As we move into Memorial Day weekend, there is still no evidence that the current COVID wave has hit a peak. There is some evidence that we are nearing that peak but cases continue to climb. The holiday weekend is going to put a serious skew on the numbers and it may falsely lower totals so I won’t get too excited if the data seem to confirm a peak.
For the week ending on May 22nd, there were 726,935 newly reported cases and that was up 11% from the week before. This is the seventh week in a row where cases have been up by more than 10%. This was the highest weekly total since the week ending on February 13th. Last year, at this time, there were 165,536 newly reported cases and downward trend was clearly established. This year, we are far above that and still climbing.
The only reason I have for any optimism is in a couple of the other figures I look at which compare daily and weekly counts to the previous week. No clear signal yet but the data for two of the last three days look more like something nearing a peak than something continuing to increase. But, for now, the data do not say we’ve hit a peak so this wave is not over yet.
The ten states with the highest number of reported cases last week (per million) were Hawaii, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Illinois, Vermont and Maine. So, while case counts are up almost everywhere, the highest totals area still in the Northeast.
As always, we a couple of states (Montana and North Carolina) with lags in reporting. The gaps make it really hard to get reliable trend information which makes it harder to see if a state has really peaked. So I’ll just have to wait until there is a real clear signal.
We remain in the same pattern with cases going up everywhere and the highest totals primarily in the Northeast. I see some signs that we are nearing the peak but the signal is not particularly strong. Next week is likely to have unreliable data due to the holiday.