COVID – Different Week, Same Pattern

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The big picture is that we continue to see cases decline in most states. The declines continue to biggest in the south where we had the big peak in July/August. Where we have growth, it tends to be small so there is no place seeing the type of explosive growth in cases we had earlier in the year.

The CDC website is slow to update and Monday was a holiday and a few states hadn’t reported weekend numbers yet. Wouldn’t change the overall picture but is a caveat worth mentioning.

For the week ending on October 10th, there were 634,407 newly reported cases which is down almost 11% from the previous week. It is the fifth week in a row of declining case numbers and the fourth week where the declines was more than 10%. Testing numbers haven’t settled yet but look to be under 7% positives for the second week in a row. Still higher than baseline but down from the 10% recorded at the peak in August.

Cases were down in 43 states and up in 8 (DC is included in this total) so the decline continues to be pretty much nationwide. The ten states with the largest declines were Alabama, South Carolina, Hawaii, DC, Florida, Nevada, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana. DC was one of the places where numbers weren’t reported on the weekend so they really didn’t see that big of decline. Again, the southern states dominate the list but they were also the ones that saw the biggest peak in cases.

The eight states where cases went up were Colorado, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Vermont, Michigan, New York, Montana and Wisconsin. Most of these states are really just in a range and we are just seeing week to week fluctuations.

In the Northeast, we may be seeing some separation with cases going down in Connecticut and Massachusetts while being flat in the rest of the states. Really, we didn’t see big moves anywhere and overall, the region really appears to be in a flat place with cases at a stable level for about the last eight weeks. I don’t really think that is sustainable at levels like this so I suspect it will begin to move one way or the other in the next couple of weeks.

Not much different from last week in this region. On a case per million basis, Delaware continues to rank first with cases declining slightly over the last four weeks. We do see declines in Virginia and DC. Maryland has a relatively low level but has also been flat for seven weeks. Like the Northeast, we just wait to see what direction they are going to go.

While cases were up slightly in Wisconsin, Michigan is the only state showing a real upward trend in cases. Cases continue to fall in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Michigan had been lagging the region but is now in the middle of the pace and likely to pass Ohio next week. From my closer monitoring of Indiana, it seems like the downtrend may be slowing but that hasn’t shown up in this data yet.

Big declines in all three states in this region.

All five states in this region also continue to show big weekly declines in cases. With both region, the question is whether they are going to get back to the very low levels of mid June.

The uptrend in North Dakota was broken but we don’t draw conclusions from a single point. Minnesota continues to see a rise in cases and now ranks second in the region after lagging in early September. Minnesota is kind of lower case Michigan in that they saw a rise in April (not as large as Michigan) and there were a little late to the fall up trend.

Another region where all states continue to trend downward. The rates of change have slowed in a few places but they are all still moving down.

While Colorado saw a big jump, the numbers aren’t really out of line with where they’ve been for the last six weeks. Some states may be trending downward but the declines are not anywhere as strong as we see in other places. For the most part, everything is flat but with differences in the case rate. Wyoming, Idaho and Montana are way above Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. No state has gone above the peak from last fall and, like other regions, we’d certainly expect the curve to start moving up or down in the next few weeks.

Cases are declining in all four states but the rate of change continues to be slowest in Arizona. Nevada has clearly broken out of the plateau with cases dropping the last three weeks in a row.

The decline continues in Alaska and they ranked 12th this week in terms of percentage drop. Declines continue in Oregon and Washington as well.

Maybe I should just go ahead and give you the complete ranking along with the actual change.

The top 10 was Alabama (-46%), South Carolina (-32%), Hawaii (-32%), DC (-28%), Florida (-28%), Nevada (-27%), Georgia (-26%), Mississippi (-24%), Texas (-23%) and Louisiana (-23%).

The next 10 were Tennessee (-23%), Alaska (-21%), Rhode Island (-20%), North Carolina (-20%), Connecticut (-20%), Maine (-19%), West Virginia (-18%), Missouri (-18%), South Dakota (-17%) and Massachusetts (-16%).

Ranking 21 to 30 were Oklahoma (-16%), Kentucky (-16%), Washington (-14%), Oregon (-13%), Ohio (-12%), Arizona (-12%), California (-11%), Indiana (-11%), Illinois (-11%) and Idaho (-11%).

31 to 40 were Arkansas (-10%), Iowa (-9%), New Mexico (-8%), Virginia (-8%), Maryland (-7%), Kansas (-7%), Utah (-7%), North Dakota (-4%), Delaware (-3%) and New Hampshire (-3%).

In the bottom tier we have Wyoming (-2%), Nebraska (-2%), New Jersey (-1%), Wisconsin (1%), Montana (2%), New York (3%), Michigan (9%), Vermont (13%), Minnesota (16%), Pennsylvania (19%) and Colorado (52%).

I didn’t mention it when going through the graphs but at this time last year, most states were seeing increases in cases. That is the expectation as we move deeper into fall but it hasn’t happened yet.

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