COVID Surge Over??

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The funny thing is that some columnist for our local paper actually wrote a piece about how COVID is “over”. He mentioned he was a long term pessimist but now he’s suddenly optimistic. If the news media now starts doing positive stuff, then I may not need to do any more things like this.

Having looked at the numbers for last week, there is reason to be optimistic. One of the things I look at is a moving 10 day average of the number of cases (which is certainly influenced by testing levels which are down in some places). But, when I looked a peak values, I couldn’t find any state in the US that was at a peak value. Some states have just recently hit peaks but every one was down from the peak. I haven’t kept close track of this but it is likely the first time it has happened since this last surge started back in the fall.

This does not mean that the case numbers are quickly going to drop to zero. Looking at the first set of states that hit a peak, they are now two months past that and, in some cases, numbers are still high when compared to the summer. That means we are looking at the end of March to see levels really start to drop across the states that just peaked. It is also possible (and maybe likely) that some of those states will get close to the peak in February. The path down is much less predictable than the path up.

But it is also true that we’ve been under 200000 newly reported cases for eight days in a row which is the longest streak since back at the end of November when most of the country hadn’t hit a peak.

For the week that ended on January 23rd, we had a total of 1.2 million newly reported cases which was the lowest number of newly reported cases since the week of November 22nd. The percentage of positive results was 9.2% which is the first time it has been below 10% since that same week of November 22nd. We did have 13.2 million tests recorded which is down from last week but still higher than any week in December.

We can also look at the number of patients currently hospitalized or in an ICU. The number of people currently hospitalized continues to drop. I saw a headline from a news site talking about the largest drop so far so I guess they are paying attention to the numbers as well. But you can also see how far we still have to go to get back to pre surge levels.

Here is same graph for ICU patients. Sane story we continue to see decreases but still have a long way to go but the trends are clearly going the right way for the first time since this last surge or wave started.

I won’t go through the graphs again. Just for fun, here are when each state hit a peak number of cases and where their current level sits relative to that peak.

  • Hawaii – actually hit a peak back in August but got close on January 9th. They currently sit at 54% of the peak back in August.
  • North Dakota – peak date 11/14. Current number of cases is 9% of peak.
  • South Dakota – peak date 11/14. Current number of cases is 19% of peak.
  • Iowa – peak date 11/14. Current number of cases is 24% of peak.
  • Wisconsin – peak date 11/19. Current number of cases is 31% of peak.
  • Michigan – peak date 11/21 (but came close to that on December 6th). Current number of cases is 30% of peak.
  • Colorado – peak date 11/21. Current number of cases is 32% of peak.
  • Nebraska – peak date 11/21. Current number of cases is 36% of peak.
  • Missouri – peak date 11/21. Current number of cases is 39% of peak.
  • Utah – peak date 11/21 (but came close on 1/14). Current number of cases is 59% of peak.
  • Montana – peak date 11/22. Current number of cases is 30% of peak.
  • Wyoming – peak date 11/25. Current number of cases is 28% of peak.
  • Kansas – peak date 11/25 (but came close on 1/6). Current number of cases is 45% of peak.
  • New Mexico – peak date 11/27. Current number of cases is 36% of peak.

OK, I’ll break the list into parts. This was the states that peaked in November. You can see the wide variations in how fast they’ve come down from that peak with Utah being the slowest and North Dakota the fastest.

On to those that peaked in December.

  • Alaska – peak date 12/6. Current cases 33% of peak.
  • Oregon – peak date 12/7. Current cases 61% of peak.
  • Idaho – peak date 12/11. Current cases 46% of peak.
  • Indiana – peak date 12/12. Current cases 50% of peak.
  • Pennsylvania – peak date 12/12. Current cases 55% of peak.
  • Delaware – peak date 12/12. Current cases 82% of peak.
  • Ohio – peak date 12/13. Current cases 52% of peak.
  • Nevada – peak date 12/13. Current cases 58% of peak.
  • New Hampshire – peak date 12/16 (came close on 1/11). Current cases 86% of peak.
  • Washington – peak date 12/19 (came close on 1/13). Current cases 60% of peak.
  • Texas – peak date 12/19 (came close on 1/14). Current cases 71% of peak.
  • Tennessee – peak date 12/21. Current cases 43% of peak.

And this is why cases aren’t going to drop to zero any time soon. All of these places are over a month past their peak but their current number of cases is only about half of what it was at the peak.

Lastly, we get the January states.

  • New Jersey – peak date 1/8. Current cases 45% of peak.
  • Alabama – peak date 1/8. Current cases 67% of peak.
  • West Virginia – peak date 1/10. Current cases 65% of peak.
  • California – peak date 1/10. Current cases 71% of peak.
  • Arizona – peak date 1/10. Current cases 75% of peak.
  • Oklahoma – peak date 1/11. Current cases 65% of peak.
  • Florida – peak date 1/11. Current cases 74% of peak.
  • Kentucky – peak date 1/11. Current cases 77% of peak.
  • North Carolina – peak date 1/11. Current cases 80% of peak.
  • South Carolina – peak date 1/11. Current cases 97% of peak.
  • Rhode Island – peak date 1/13. Current cases 50% of peak.
  • Connecticut – peak date 1/13. Current cases 57% of peak.
  • Louisiana – peak date 1/14. Current cases 63% of peak.
  • Massachusetts – peak date 1/15. Current cases 76% of peak.
  • Maine – peak date 1/15. Current cases 88% of peak.
  • New York – peak date 1/15. Current cases 89% of peak.
  • Arkansas – peak date 1/16. Current cases 75% of peak.
  • Maryland – peak date 1/16. Current cases 79% of peak.
  • Georgia – peak date 1/16. Current cases 83% of peak.
  • Vermont – peak date 1/16. Current cases 88% of peak.
  • Mississippi – peak date 1/17. Current cases 79% of peak.
  • DC – peak date 1/17. Current cases 80% of peak.
  • Virginia – peak date 1/18. Current cases 96% of peak.

South Carolina and Virginia are the two laggards where things haven’t dropped that much. But since all of these places just hit peak, most of them aren’t that far from peak.

And that’s where thing stand.

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