Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Coronavirus dashboard for April 28: good news on testing at least

 - by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (April 27). 

As usual, significant developments are in italics. There were some late-reporting States for testing yesterday, so the initially discouraging number was actually pretty good. We are now seeing much more testing, and for the last two days an actual decrease in new infections being found. One problem is that this is mainly due to one State: New York. 

Discouragingly, 11 States have decided to at least partly “open up.” A few of these - Alaska and Idaho - a mainly rural and sparsely populated, with near single-digit new cases, so limited openings with social distancing restrictions can be justified. But most of the rest are recalcitrant States from the Confederacy that were among the last to issue stay-at-home orders. These will now be watched for a resurgence in cases over the next several weeks.

Here are yesterday’s numbers.

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)
  • Number: up +22,536 to 988,469 (vs. day/day high of +36,161 on April 24)

  • NY: 3,951 day/day (vs. 11,434 on April 15 peak)

  • US ex-NY: 21,876 (vs. 27,051 on April 15 NY peak)
  • ***US Rate of increase: day/day: 2% (vs. 3% for the past week, and 3% on April 26) 

The trend seems to be a slight decrease in the number of new cases. This is almost entirely due to New York.
Number of deaths and infections and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
  • ***Number of deaths: Total 50,327, increase of +1,163 day/day
  • Rate: increase of 2% day/day vs. average of 4% in past week
  • Number of tests: 190,443 (vs. 300,833 daily peak on April 25*)**
  • Ratio of positive tests to total: 8.7:1 (new daily peak)**

 *ex.-Calif clearing its backlog
**Note: There were some late daily reports, so this was originally reported as 135,505 as shown in the accompanying graph.
STATES “Re-opening” for businesses: AK, CO, GA, IA, ID, MS, OK, SC TN, TX
A few of these are rural States that, after locking down, had near single-digit increase in cases daily; but mainly these are Confederate States that were among the last to go to lockdowns. GA and MS in particular have poor testing records, and Mississippi has the worst record for continuing increases in infections for any of all the 50 States. I will track these, although not on a daily basis. I expect renewed increases in infections in most of them. 
Summary for April 28

  • The total US population remains under total lockdown has declined substantially due mainly to the renegade States in the Confederacy.
  • The number of daily new infections, adjusted for testing, appears to have peaked one to two weeks ago. But almost all of the decline since then has been due to NY. The only other State with a large population to contribute to the declining trend has been Washington.
  • Deaths daily may be increasing slightly, or may possibly have peaked (fewer deaths have been recorded on weekends, so the 7 day trend is more important here). 
  • The trend number of daily tests has improved dramatically in the past 5 days from an average of about 150,000-160,000 to 223,000. For the first 3, we were picking up a higher number - but decreasing rate - of new infections. For the last 2, new infections have declined, even with higher testing - a very positive, if very preliminary, sign. 
  • Nevertheless, we are still missing a large percent of new infections. My personal suspicion remains that the actual number of total infections in the US is about 5x the official number, or roughly 5 million at present.
  • Aside from New York, there is no indication that any sort of tracing and isolation regimens are ramping up in any meaningful sense. Aside from rural areas with low population densities, those States that are “opening up” will probably experience a resurgence in cases.