Saturday State Review

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So I’m back again to discuss the ‘rona. As always, we start with the overview from last week with all data taken from the COVID Tracker. The number of tests run last week was about 4.5 million which is down from the previous weeks and the fewest number of new tests since the week of June 28th.

The number of newly reported positives was around 235,000 which is the fewest number of newly reported positives since the week of June 14th. It also represents the seventh week in a row of declining positive results. The percentage of positive results was 5.1% and that represents the eighth week in a row that figure has declined. That is also the lowest percentage of positive results since the week of June 14th.

The number of newly reported deaths was 4972 which is also down from last week and is now the fourth week in a row of declining numbers. This is also the lowest number of newly reported deaths since the week of July 5th. But deaths have always lagged so we expect that to be the last thing to really decline.

Basically, we are just about back to where we were right before the Sun Belt really started breaking out. With most of the states having peaked, it seems like this should continue to drop unless we do get new waves in old places or they find other pockets to test.

Since I stuck with the same three measures and scales I was using last week, we can compare week to week. Thirty two states had lower scores meaning improved numbers. Eleven remained the same and eight saw things go in the wrong direction. As a reminder, I’ve got DC in the mix so we get to 51 states.

Again, many of the changes are likely not meaningful but I think the trends are. And they are consistent with the overall drop in the number of cases from last week.

And I’ve grouped them into five groups last always. Given the discrete nature of the points, we end up with a lot of ties so my groups aren’t even.

I do have ten states in the first group which are the places where the situation is the best. With 5 points, we have Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. These are the northeastern states we’ve discussed. Vermont joins the club – they are currently average 4 new cases a day. Next, we have Arizona with 6 points followed by New Hampshire with 7. The group closes with New Mexico, DC and Rhode Island with 8 points. All places with low numbers of cases per population and where the week to week growth rate is small.

The second group is a little smaller. We start with Nevada, Washington, Colorado and Maine with 9 points. Followed by Texas, California and Florida with 10 and then Oregon with 11 points. Texas, California and Florida still have relatively high numbers of current cases but they are way off their peak and the rate of increase has really slowed. Texas and California did show drops from last week as their daily number of new cases continues to drop.

Now we have the big middle group. With 12 points, we have Mississippi, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Then we have Idaho with 13 points and Georgia and Delaware with 14. Then we get Alabama, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Utah, Michigan and Wyoming with 15 points.

The biggest movers in the right direction were Alabama, Minnesota, Mississippi and North Carolina based on a drop in cases. Delaware actually saw a slight increase in cases but that could just be random noise. Basically, a group that has moved off the peak but hasn’t dropped as much but moving in the right direction.

In the next group, we start with Hawaii and Tennessee with 16 points followed by Indiana and Alaska with 17. Then we get another large group at 18 – Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Illinois, Virginia and Nebraska. Hawaii showed the biggest drop as it looks like they are on the right side of their recent wave. Most of the rest of this group is still relatively close to their peak so they could spike back up a bit.

In our last group, we have Iowa and West Virginia with 20 points followed by Oklahoma with 21. Then we have Missouri and Wisconsin with 22, Arkansas with 23, South Dakota with 24 and North Dakota in last with 26 points. Wisconsin and Arkansas both moved in the wrong direction from last week. West Virginia, Wisconsin and North Dakota currently sit at peak.

Here’s what Wisconsin look like. I don’t have tests handy so I don’t know if this is just a spike in tests. It doesn’t look like the typical pattern of exponential increase so we’ll need another week or so to confirm what we are seeing here.

Here’s a look at Arkansas which is the other state going in the wrong direction. There’s a lot of daily noise in these results and Arkansas hasn’t passed its previous peak. Hard to truly project with all the noise but it also doesn’t look like an exponential growth phase. Guess would be it just stalls out here for a bit before dropping again.

Well that’s probably enough numbers for now. I still think we are down to just a few states where things haven’t started moving in the right direction. We’ll check back next week and see.

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