Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Coronavirus dashboard for April 8: peak new infections *may* have occurred on April 4

 - by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (April 7) 

I’ve changed the format, moving the “just the facts, ma’am” data to the top, and comments to the end.

The four most important metrics are starred (***) below. 

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via
  • Number: up +31,480 to 368,449 (vs. 33,787 possible peak on April 4) 

  • ***Rate of increase: day/day: 9% (vs. 11% for the past week, and 9% on April 6)

The exponential growth rate began to fall from 35% on March 24. It now looks like in the past week or so it is in a new, decelerating trend, declining by about -1%/day. Here’s a good graph of that trend:
State lockdowns appear to be working.
Ben Engebreth is tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers for each State, with graphs, here. Also, there is an awesome interactive tool to measure infections and other data for various countries and US States at
Number of deaths and infections and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
  • ***Number of deaths: Total 12,621, up +1,941 day/day
  • Rate: increase of 18% day/day vs. average of 17% in past week
  • Number of tests: 146,105 down -8,958  vs. 155,063 on April 6 day/day
  • Rate: decrease -6% vs. number of tests previous day
  • Tests pending result: 16,557 vs. 17,292 on April 5 day/day
Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing  
  • Infections +9% vs. Tests -6% day/day
Result: The rate of testing appeared to be catching up a little bit to the spread of the virus, but may have stalled again in the past few days. It remains far below what is needed, which is probably now at least 250,000/day.

Ratio of tests to positives for infection (from COVID Tracking Project)
  • Number: 146,105 new tests vs. 31,363 new diagnosed infections 
  • ***Ratio: 4.7:1 

In South Korea, where aggressive testing has led to a near-total disappearance of new cases, the inflection point where the number of new daily cases plateaued was reached when the ratio of tests to new cases found reached 15:1. Any ratio less than that suggests that not enough testing is being done. Yesterday’s ratio of 4.7:1 is still far behind.
US States and population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions - no changes in past 24 hours
  • ***Total lockdown: (SC joined yesterday) 43 States, 306.7 million, 92.4%
  • ***Business lockdown: 2 States (KY, MA) 14.4 million, 4.3%
  • Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 5 States (IA, ND^, NE, UT*, WY^) 9.7 million, 2.9%
  • School closure only: 2 States (AR^, SD*) 3.9 million, 1.2%
  • No mandatory restrictions: NONE
*some local areas under lockdowns
^restrictions on or quarantine of travelers from out of State
There have been no meaningful changes in the past day.
US States with “test, trace, and quarantine” programs
  • Under development: 4 States: CT, MA, NJ, NY

Summary for April 8
Almost every public health authority who has weighed in has advocated the “Sledgehammer, then Scalpel” approach of a temporary total lockdown, during which time, as the infection rate of growth hopefully moves to flat, the production and distribution of necessary medical equipment is surged. Once enough is in place, a regimen of “test, trace, and quarantine” can be put in place as the lockdown is lifted.

Here’s how we stand: 
  • Almost 95% of the total US population is under total lockdown.
  • Mandatory lockdowns, first implemented on Statewide bases 19 days ago, appear to be paying off, as the daily rate of increase in new cases has steadily declining and is now in single digits. The peak in new daily infections might only be about 10 days away - and may possibly have already happened on April 4.
  • The number of daily tests appears to have stalled again at about 140-150,000, and is far short of of what is necessary. As a result, we may be missing an increasing number of actual new infections.
  • The Trump Administration has still not mandated a nationwide lockdown.
  • The Trump Administration has taken no meaningful steps to mandate mass production of necessary medical equipment.
  • The Trump Administration has taken no steps towards a nationwide “test, trace, and quarantine” plan that will be needed to lift lockdowns, or to assist States to do so.
  • California’s governor has announced a plan for the States to coordinate in making purchases of the necessary equipment.
  • Massachusetts has begun to develop its own “test, trace, and quarantine” plan. The governor of Connecticut announced yesterday that it, NY and NJ will also work on a regional plan.
  • Until States or the federal government implement a regimen of “test, trace, and quarantine,” lockdowns cannot be lifted.
  • Contrarily, in States with no lockdowns, Iowas’s governor called for a day of prayer; and North Dakota implemented a quarantine of travelers from Minnesota.