I said yesterday that I was going to give this a rest but the numbers for last week were interesting so it seemed like the thing to do.
The updated numbers for the week before did increase but only to 450,852 newly reported cases and that still represented a 23% drop from the week before. The preliminary numbers from this week were 391,584 newly reported cases and that is a drop of 13% from the previous week. Those numbers will go up as missing data is added but it would still look to be a fairly significant drop.
While Labor Day did disrupt things a bit, we are still looking at nine consecutive weeks of declining cases and the last two week have been among the biggest drops. It could be that we are finally breaking out of the slow decline we’ve been in since the end of July.
But we only saw cases drop in 29 states so it wasn’t really a broad based decline. California saw a big drop and cases were also down in Florida and Texas and those three have a big influence on national numbers. There were 13 states where cases were down by more than 20% so it wasn’t just the big three.
There were six states and DC where cases increased by more than 20%. So we did have twice as many showing “big” declines. The six with increases were South Dakota, Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine, Arizona and Connecticut. Of those, five just look like a correction from Labor Day. Only Connecticut really saw a big jump and they are also the only state above their total from four weeks ago.
In fact, Connecticut is also the only state that is currently above their total from a year ago. A year ago, we were still coming down from the Delta wave and numbers were high in a lot of places although not in the Northeast. Last year, Connecticut had the second lowest total of cases per million in the country. This year, they have the second highest.
There are a couple of new variants out there but they still make up a very small percentage of the overall number of cases so not much to say about them yet.
Overall, the news is good almost everywhere. The numbers in Connecticut are a bit of a concern but we can’t react to a single data point. I didn’t dig deeper to see if maybe they just added a bunch of legacy cases so we really need more data to know if that is a real trend.