COVID-19 UPDATE. County data shows major deceleration of daily case growth across USA. Plus, another study shows temperature variance impact disease transmission.
We realize there are many people interested in keeping up with developments around COVID-19. So please feel free to share this email to any interested parties. We are praying for an end to this pandemic.
Today (Wed), the message from both NY (the epicenter) and the White House is that COVID-19 is on track to require to undershoot "peak" utilization of the healthcare system. This is very critical development, because earlier in this crisis, the risk to the country was an overburdened healthcare system, which would lead to first responders to choose which ones to save and leading to needless deaths. And the other message remains that NY state does indeed seem to be moving through the apex of the crisis and the other side is flattening of case growth, decreasing hospitalization admissions and eventually a tapering of deaths.
NY foremost has been the epicenter of this crisis and still represents 35% of the 435,000 cases in the US. But, as intensity of the crisis in New York state eases, the key for seeing a decline in overall USA case growth depends upon:
- other cities, counties, states to see COVID-19 curves below NY;
- local governments need to use best practices to contain spread via testing or social distance;
- optimize treatment regimens.
Widespread deceleration of case growth seen across the USA, based on county-level data...
Every outbreak is local. In fact, in a section of this email, we show how NYC cases spread to surrounding counties. And because each outbreak is local, we think it is useful to track county-level data, rather than state level. Our tireless data scientist (Ken) enhanced some of the county-level data (coming from Hopkins) and a few interesting insights emerge (more forthcoming as we further analyze the datasets):
- first, there is widespread deceleration of daily case growth across the USA. A simple way to measure this is a diffusion chart (below). As of 4/8/2020, counties representing 51% (of the USA population) saw daily case growth below 10%. A week ago, this figure was 21%. So 30% more of the USA falls into this tier.
- second, only Detroit, Philadelphia, D.C., of the top 50 MSA are seeing case growth worse than NYC. In other words, the curves are already flatter for the rest of the country. This could change, but this is a good thing.
Diffusion chart: More than half of the USA is seeing cases growth slow to <10%...
Looking at the >3,000 counties in the USA, we grouped their daily case growth into 5 tiers. The highest growth rate is >41% (2X in 3 days) and the slowest is <5% (doubling every month).
- On 3/19/2020, the plurality of the USA saw case growth >41% and this is arguably the "peak" velocity spread of COVID-19.
- On 4/3/2020, 2 weeks later, the plurality of the USA saw case growth between 10%-19% (15% mid-point), or cases doubling every 5 days.
- As of 4/8/2020, 51% of the USA has daily case growth <10%. And the green bar (<5%) is now 16% of the population.
We realize this chart is a little hard to read, perhaps we may stack the lines, but the bigger point is the across many counties in the US, we are seeing the benefit of social distance. This is leading to a nationwide slowing of cases.
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