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Wave 3 is cresting now…

The COVID Tracking Project data is coming on line later at night than it used to be, so that throws me off my schedule a bit – unless this changes, I’ll continue to write my report a little earlier, based on the previous day’s data.

Nationally, wave 3 is cresting now. Of the states that I track (now 22 states plus Sweden), 9 states are still increasing (NY, CA, NC, VA, GA, PA, TX, AZ, and OH), NJ is increasing moderately, and 12 states are level or declining (WA, FL, MA, SC, MI, CO, IL, AL, WI, TN, SD, and IN). As promised, I’ve added South Dakota to mix, which by the way crested and is now declining rapidly (see discussion below). I’ve included a full report on all the tracked states today.

Here is the picture of modeled known active cases nationally. You can see the inflection point, and it looks like the top of wave 3 is forming. I model 1.18 million known active cases, which is about 0.36% of the population. There are still areas of the country that have not reached peak saturation, but there are not many population centers left that haven’t reached the vicinity of critical mass.

Here is the national daily death count. Increasing as expected with wave 3. The brown line is my projection of daily deaths, based on 2.75 deaths per 1,000 known active cases and a 21 day lag. I’m going to leave this projection on the graph without change (except that I’ll keep projecting 21 days out, extending the projection by one day each day) to see how the algorithm fares. I’m expecting daily deaths to crest around December 13th at about 3,200 daily deaths. The IHME model projects a daily death peak on January 8th, at 2,562 daily deaths. I’m expecting an earlier, but higher peak.

Here are the daily deaths per 1,000 active cases with the 21-day lag. We’re hoping to see this decline, but so far it’s been stable for months.

We continue to see a steady march upward in daily test reports. It’s been over a month since we’ve see a sub-million day. We set a new record on November 21st with over 2 million reports.

Individual States

Here is Arizona, continuing to increase rapidly. AZ is about to surpass its wave 2 peak, which was about 0.37% of the population. I don’t expect this state to get above about 34,000 active cases.

SC has been slowing declining over the past 4 days. Let’s hope this continues.

Here is Florida – Just a couple of day halt in the growth, so I put it in the flat category, but it’s just a few days, so we’ll see if this continues.

Same with California – a several day halt in the growth – that peak is just 0.2% of the population, so I’m afraid there is more growth to come here.

Georgia is still growing — Georgia hit a high of 0.25% of the population back in July. Again, more growth to come I believe.

Texas has been growing rapidly since mid-October. It sits now at 0.25% of the population. This number has proven a little low for a peak, so I’m expecting a bit more growth here.

VA and NC tend to mirror each other, and this is certainly proving true now. NC sits at 0.24% and VA at 0.19%. If the pattern holds, there will be more growth in both these states, but especially VA.

Here is the daily death report for NC, with no real movement for nearly 4 months. I do think we’ll see increases over the next 3 weeks.

Now some better news. A big drop in Washington over the past week. Still less than 0.20% of the population, so I don’t think this decline will hold, but I hope it does.

Here are NY and NJ – NY continues rapid growth, while we see some attenuation in NJ.

Here is Massachusetts. Flat for a week now. Let’s hope this is the top.

…And here is Michigan, slowing, and then turning around. The high water mark was just a hair over 0.5%, so I think this is the top.

PA is still ascending rapidly. They are at 0.35% of the population, so I think we’ll see the top over the next two weeks.

Here is Colorado — The beginnings of a nice turnaround here.

Here is Illinois. Declining for 10 days now. I like what I see here, and the peak was high enough to stick.

Here is Wisconsin. After making so many headlines, they look much better now.

Here is Alabama. Their data has been quite discontinuous, but looking better lately. Some of the new cases reported on November 14th were historical, which skews the graph.

And Tennessee… Rapid decline over the past week. The peak was at 0.46%, so I think this is it.

Ohio is still growing fast, but at 0.49%, I have to think the top is very near.

Here is Indiana. Improvement over the past 4 days, which I expect to continue.

And finally, here is South Dakota. A rapid ascent, and an equally rapid descent over the past 9 days. Many articles in the news about SD “out of control”. Now it looks like the worst is over here.

So that’s it for today. I’ll report again just after the holiday, and as promised, I’ll revisit Sweden.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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