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COVID declines nearly everywhere

As predicted, we have significant declines in known active cases since my last report. In fact, we’re down well over 300,000 active cases since then. It’s too early for this to be vaccine driven, but I think the vaccines will have a noticeable effect over the next 5 weeks. According to CDC data, about 16.5 million vaccines have been administered, but they only report 3 times a week, and that with a 72 hour delay, so I’m guessing we’re somewhere in the 20 million range. There are about 20 million more doses distributed but not administered, so we should see the total vaccinated number climb pretty quickly. I’m calculating that we need 80 to 90 million vaccinated to reach herd immunity, far less than you’re hearing in the news. For my rationale on this, see my December 9th discussion near the end of this report.

Here is where we stand with known active cases. We are back down to the level we saw in early December, with 1.39 million known active cases. Active cases are declining by about 50,000 per day. This may not continue over the next week, but by mid-February we’ll start to see an impact from the vaccine, with steady declines thereafter.

Below is the national daily death count. The brown line is my projection or peak daily deaths, which has been tracking pretty well. I believe that daily deaths will rise from here until the end of the month, then decline rapidly. Coincidently, the IHME model (revised January 15) now projects peak daily deaths on February 1st, the same day as forecast by my model.

Here is the graph of daily deaths per 1,000 known active cases, still quite stable, and a good predicter of daily deaths over the next 3 weeks.

Individual States

All of the states I track are in general decline, with the exception of VA, SC, and possibly TX. I haven’t reported on Sweden for quite some time, so here it is. Sweden reports erratically, so take this one with a grain of salt, but it looks like a strong decline over the past 10 days.

Here is Arizona, with significant declines over the past week. You’ll see this pattern with a number of states that increased after the holidays.

SC is not yet in general decline, but with the recent peak at 0.72% of the population, I expect it to look like the other states soon.

Here is Florida – down sharply over the past 12 days. I no longer track Miami separately, as it hasn’t been a driving factor for some time now.

California is in the same place they were in mid-December, and now falling for the past 8 days.

Georgia has been declining for the past 8 days, but the peak was relatively low, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it increase again until the vaccine effect kicks in.

Texas shows recent declines, but their data has been messy, so I have no forecasts here.

Here are VA and NC. In my last report I said : “VA stands at 0.4%, and NC at 0.6%. I expect NC to decline first.” …and here we are.

Washington data is a mess. I won’t bore you with the details, as I have in previous reports, but here is what it looks like.

Here are NY and NJ – both declining over the past week.

Here is Massachusetts. Familiar pattern.

…And here is Michigan, with a strong decline over the past 10 days.

Here is PA with a nice 2 week decline, then a smaller increase in January, and now down again over the past week.

Here is Colorado – with the holiday bump, then down again. They are down more than 2/3 since the peak.

Here is Illinois, similar to Colorado – dramatic recovery for 6 weeks, and relatively smaller increase in January, then down again.

Here is Wisconsin, same pattern.

Here is Alabama. Last report I said they were near the top, and it proved to be the case.

And Tennessee… strong downward trend from their peak.

Here is Ohio – big declines since mid-December, then a smaller climb in January, and now down again.

Here is Indiana, following our now familiar pattern.

And finally, here is South Dakota, with just 2,000 cases left.

So that’s it for today. Monique and I are hiking in the Chihuahuan Desert over the next week, so I’ll likely not report again until the end of the month.

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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