where it’s used: New and total cases


COVID-19 Reported Patient Impact and Hospital Capacity by Facility

United States Department of Health and Human Services

This dataset includes capacity and utilization of hospitals in the United States. It is reported on a weekly basis and provides facility-level information such as the number of total inpatient and ICU beds, the number of inpatient and ICU beds currently occupied, and the number of Covid-19 patients currently admitted to each hospital facility.

The data is derived from reports made by hospitals and state health departments to HHS. It includes hospitals registered with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, but does not include psychiatric, rehabilitation, Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities, Defense Health Agency (DHA) facilities, and religious non-medical facilities. There is a detailed community FAQ about this dataset that was developed by a group of data journalists, data scientists, and healthcare system researchers.

On this site, I use weekly average figures reported by the HHS dataset. In other words, this data is not a snapshot of hospital occupancy on a given day, but rather the average occupancy over the report week.

Hospital metric definitions:

Most recent data: Aug 27, 2021 – Sep 2, 2021
Update frequency: Weekly (updates published Mondays)
Geographic aggregation: None (facility-level data, United States)
Where it’s used: Hospital capacity, occupancy, Covid-19 patients


New York State School Covid-19 Report Card

New York State Department of Health/New York Forward

This dataset includes the number of positive tests reported by each school in New York State. The numbers are broken down by students, teachers, and staff, on-site and off-site. Each school also reports their current teaching model (in-person, hybrid, or remote-only) as well as the number of students and staff currently enrolled on-site or working in school buildings and number of students and staff currently off-site.

The state does not currently publish historical data at the school-level, but rather the total number of cases reported by each school (since Sept 8) and the number of cases in the last 14 days. The data is reported daily by each school to the Department of Health.

The school data presented on this site includes positive cases in students, teachers, and staff that are attending or working in school buildings, and excludes “off-site” cases.

Most recent data: Jul 26, 2021
Update frequency: Daily (varies by school)
Geographic aggregation: None (school-level data, New York State)
Where it’s used: Cases in schools


Fatalities by Race/Ethnicity

New York State Department of Health

This data includes Covid-19 death counts, crude death rates, and age-adjusted death rates by race and ethnicity for New York State and select counties in New York with large populations. It is updated daily, but the number of deaths by race lags the total number of deaths reported by the Department of Health in other places. For instance, on Dec 28, 2020, there were 1,314 deaths reported by race compared to 1,652 total deaths reported in Westchester.

The Department of Health does not make the data easily accessible outside their published Tableau dashboard, so I am not able to automatically update this data at this time.

Most recent data: Jul 7, 2021
Update frequency: Daily
Geographic aggregation: County (New York State, large-population counties only)
Where it’s used: Racial disparities


New York State Department of Health

This dataset includes the cumulative number of confirmed and presumed Covid-19 deaths of nursing homes residents in New York State.

Before Feb 2021, it only includes deaths that occurred in nursing home facilities. If a nursing home resident died in a hospital, it was not counted as a nursing home death. Because of this limitation, the number of nursing homes deaths was undercounted in these numbers. There has been significant press coverage of this issue.

In Feb 2021, facing mounting pressure, including an inquiry from the New York State Attorney General and a court order in a Freedom of Information Law request, the state Department of Health began releasing new nursing home data that shows Covid-19-related deaths of nursing home residents that occurred in hospitals.

The number of beds in each nursing home comes from NYS Health Profiles.

Most recent data: Jul 28, 2021
Update frequency: Daily
Geographic aggregation: None (facility-level data, New York State)
Where it’s used: Deaths in nursing homes


American Community Survey

US Census Bureau

The American Community Survey (ACS) is conducted by the US Census Bureau on an ongoing basis and is used to estimate demographic, social, economic, and other characteristics of people and households in the Unites States. Approximately 3.5 million households participate each year.

ACS data is published at different levels of geographic aggregation including by state, county, census tract, and many other geographies. On this site, all county-level ACS data uses 2019 1-year estimates and all municipal-level data uses 2015 – 2019 5-year ACS estimates.

In order to create municipal-level estimates, I aggregate data from all the census tracts that are contained within each municipality’s boundaries. Most Westchester municipalities are composed of complete census tracts, but for the small number of census tracts that cross municipal boundaries, I assign the tract to the municipality that contains the largest proportion of the area of the tract.

Total population
Table B01003
The total number of people living in a county or census tract. This is used to estimate per capita rates of Covid-19 prevalence.

Families below 200% of poverty line
Table B17026
The percentage of families with a ratio of income to poverty level below 2. The US Census Bureau does not adjust the poverty line for the cost of living in a particular region. Given the high cost of living in Westchester County, I have used 200% of the poverty line when considering families in Westchester in poverty. The current poverty threshold for a family of four (two adults, two related children under 18) is $25,926. Any family earning less than $51,852 in year is below 200% of the poverty line.

Overcrowded households
Table B25014
There are a number of methods for measuring overcrowding in housing. The simplest and most common methodology is to divide the number of people living in a housing unit by the number of rooms in that housing unit (all rooms, not just bedrooms are counted). If the number of occupants per room exceeds one, then that housing unit is considered overcrowded. The percentage of overcrowded households is the number of housing units with more than 1 occupant per room divided by the total number of occupied housing units.

Black or Latino population
Table B03002
This measures the percentage of the total population that identifies as Hispanic or Latino of any race or non-Hispanic Black or African American.

Where it’s used: Per capita cases and deaths; socioeconomic factors associated with Covid-19

Me

This website was built and is maintained by me, Matt Herman. I live in Katonah, NY. Contact me at mfherman@gmail.com with comments, questions, or suggestions.

Tools, etc.

This website is built using the Distill framework for R Markdown. All data collection and aggregation is done using the R programming language. The interactive charts are made with Plotly, maps are made with Leaflet, and tables are made with DataTables. The static HTML is hosted by GitHub Pages.

All source code for downloading and aggregating the data as well as building the website is available on GitHub.