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Daily COVID model update for Sunday, April 12

The worst is over

Happy Easter! I’m feeling optimistic today. The national growth rate fell to 5.6%, and it looks like the U.S. peaked at something less than 250,000 active cases and is on the way down. Of course, the news is slow to react to this, but by this time next week all anyone will be talking about is the “recovery”. Of course, please send me any questions you may have on the data or my analysis.

  • Current Prediction of Reported and Still Active Case Peak: April 11
  • Confidence: Very high
  • Short term projection for tonight: 563,000
  • Total Test Results reported yesterday: 137,297
  • National reported case Growth Rate yesterday: 5.6%

The news focuses on total cumulative reported cases. This is an important number, but not the most important. Far more critical is the number of people who are currently infected. We know, for example, that someone infected with the disease in early March is now recovered, or (far, far less likely) deceased. Yet they are still counted in the headlines. When you see a headline that says “US passes 500,000 cases”, this includes (by my calculations) over 250,000 people that have recovered. We must make assumptions about this number because recoveries are generally not reported. I’ve made the best assumptions I can about time from disease onset to recovery, and I think they are sound. Apologies if this little discussion insults your intelligence, but this list is quite diverse in people’s comfort with data or math. On this list are Mathematicians, Scientists, Actuaries, Analysts, Engineers, Artists, Dancers, and Musicians (a sampling of my life). In fact, about ½ dozen of you are both mathematicians AND musicians. And about ½ the people on this list I don’t even know. So I’ll mix up a little math with a little explanation each day.

Here is the graph of model vs. actual active reported cases. The model turned out to be about 3 days ahead of the reported results, but the shape will be the same. After all the hysterical news of the past 2 weeks, this is a beautiful thing to see. One thing to note is that this IS Easter weekend, so I expect some irregularities in the data, which I expect to smooth out by Tuesday. However, I think yesterday’s results were pretty solid, and we’ve not seen any pattern of incongruous results on a Saturday yet. Yesterday 137, 297 test results were reported, compared to a 5 day average of 149,785. Also, the testing backlog is still very low at 16.5K. In fact, one of the doctors on this list reported to me that his hospital now processes test results in one hour, so I expect backlogs to remain insignificant. The net result of all this is that I’m not entirely trusting the data until Tuesday. If we get any extraordinary reporting, I expect it’s today. In any event, stare at the graph below and enjoy it. This result is also corroborated by the IHME model, which reports that peak deaths in the U.S. happened two day ago, on April 10th.

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