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Florida still increasing, and it’s not Miami

It’s been a few days, and most everything is looking good. Florida continues to be a trouble spot (more on this when I discuss Florida below), but all else is steady or improving. Daily deaths have been at or below 1,000 per day for a week and half now, far better than the pundits predicted. We recorded the lowest daily growth rate today since the beginning of the disease, at 0.84%. When we use the expression “going viral” this is not what we’re talking about. This is a very slow crawl. We’ve also had several days of record testing reports with very low positive rates.

There has been much talk of the “second wave” next winter. This may be just the musings of an actuary, but I don’t see how this could happen. In order for a second wave to occur, the disease must show some seasonality, like the flu. However, the lingering trouble areas have all been in hot climates. If there is no seasonal effect, we’d be seeing spikes by now from the increased social and business mobility, but we’re not seeing that. There just doesn’t seem to be evidence that the disease dies off in the summer, and flourishes in cold weather.

Now that I’m back working again (thank goodness), I’ll be reporting every few days, unless something unusual happens.

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 14 (last revision on June 8)
  • Total Test Results reported today: 379,625 (high)
  • Total Pending tests reported today: 1,606 (extremely low)
  • National reported case Growth Rate today: 0.84% (a record low)

Shane Chalke Interviews

https://www.fredericksburg.com/opinion/editorial-unlock-demographically-not-geographically/article_a62e6e70-dccd-51cf-b7b2-16d77a90fd9c.html

Website

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: www.howmuchrisk.com 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.

Daily Analysis

Here is the national picture of active cases – continued, slow decline. We’re 34% below the peak. Many states are at a small fraction of their maximums, with a few states cresting now, and then there is Florida, which is still growing.

Here are the new reported cases nationally. Steady decline.

Here are the daily reported tests. We’ve seen a couple of days in the 550,000 range. We’ve now reported almost 21 million tests, representing well over 6% of the population. The positive rate has been running only 4.3% the past few days.

Here are the daily death reports. Daily deaths continue to fall steadily. It looks like we’re on trend to be below 500 per day by mid-month, although IHME is projecting more like 750. We’ll see.

On to the states. I’m projecting that North Carolina reaches peak active cases about June 12. Virginia looks like it may have peaked on May 31st.

No surprises with Washington – looks like it’s leveling off after a week of upward drift. The numbers are small here.

Florida has risen since May 28th. For days I’ve been saying it must be in Miami – that’s all we’ve heard on the news. It doesn’t look like that’s the case, though.

Florida has reported testing volume as a percentage of the population consistent with the rest of the United States, so it’s not that. Look at this graph of daily growth rates in Miami vs. all of Florida. The brown line is Florida, and the blue line is Miami, which is consistently lower than the rest of the state. I’m not sure where the highest growth rate is – it would take a lot of hours to figure this out. IHME models peak deaths way back in mid-April, but flat from here on out, at about 25 deaths per day. Florida is the remaining mystery to me at the moment.

Both NY and NJ are in the end game, with a small percentage of COVID compared to their peaks. NY is now down 90% from their peak – I model only about 7,000 cases remaining. NJ is down 86% with about 3,500 active cases remaining.

California looks like it might be turning the corner. IHME has moved up their peak daily death projection to June 17th, so this makes sense, as peak deaths have been happening about 2 weeks after peak active cases.

Massachusetts is another state with very little COVID left. MA is 85% down from the peak. Unless something flairs up, this story is almost over.

Georgia’s decline continues to be painfully slow – no real change to this story yet. There has been no flare up as feared, though.

…And here is Michigan. I corrected for the historical “probable” cases that showed up as new cases in the numbers on Friday, so this picture is more realistic. Michigan is down 77% from the peak.

Continued, almost straight line, decline in Pennsylvania. PA is now down 69% from the peak.

Texas is showing signs of leveling off. IHME now projects peak deaths after August 1st! I’m not sure what their drivers are, but when we see a definitive peak here, then peak deaths are usually a couple of weeks away.

And finally, here is Colorado. Colorado is one of the states that has had aberrations in their data. I’m modeling that they are 62% below peak, but I’ve shied away from any conclusions in this state due to the data irregularities.

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 feel necessary.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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