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Looking better nationally

I wasn’t going to report so soon, but things are looking better, and I can’t report again until the end of the week, so here goes…

Known active cases nationally continue to slow, with today’s growth rate the slowest in 15 days (1.5%). Of the 6 watch states only Georgia continues to increase, and I expect that to change soon.

Here is the peak active case count to date for the states I monitor:

In general, the states on the left side of the chart are slowing or in decline, and the states on the right side of the chart are still growing. I suspect this graph will level out over time, with all states ending up somewhere in the ¼ to ½ of one percent range.

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): July 24
  • Likely date of peak deaths (IHME): April 16 (last revision on July 14)
  • Total Test Results reported today: 735,197 (very high)
  • Total Pending tests reported today: 3,003 (extremely low)
  • National reported case Growth Rate today: 1.54% (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 – I’m modeling about 464,000 known active cases. This is our first day of decline in a very long time, and is good to see.

Here are the new reported cases nationally – We’ve now seen a 3 day decline, but we need an entire weekly pattern to draw any conclusions. The positivity rate continues to fall, now down to 7.9%.

Despite the increase in active known cases, we’re seeing only a mild increase in daily deaths, or maybe even flat. We’ll know in a few more days. I pinned my theory about this to the bottom of the page in case you want to reference it. I continue to believe that this is primarily explained by demographics. I’ve long been a proponent of protecting those potentially most affected by the disease, and letting others make their own decisions about daily life, as the mortality rate among pre-retirees is so very low. I believe this is exactly what is happening in society right now. Seniors and those with health problems are exhibiting social distancing, quarantine, and other precautionary measures, while the disease spreads among a younger demographic, with a much lower mortality rate.

On to the states.

Arizona continues to decline, having peaked on July 6. Arizona was at my hypothesized population ceiling, so I think this trend will continue. In fact, I think Arizona is in for some strong declines in the next few days as we emerge from the bubble. Arizona dominated the news 2 weeks ago – this should be big news.

Here is SC, now relatively flat for 6 days. Note that South Carolina double counts cases, as they treat each positive test as a new case (per The Covid Tracking Project). Nonetheless, it’s nice to see it leveling off.

Last week I said “I believe that Florida doesn’t have much more growth to go – in a week I’ll remind you I said that, and I’ll look smart, or maybe not.” Well, here we are. I get to be smart at least once.

California continues to slow, and we even have a decline today. I’m far less confident about California, since it sits at about 0.15% of the population, which is quite low. As always, I need to report that California is one of the states that counts tests rather than people.

We have a down day in Georgia today, but one day isn’t meaningful. Georgia only hit a high of 0.23% of the population, so could have more growth to come. Here again, the case numbers are exaggerated. Georgia counts each positive test as a case (according to The COVID Tracking Project).

 

Texas has been flat for 3 days now. If Texas is peaking, it’s only at 0.23% of the population, so my confidence that we’ve seen the top here is low. Texas also reports positive tests as cases, so is doing some level of double counting.

The news in NC is good today. We’re scheduled to remain in Phase 2 until August 7th, but I’m thinking the case and death numbers are such that we’ll move to Phase 3 then.

Here is the daily death report for NC, with no discernable upward trend yet. This is a good case study, as NC has had active cases increasing monotonically for over 3 months, but little change in the daily death count. NC extended Phase 2 until August 7th. I think we’ll actually go to Phase 3 this time if this pattern persists.

Washington has been erratic over the past week. The active case high water mark is at just 0.87% of the population, so it wouldn’t surprise me if it keeps growing.

Nothing to say about NY and NJ – the picture says it all. Significant decline again in NJ today, but it’s hard to see on this graph, as the residual numbers are so small. I model that NJ has just about 1,400 known active cases remaining.

Massachusetts has exhibited a slight upward drift for a week now, but it’s very slight. We need to watch this.

…And here is Michigan. Looking beautiful until June 10th, then beginning a steady upward drift. Michigan peaked at a low percentage of population (0.089%), so may continue to grow if my theory is correct. It is just one of several states that peaked early and low, and doesn’t seem to be done with COVID yet.

PA looks like Michigan, so the same comments apply.

And finally, here is Colorado. Colorado is one of the states that has had aberrations in their data. I still report it, but I’ve shied away from any conclusions in this state due to the data irregularities. Very small numbers here. Colorado peaked at a very small percentage, so could peak again as well. However, we see further signs of a slowdown.

So that’s it for today. I’ll report again on Thursday or Friday.

The numbers are still 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 you feel necessary.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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