US Covid Numbers – July 31, 2022

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I’ll just begin by stating that all numbers here are subject to change as information is updated by the CDC. And since one day seems to be no better than any of the others, I’ll probably stick with doing these updates on Tuesday based on the data updated through Monday.

Once again, North and South Carolina numbers are just wrong because they are slow to fill in the gaps.

That said, it is looking like cases peaked about two weeks ago. Now they aren’t rapidly falling off as was the case in other waves but we also aren’t yet seeing the explosive growth we’ve seen in the South and Southwest the past two summers.

In looking at the numbers, the updated totals for most weeks aren’t that different. Last week, I had the new case number at 840,225. That total is now 894,090 meaning that we only saw a 1% drop in cases two weeks ago.

The preliminary numbers for the week ending on July 31st, are 798,148 newly reported cases which is an 11% drop but that will change as missing data is filled in. Still, I would expect that we will remain under the 894,090 cases of the week before and that would be two weeks in a row of declining cases.

In the graph above, the states with missing days are Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Washington. New Hampshire had a single day (7/26) with a large number of cases – the most on a single day for them since May 31. That could easily just be clearing out some older cases so I’m not alarmed by the large percentage increase.

So many of the states seeing large percentage increases or decreases appear to be due to missing data or other reporting anomalies. The bulk of the rest of them are in the -20 to 20% range so not really showing big swings in either direction. The increase in Kentucky appears to be real as every day from this week had more reported cases than the same day last week. Now Kentucky has some other problems to deal with right now so next week’s numbers may show a big decline that may not be real.

While most of the states have more reported cases than they did at this time last year, we are starting to see a few where that isn’t true. At this time last year, the Sun Belt wave had started and we were starting to see high numbers in a few states like Florida and Louisiana.

Right now, cases are flat in Florida and Louisiana so they are likely to remain well under the peak numbers from last summer and that should be true of several southern states. That could be a good sign for the rest of the country this fall.

The ten states with the highest number of reported cases last week were Kentucky, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, New Mexico, California, Mississippi, Oklahoma, New Jersey and Arkansas. Of those, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas were also in the top ten this week last year. Again, there is some seasonality in these numbers and, right now, things are clustered in the South.

West Virginia and New Jersey are the outliers here as both ranked in the top 20 for fewest cases during this week last year.

The ten states with the fewest reported cases last week were Vermont, South Carolina, Maine, Nevada, Washington, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Colorado, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. There is a lot of overlap with the states I mentioned earlier with missing days. But, outside of North Carolina and South Carolina, they’d still be on the low end when the missing data is added.

Of those, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire were also among the ten states with the fewest cases during this week last year. Nevada is an outlier. Part of this week is due to a missing day but last week’s numbers (which should be nearly complete) were also low.

Overall, I do think we ended up seeing a decrease in cases last week but probably more likely in the 4-5% range. We still have not seen big growth across the south like we did last year but, for the most part, cases remain elevated from where they were last year.

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