When the City and County Health authorities release information about the COVID-19 numbers in our region, they refer to "Week 31 numbers" or "Week 42 numbers", but what does that mean? When did the weeks begin to be counted? And why does the designation of what week number the COVID-19 numbers are coming from have to do with anything?

Well, the weeks are the number of weeks that the City and County have been keeping track of coronavirus testing. The chart below shows the COVID-19 numbers from the weeks of through . The reason why the weeks are so important is because it tells us when the test were administered, the City and County can track how long it takes for test results to be reported to them from public and private testing sites, and how long after an event like a holiday weekend that COVID-19 infection numbers jump and by how much.

City of El Paso
City of El Paso

The recent spike that we are experiencing is particularly worrisome because it's not coming on the heels of a holiday weekend like spikes have in the past. City County Health officials say the spike is because people are tired of face masks and not gathering with family and friends and they're just generally tired of hearing about COVID-19. Unfortunately, as we head into the holiday season of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, we will only have a couple of weeks between holidays and not enough time for infection rates to settle down.

I know you're tired of all this, but please, keep yourself and your family safe. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and try to not have gatherings. Hopefully we'll have a vaccine for this stuff next year. We just need to be patient.

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