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'Blue state Covid madness': Cornell University shuts down despite no 'severe illness in any of our infected students'

Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has locked down the campus and moved finals online due to roughly 900 students testing positive for COVID-19, including some Omicron cases:


Cases have spiked since Thanksgiving:

Classes for the semester were already over and it was finals week:

Notably, Cornell reports no “severe illness in any of [the] infected students but they locking everyone down for the community at large (emphasis ours):

While I want to provide reassurance that, to date, we have not seen severe illness in any of our infected students, we do have a role to play in reducing the spread of the disease in the broader community. The fact that we have not experienced severe illness among our student population may lead some to ask why we are imposing such serious steps. So let me share the underlying math: Consider one variant, let’s call it A, in which each person infects two others on average, and which causes serious illness in 1% of cases. After ten iterations of transmission, you’ll have about 1,000 cases, and 10 instances of serious illness. Now consider variant B, which is twice as infectious, so each person infects four others on average, but which causes serious illness only one-tenth as often, i.e., in only 0.1% of cases. Unchecked, over the same ten iterations of transmission, with variant B you’ll have more than a million cases, and about 1,000 individuals with serious illness. Of course, other factors come into play, including the fact that the virus will “run out” of people to infect in any community, but the point is that higher transmissibility leads to exponential growth, which outweighs the linear decrease in percent of severe cases. To avoid this type of situation, it is imperative not to let such infections run unchecked, but to take steps that limit transmission.


So, to protect the community, they’re sending the infected kids home?

Granted, there’s no good solution here. The semester was over and students have travel home already booked, vacations scheduled, etc., not to mention it’s Christmas:

Keep in mind, almost everyone at Cornell is vaccinated. At some point, the “blue state Covid madness” has to end:

But, we expect, there will be another panic in the coming days and weeks:


Here we go again. . .


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