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Arizona stages a remarkable recovery…

I’ve updated the graph of peak cases as a percentage of the population:

Here is what is remarkable. Every state on this list has peaked, some more definitively than others. In general, the closer the state is to the right side of the graph, the more tenuous the decline, and the more I’m likely to believe there may be more growth coming. But as of now, the only state showing a pattern of growth is VA, and even that’s hard to decipher as VA has had a data anomaly recently (see below).

Known active cases continue a steady decline nationally. In fact, we’re now down about 94,000 cases from the peak, about 20%.

The miraculous recovery story is Arizona, which was at the top of the news for being “out of control” a month ago, and is now down over 2/3 from the top!

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 23
  • Likely date of peak deaths (IHME): April 16 (last revision on August 6)
  • Total Test Results reported today: 711,984 (very high)
  • Total Pending tests reported today: 3,871 (extremely low)
  • National reported case Growth Rate today: 1.03% (lowest growth rate since June 15)

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. We’ve dropped about 94,000 known active cases since the peak of July 23rd. That’s a 20% decline. As during the first wave which peaked in April, the biggest declines are in the hardest hit states such as Arizona, Florida, and California.

Look at the daily new cases. We’re looking at a broad pattern of decline since mid-July. However, we haven’t seen any decline for a week now, so that has my antennae up.

The daily death count is flat for 3 weeks now. Here is the picture:

We’re still seeing the daily death count much smaller in relation to case count than we experienced in April. As predicted, daily deaths have flattened out over the past week, and I expect them to begin declining in about 2 weeks.

Here are the daily deaths per 1,000 known active cases. This disease is now far less deadly than it was in April, when deaths per active case were 4 – 5 times higher. This is very good news.

On to the states.

My goodness, look at Arizona. This is remarkable. I’m modeling known active cases in the state down an almost hard to believe 67% from their peak just one month ago. Sadly, you won’t see this in the news.

SC is also looking quite good. SC is now down 37% from the peak. Note that South Carolina double counts cases, as they treat each positive test as a new case (per The COVID Tracking Project).

Here is Florida – another strong recovery story. Interestingly, I noticed Miami flattening first, but Miami is recovering at a slower pace than the rest of the state. Florida peaked high, at 0.38% of the population, so I think this peak will hold. Florida is now down 45% from the top.

California looks good, down 36% from the peak. However, I’m less confident that California is over the worst, since the state peaked at only 0.18% of the population, and that’s a little low according to my theory. It could be that the lower population density results in a lower peak. Let’s hope so. As always, I need to report that California is one of the states that counts tests rather than people.

Georgia’s recovery is not as pronounced as the other states hit hard in late June. Georgia hit a high of 0.25% of the population, so I’m thinking this could be the ceiling, but the pattern is just different enough that I have some skepticism. Note here again, the case numbers are exaggerated. Georgia counts each positive test as a case (according to The COVID Tracking Project).

Texas is looking like Georgia now. Down from the peak, but not definitively in decline. I’m suspicious there could be more to come here. Note that Texas also reports positive tests as cases, so is doing some level of double counting.

NC is down 22% from the peak, but the peak was at a very low level (0.14%). Nonetheless, NC new cases are in decline, so the pattern looks good. Notice that spike in VA – they released a backlog of testing data on August 7th, and the various tracking sites, including The COVID Tracking Project, pick them up as new cases. Virginia is working to place the cases back on the correct dates on their website, and eventually the Tracking Project will catch up with this, but for now we’ll see this bump – it is NOT indicative of a surge in cases.

Here is the daily death report for NC. We’re seeing a mild upward slope in daily deaths, but I think this will reverse in the next week or two, as known active cases are steadily declining.

Washington could have peaked, but I remain skeptical, as the high water mark you see here is at just 0.087% of the population. That peak is now 21 days old, so that’s hopeful.

Here are NY and NJ – both continue their slow declines, and both are at small percentages of the population.

Here is Massachusetts, still working its way through the bubble of new historical cases caused by reporting errors at the very end of July (https://www.wwlp.com/news/state-politics/reported-error-caused-spike-in-massachusetts-covid-19-numbers/).

…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. Nonetheless, MI has been flat for nearly 3 weeks now. I have no idea what is likely to happen here.

PA’s decline is now 10 days old. Encouraging, but I believe PA has more growth to come, as the peak was very low (0.091% of the population).

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.

So that’s it for today. I’ll report again on Thursday unless something notable happens between now and then.

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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