COVID Archives

COVID analytical update for Tuesday, May 26

National growth rate reaches new low of less than 1.0% — Deaths continue decline

Everything is looking good today. The only states I track that still seem problematic are California and Virginia.

My current project is to analyze any correlation between the dates of relaxing restrictions and the disease progression. I’m normalizing each state for testing scope, and then analyzing the daily growth rates before and after opening. (spoiler alert – I see NO correlation so far). More to come.

Groom Ventures has agreed to host a website that will archive my daily reports, and supplement with other commentary. John Groom worked at one of my companies back in the day, and is an excellent writer. The website is: For those of you that post my daily report on Facebook, let me suggest you link to this site, as the direct Facebook posts don’t seem to copy the graphs.

As always, feel free to send me your questions about my assumptions, methodology, or modeling in general.

  • Likely date of active case peak (Chalke modeling): April 10
  • Likely date of peak deaths (IHME): April 15 (last revision on May 25)
  • Short term projection for active cases tomorrow: 148,000
  • Total Test Results reported today: 302,099 (high)
  • Total Pending tests reported today: 1,549 (record low)
  • National reported case Growth Rate today: 0.98% (record low)

Shane Chalke Interviews

First, the progress on daily deaths is looking good. I changed the graph so it begins with the IHME projection of peak daily deaths on April 15 so I can show a trend line from the peak. Why, you might ask, does my graph show the peak deaths on May 7th. The reason is that IHME adjusts the deaths to date of death, and I show the date of reporting. As many states went through the process of reclassifying historical deaths as COVID, they were reported in many cases well after the date of death. I don’t have the resources to do this, so I just report when they are reported. Clear as mud, right? The takeaway is that even with inconsistent reporting, we’re still showing a steady decline. Good news.

Here is the national picture of active cases – another decline today down to 150,000. We’re down 31% from the peak. I projected a few weeks ago that we’d be down 50% by the end of May. With the issues in CA and VA we might not make it, but we’re heading there. I now model known active cases at a tiny sliver of the U.S. population – about 0.044%.

Here are the new reported cases nationally. The long, slow decline continues. I’ve added the linear trend line so it’s easier to see the pattern.

Here are the daily reported tests. A drop in tests today, but still over 300,000, and the positive rate once again came in very low, at 5%. Total reported tests now stand at about 15 million.

On to the states. Both VA and NC are in some stage of reopening (all 50 states are now). North Carolina moved on to Phase 2 Friday, while VA maintains heavier restrictions. Looking at the 2 states side by side, you can see a lot more COVID in VA, even though VA has only 85% of the population of NC. On a population adjusted basis, VA has nearly double the COVID than NC. IHME updated their model today, and still project peak deaths in NC on June 6th, so NC should be ready for decline. VA shows a new peak today – It’s hard to interpret VA data, as they use “event date reporting” (I’ve discussed this several times). IHME now projects peak deaths in VA way back on May 2nd, so I expect this curve to fall in line at any time.

No surprises with Washington – long slow decline – total remaining cases are small – around 1500.

Florida seems to be leveling off from their 2nd half of May bump. The hot spot in Florida continues to be Miami. Other than in SE Florida, COVID presence is small.

Here are NJ and NY. Both continue to decline. NJ is now down 74% from the peak, and is now tracking well with NY. NY is now down 84% from the peak, which is remarkable. Both states are recovering well.

California has problems in Los Angeles, which is skewing the entire state’s numbers upwards. This could be a function of California’s dramatic increase in testing – I don’t correct for this (I may at some point).

Another healthy drop in Massachusetts, now down 69% from the peak on April 27th. This is a remarkably rapid recovery.

Georgia shows a decline today, after 6 days of increases. This is welcome news. Georgia is 17% below the peak.

Another drop in Michigan today. Michigan is down 65% from the peak on April 6th.

Pennsylvania continues on trend – steady declines since the peak on April 11. Pennsylvania is down 57% from their peak. (I reported 66% yesterday, but it was a typo – the correct number was 56%.)

Here is Texas, with a nice decline today. I believe Texas peaked on May 19th, and is now down 34% from the top. Texas has a small COVID presence per capita.

And finally, here is Colorado. Colorado is one of the states that has aberrations in their data. In any event, it looks like Colorado is about 52% below the peak on April 29th.

So that’s it for today. The numbers are very small as a percentage of the population. Unless you’re in a high density area, your chances of contracting COVID are very small. However, even though the probability is very small, that doesn’t help if you’re the one catching it. Everyone please continue to be as cautious as circumstances dictate.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

One reply on “COVID analytical update for Tuesday, May 26”

Thank you for your very rational analysis. Without the hysteria it’s much easier to understand the path forward.

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