US Covid 5/8/2022 – Cases Still Going Up

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Well it is more of the same. Cases are up in almost all states but the biggest impact is still in the Northeast. For the week ending on May 8th, there were 471,325 newly reported cases. This was up 15% from last week and is now the highest number of new cases in a week since the week that ended on February 20th.

On the good news side, this weekly increase is the smallest since cases started going back up again back during the week that ended on April 10th. The pattern is clearly different than we saw last year where there was a modest rise and then cases started to drop in mid April. We’ve now had five weeks in a row of double digit increases although the maximum increase is well below the past major waves.

I guess this is what happens when you don’t have a lot of history to go on. Seasonality would suggest we’d see cases start to drop and that hasn’t happened. It is possible that the slow down in the growth rate is a good sign as it always has been in the past but we can’t strongly react to a single week.

It still doesn’t look like we are going to see a major breakout although we might in some states.

In the numbers below, DC and the Carolinas are suspect. DC reported 0 cases over the week and the others just a handful which is really just a function of how states are reporting now as compared to the beginning when numbers were updated every day. Now, they may be updated once a week or with an even longer gap.

The ten states with the highest number of cases per million last week were Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Illinois and Connecticut. Hawaii is a new addition to the list and saw a big jump in cases which actually looks a little troublesome.

Ignoring DC and the Carolina’s, the ten with the lowest were Wyoming, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho and Louisiana. The middle of the country from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border so an interesting group.

We’ll just do two graphs today. The first is cases vs percentage change even though I think percentage change is becoming less reliable. Only five states saw a decline. The only one that may be real is Alaska which saw a small decrease. So we haven’t really hit a peak even in the Northeast where cases remain high.

The last graph compares this week to the same week last year. Note that by this time last year, we had no states with more than 2000 cases per million. Now we have thirteen. There still is some correlation as the states that were high last year tend to be the ones high this year but, in many cases, they are significantly higher this year.

Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Massachusetts and New York are the leaders in terms of increase over this time last year.

So cases continue to go up. The growth rate did slow last week but, other than Alaska, there is no evidence of any state hitting a peak. The epicenter remains the Northeast but we are seeing other places showing much higher numbers than last year.

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