US Covid – Northeast Wave Over??

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Memorial Day is behind us and the data from Monday look to be back to normal. We saw a big drop on Memorial Day but a big increase on the day after which was just clearing the backlog of cases from the weekend. So the weekly totals should wash out any holiday disruption.

And, for the week ending on June 5th, there were 683,089 newly reported cases which was down 8% from the previous week. Now, the national totals are not always indicative of each region. The Northeast was leading the way up and is primarily responsible for the drop in cases but we are seeing cases rise in other places.

As always, take weekly changes with a caveat just due to the inconsistent reporting but 28 states and DC saw cases fall last week so the majority of the nation saw a drop in cases. The ten states with the highest number of newly reported cases last week were Hawaii, Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, California, Illinois, Washington, Rhode Island, New York and Alaska. Still several states in the Northeast because, even with cases falling, they remain at higher levels than a lot of the country.

On the graph below, Hawaii really stands out although the potential good news is that cases did not continue to go up. Florida was essentially flat as well. North Carolina is an artifact – they have big gaps in their reporting which get filled in later. Almost all states are above 1000 cases per million so they remain far above where they were at this time last year.

It is probably worth going through the region by region graphs because we have enough data to confirm that the wave has peaked in the Northeast. We start there and the graphs are trending down everywhere. For the most part, they remain above the lows of late March but the trend is in the right direction.

We have to ignore North Carolina here and DC bounces around so much that it is hard to make sense of. But this region (especially Delaware) has trended like the Northeast and all the states are now seeing drops in cases. A lot of this is just two data point but previous patterns suggest that once you see a “big” drop, cases don’t rebound right away.

In the Midwest, we are also seeing the potential start of a downturn. It is most obvious in Michigan but Wisconsin and Illinois have also had declines for two to three weeks in a row.

West Virginia’s trend broke this week as well but we don’t overreact to a single week. Kentucky has been flat while Tennessee saw a small increase. Still, the upward trend there has been slow unlike previous waves.

Florida has been leading the way in this region. Cases were going up in other states but at a much slower rate. We see a couple that were flat last week but there isn’t enough data to really establish a trend. This is the region to watch since the Southeast had summer waves the last two years so we need to see what happens through June and July.

The timing is different but Minnesota saw a bit of a late spring wave last year as well but it looks like that is over as they have moved back closer to the rest of the states in the region. We have seen cases rise in the others states but the rise has been slow and the overall numbers remain low when compared to the rest of the country.

Other than the Northeast and a couple of other states, this seems to be most common pattern. A very slow rise in cases over the last several weeks but the rate of increase has been slow and the overall numbers remain low relative to the rest of the country. If the pattern continues, places like this and the states above would eventually pass the Northeast where cases have been falling but we can’t be sure that the slow upward trend will continue.

In the Rockies, New Mexico just passed Colorado where cases were down last week but we only have the one down week so we can’t say for sure that Colorado has peaked. In the other states, we see the same slow, upward trend although Utah is now close to Colorado as well while the other states remain low.

As stated early, Hawaii did see cases drop last week but we need further time point to confirm this. Arizona seems to be seeing an increase as it has move closer to California and Nevada where cases have been flat. Arizona is another state where we’ve seen summer waves the last two years so it is another place to watch over the coming weeks.

All three states are close together in terms of cases. Alaska has been in this range since mid March while Oregon and Washington saw cases rise through April and May. Again, we need more data to know whether things have peaked here.

Overall, cases dropped last week. While there are still places where cases are going up, we still aren’t seeing the type of near exponential growth we see in a true wave. Cases have dropped in the Northeast although some states still rank near the top in terms of the highest number of cases. A lot of places look to be close to peaks but more data is needed to know for sure.

All in all, this last week was positive.

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