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Known active cases fall over 40,000 since my last report

It’s been two weeks since I reported last, and overall, nearly everything has improved. WA, VA, and MI are flat, but all other states I track are in solid decline or have already reached very low numbers. Nationally, I’m modeling that we’ve shed over 40,000 known active cases since my last report. A surprise to me, there has been little impact from the flurry of campus testing as the school year begins. We’re seeing the slowest case growth in the history of the pandemic. With the continued relaxing of social and business restrictions, I find this continued decline encouraging.

On the negative side, the latest IHME model projects peak daily deaths on December 3, at about 2,880 per day. However, they did project steadily rising deaths over the past month, but in reality we’ve seen a slow decline. I’ll keep watching it and report changes to their model.

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

  • Modeled known active cases in U.S. 249,082
  • Likely date of active case peak (Chalke modeling): July 23
  • Likely date of peak deaths (IHME): December 3 (last revision on September 3)
  • Total Test Results reported today: 614,042 (high)
  • Total Pending tests reported today: 10,530 (low)
  • National reported case Growth Rate today: 0.59% (very 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. We’ve dropped over 219,000 known active cases since the peak of July 23rd, and over 40,000 since my last report. Overall, we’re down 53% since the peak. We’re not far off April levels. I think we’ll get there by the end of the month.

Look at the daily new cases. We’re looking at a steady linear decline since mid-July, and again, nearly at April levels.

The daily death count is exhibiting a very slow decline for a month now. Here is the picture:

On to the states.

Here is Arizona, now down 89% from the peak 2 months ago. I’m modeling that Arizona has only about 3,000 known active cases left.

SC is now down 64% 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 – now down an amazing 79% from the top. I’m guessing that bump beginning on September 1 and falling back down on September 8 is college testing.

Here is California – now down 63% from the peak, and back where they were in late June. I’m still not confident there won’t be more localized peaks here, with California maxing out at only 0.18% of the population. As always, I need to report that California is one of the states that counts tests rather than people.

Georgia continues to make strong progress. Georgia hit a high of 0.25% of the population, so I’m thinking that this is it. GA is now down 55% from the peak. Note here again, the case numbers are exaggerated. Georgia counts each positive test as a case (according to The COVID Tracking Project).

Texas is now down 64% from the peak on July 23. Note that Texas also reports positive tests as cases, so is doing some level of double counting (per The COVID Tracking Project).

NC and VA have tended to mirror each other since mid-June. However, NC is now down 40% from its high while VA is down 18%. Both VA and NC are about where they were a month ago. NC went into Phase 2.5 last Friday, which means gyms and some other businesses may now open.

Here is the daily death report for NC, flat for 6 weeks now. I expect a decline in daily deaths soon, as the active case count is declining.

And here is the daily new case count for NC. A noticeable drop from the peak in mid-July, and then 5 or 6 data points above the trend line in late August. I’m thinking that this could have been college testing, as NC schools start so early in the year, but I don’t know.

The COVID Tracking Project just did a major revision of Washington data in late August, which created the sharp decline you see at the end of the month. It’s popped back up again, based on yet another change in the reporting protocol. I’ll look into it if I have time, or maybe just wait until the COVID Tracking Project folks fix it.

Here are NY and NJ – I think the interesting observation here is that even though both states peaked very early and recovered rapidly, they don’t seem to make much progress once cases get to a low level. It seems asymptotic. It makes me wonder if the course of this disease is to simmer indefinitely at low levels.

Here is Massachusetts. On September 2, Massachusetts changed their case definition to the more restrictive August 6 definition released by the CTSE. As a result, they removed a whopping 7,000 cases in a single day. Since my model only showed about 2,500 cases at that time, this dislocation sent my model into negative territory. I zeroed it out, but this shows the problems with trying to model from continually shifting data definitions. This highlights the dire need for national standards on data collection and reporting. Where is the CDC? In any event, there is not much COVID in Massachusetts.

…And here is Michigan. Michigan peaked at a very low 0.089% of the population, so may continue to grow if my theory is correct. Nonetheless, MI has been relatively flat for a good 6 weeks now.

PA has been pretty flat for the past 2 months. I believe PA has more growth to come, as the peak was very low (0.091% of the population).

And finally, here is Colorado. A sharp drop over August, and then fairly flat since. Colorado is now down to about 1,900 known active cases. Very small numbers here.

So that’s it for today. I’ll report again next week.

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, you still don’t want to get it. Everyone please continue to be as cautious as you feel necessary.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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