COVID Continues to Fade Away

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Well it is fading away in lots of places but holding steady in a few. The preliminary numbers for last week were 303,105 newly reported cases and that was down 17% from the previous week. The cases will go up but it will still be lower than last week and cases have now dropped for eleven weeks in a row.

Last year at this time, there were 731,408 newly reported cases as the Delta wave continued its decline. Cases hit a low on October 23rd and then shot back up as we got into winter and the Omicron variant. Right now, we are well below where we were last year so we’ll see what happens as we move through October.

I’ve adjusted the y-axis because case counts are low everywhere. The graph above shows that cases were down in most of the country. The only states that saw increases were Vermont, Maine, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia.

The number of new cases in Maine was the highest since the last week in May. In Massachusetts, the last two weeks have been back to early August levels. Those would be the areas of concern. In the Northeast, cases appear to be flat so even the states that saw drops really aren’t seeing things drop as much as in other regions.

And it might be worth running through the graphs to illustrate this. Starting with the Northeast where cases have basically been flat since June. You can’t really see Maine or Massachusetts so even though the cases are higher than they’ve been recently, they haven’t significantly broken out of this flat range.

We have to ignore the last data point North Carolina since they have missing days but they have been trending down like the rest of the region. Delaware looks a little more like the Northeast but really isn’t that far above the rest of the region right now.

In the Midwest, cases have been trending down since late July. For some reason, Indiana is seeing a sharper decline than the other states but things are going down everywhere.

It is hard to see that Kentucky was up last week but the number of cases is well below the peak back in late August. There have been pretty sharp declines in all three states since that period.

In the Southeast, cases generally peaked in July and have been dropping since then. The rate of change has increased in the last couple of weeks.

In the upper Midwest, we had a slow gradual increase until roughly late July and then cases have been slowly decreasing since then. They are back to late May levels.

In this region, we also had a slow, gradual increase in cases until mid July. Then we saw a slow, gradual decrease until the end of August. Since then, we’ve seen cases dropping rapidly. The lines basically overlap so we are seeing it in all states in this region.

In the Rockies, we saw cases go up until about mid June and then they were flat through July. Since then, cases have been dropping everywhere.

Hawaii peaked in May and the other states in July. Since then, cases have been dropping. At first there was a rapid drop but that seems to have slowed lately. It is possible they are nearing a bottom.

Washington and Oregon continue to mirror each other. Both saw cases rise until May and then they were flat through July and then started dropping. They may be starting to flatten out again because the last couple of weeks the decreases haven’t been as large. Alaska peaked at the end of July and cases have been dropping ever since.

Just to round this out, the states with the most cases (per million) last week were Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Delaware, Michigan, Maine, Connecticut, North Dakota and West Virginia. The list is dominated by the Northeast.

And the ten lowest were Nevada, Indiana, North Carolina, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Utah, Iowa, Louisiana, and Colorado. Mostly in the Southeast and the Rockies so kind of a strange pairing.

Overall the news is good as cases continue to decline in most of the country. The Northeast is not seeing cases drop but they also aren’t seeing a new wave – cases just remain flat.

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