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A stunning 69% drop from the January 11th peak

The good news continues. Since my last report one week ago, we have dropped nearly 200,000 known active cases. I’m now modeling about 544,000 remaining known active cases. In just a few days, I believe we’ll be below last summer’s peak (465,000). This is happening a good 10 days earlier than I had forecast.

Daily deaths are now falling, and will continue to fall steadily for at least the next 3 weeks (that’s as far as I forecast).

We’ve now vaccinated over 40 million people with at least one dose. The vaccination rate has slowed a bit due to the winter storm, but as I’ve written several times now, I believe that we reach herd immunity at less than 100 million vaccinated (see the February 1st discussion pinned to the end of this report). Why do I believe this? I’ve noticed for some time that when COVID reaches a certain prevalence in a geographic area, the propagation behaves as if it is resource constrained. The logical explanation is that a substantial portion of the population has a degree of COVID resistance. Here is yet another article describing this, sent to me by one of the doctors on this distribution list: Covid-19: Do many people have pre-existing immunity? | The BMJ I know little about the medical aspects of this, but do know that it explains the math. So far this year, it’s tracking as I expected.

I’ve been asked why I track the number of people receiving one or more doses, rather than the number who have completed the 2 dose cycle. Although it’s true that the 95% effectiveness requires the full cycle, FDA documents show that there is substantial effectiveness after the first dose, so I believe that this is the more revealing metric to track: FDA documents show Pfizer COVID vaccine protects after 1 dose | CIDRAP (umn.edu)

As I mentioned in my last report, several of the tracking and analytical sites are closing shop. In particular, The COVID Tracking Project, which I rely on for raw data, is closing on March 7th. I’ll continue reporting IF I can find another credible data source, otherwise, perhaps I’ll just track national data, which I can source myself. It depends on where we are by early March.

National Analysis

Here is where we stand with known active cases. We are back down to the level we saw last October, a stunning 69% drop from the January 11th peak. Sometime in the next few days, I believe we’ll be down to July 2020 levels, a bit of a milestone.

Below is the national daily death count. The brown line is my daily death model, in which I have a high degree of confidence.

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

Individual States

All of the states I track are past peak, with some receding faster than others, and some dropping precipitously. Here is Arizona, down 83% from the peak.

SC is down 49% from the peak.

Here is Florida – down 63% from the peak on January 8th. Now down materially below July levels.

California is now down 83% from the peak, and below wave 2 levels. A remarkable drop.

Georgia is down 67% from the peak, and now below July levels.

Same caveats with Texas as always – their reporting is messy, but nonetheless down 67% from the peak.

Here are VA and NC. 63% drop from peak in NC, and 56% in VA.

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 – NY down 51%, and NJ down 50%. NY and NJ are both below their April wave 1 levels.

Here is Massachusetts. Down 71% from the peak on January 12th, and now below wave 1 levels.

…And here is Michigan, down an amazing 87% from peak, and now below wave 1 levels.

Here is PA, down 69% from the peak on December 16.

Here is Colorado, down 80% from the peak on November 21st.

Here is Illinois, down 84% from peak and now below May 2020 levels.

Here is Wisconsin, down 88% from the peak, and now below wave 2 levels.

Here is Alabama, down 76% from peak, and substantially below July 2020 levels.

And Tennessee… down 85% from peak, and below summer 2020 levels.

Here is Ohio – down 81% from the peak on December 14th.

Here is Indiana, also down 83% from peak.

So that’s it for today. I’ll report again next week, I expect with continued good news. Perhaps just a few reports left before I run out of data…

–Shane Chalke, FSA

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