Quick US COVID Update

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Today was a beautiful early spring day with temperatures way above the average but not too warm. We did a couple of walks including the turtle pond where we saw 20+ turtles taking advantage of the sunshine. Also saw a red fox which was a bit unusual.

Since I just did a big post, I’ll keep this one kind of short. Still need some additional time to really see what is going to happen although there were some positive signs. Michigan is still a mess.

For the week ending yesterday, there were 9.9 million tests recorded and 450,444 positive results. That is up about 25000 from last week which continues to confirm a slight upward trend since early March. The percentage of tests that were positive was 4.5% which is up slightly from 4.4% last week but still less than 5%. Some of this increase is because recorded tests increased by 400000.

There were 27 states that saw an increases in cases last week. Michigan lead the way with a 38% increase followed by Delaware (35%), Maine (33%) and Minnesota (30%). We continue to see linear growth in a few places and that could be just due to increased testing. If the underlying prevalence is unchanged and you increase testing, you’ll see more cases but they will follow a straight line. But I don’t have the data to prove that so it is just a theory.

Here are the graphs just to give you the complete picture. California saw a slight increase last week while Texas was still down.

In this first group, cases were up in Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, Florida and New York and down in Pennsylvania and Georgia. The Pennsylvania data broke the sharp upward trend we were seeing. While it could still start back up next week, in a typical growth phase, we wouldn’t see this pattern. New York, Florida and Illinois all have linear growth patterns so the rate of growth is currently less than the fall wave.

In this group, cases were up in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Massachusetts. They were down in Tennessee and North Carolina but neither state reported on Friday or Saturday so those numbers are artificially lowered. The number of newly reported cases for Michigan last week was almost as high as the fall peak so they remain the biggest problem. Minnesota’s trend is not great but it looks more linear than exponential at this point.

Colorado and New Jersey saw increases while cases fell in Iowa, Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama and Missouri. The numbers in New Jersey are getting closer to the peak of the wave but the rate of increase still looks more linear than exponential.

Here we have cases increasing in Maryland, Washington and Kentucky and declining in Utah, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Both Maryland and Washington have seen cases go up for several weeks in a row but you need to compare that to what was happening in early November during the wave. Again, the slope seems more linear than exponential. Clearly, we don’t want to see cases going up but this still does not look like the previous wave yet.

Cases were up in Connecticut, Nevada and Nebraska and down in New Mexico, Mississippi, Idaho and Kansas. I actually got some new numbers from Kansas! Connecticut is like Pennsylvania where we were seeing what looked like it could be the start of an exponential growth phase but the increase last week was very small and kind of broke that trend for now.

We have increases in Oregon, North Dakota and New Hampshire and decreases in West Virginia, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Montana. West Virginia and South Dakota broke trends and the increase in North Dakota slowed. Oregon is still up but, again, that trend looks more linear.

In the last group, we had increases in Delaware, Maine, Hawaii, Vermont and DC and decreases in Wyoming and Alaska. Delaware and Maine had big increases but we kind of learned from some of the states that one big move doesn’t necessarily mean the start of a new wave. Vermont and Hawaii are still going up but the increase in both places looks more linear than exponential. And the rate of change in Hawaii is way below this summer when they had a wave.

Certainly, it would be better if cases were dropping in more places so I don’t want to ignore the increases we are seeing. But, out of Michigan, we aren’t seeing the same rapid upward moves we were seeing during the fall and winter when the wave was in full swing. I still think we need to get to mid April to really understand things. For me, this is a low level of concern right now.

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