Covid 5/21: Limbo Under

by Zvi Don't Worry About the Vase1 min read14th May 2020No comments

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Previous weekly reports: Covid-19 5/7: Fighting LimboCovid-19 4/30: Stuck in Limbo

Slowly, a nation partially reopens. Is it too much, too soon? It’s too early to know for sure, because of lags, but so far we’ve only seen extraordinary good news. If you don’t think what we saw this past week was good news, either we disagree about how to read the data quite a lot, or you had what I consider highly realistic expectations.

Remarkably little has happened in the last week. There are weeks when decades happen, and previous weeks have felt like that. This one didn’t. This felt like waiting for things to happen and nothing happening except good numbers. Yes, we got some other news, but did any of it matter or surprise much? I would say that it did not.

Last time I did a bunch of analysis and a bit of editorializing alongside the numbers. This time I’ll keep it brief. This is mostly to get the charts out. I’ll get the other stuff out there in distinct posts if it’s worth saying.

The Data

Deaths:

WEST MIDWEST SOUTH NE ex-NY NY
Mar 19-Mar 25 116 67 111 84 203
Mar 26-Apr 1 347 477 502 454 1340
Apr 2-8 639 1335 1150 1783 3939
Apr 9-15 895 2106 1472 3261 5345
Apr 16-22 1008 2369 1730 5183 3994
Apr 23-29 1135 2500 1684 4285 2810
Apr 30-May 6 991 2413 1737 5349 2007
May 7-May 13 1044 2344 1679 4014 ~1500*

*- New York includes ~700 reclassified deaths that did not take place this past week, but were instead from past weeks and added to the death count on 5/7. I’ve subtracted them out for purposes of this chart.

Positive Tests:

WEST MIDWEST SOUTH NE ex-NY NY
Mar 19-Mar 25 5744 6293 7933 8354 28429
Mar 26-Apr 1 15684 20337 24224 34391 52901
Apr 2-8 19455 31148 39618 56772 65604
Apr 9-15 16291 29267 35570 61921 64463
Apr 16-22 20065 34130 33932 64669 43437
Apr 23-29 21873 42343 33773 62189 42475
Apr 30-May 6 23424 49205 37880 51693 24287
May 7-May 13 22615 43264 37591 40209 16683

Overall test counts:

USA tests Positive % NY tests Positive %
Mar 19-Mar 25 347577 16.2% 88882 32.0%
Mar 26-Apr 1 728474 20.2% 117401 45.1%
Apr 2-8 1,067,220 19.8% 144273 45.5%
Apr 9-15 1,039,790 20.1% 160859 40.1%
Apr 16-22 1,253,535 15.7% 143970 30.2%
Apr 23-29 1,480,101 13.7% 202499 21.0%
Apr 30-May 6 1,733,601 10.6% 183446 13.2%
May 7-May 13 2,215,060 7.4% 202980 8.2%

The chart tell the story. We expanded testing dramatically and positive counts dropped in every region. New York continues to improve at a much faster clip than elsewhere, and some localities are seeing things get worse, but the overall trend is unmistakable. Positive counts fell in all regions while testing once again expanded substantially.

Deaths are not falling much yet, but they are a lagging indicator. Things are improving.

I don’t feel that much more confident in my priors than I did previously, but then I haven’t felt the need to update them either, in much of any direction.

New York will start its phase 1 reopening this coming week in four of its ten regions. It will likely expand that to seven to ten of them within two weeks. Restaurants come back in phase 3, which is four weeks in. It feels like normal is well on its way. I’m starting to feel much less paranoid, as my true estimate of infections per day in the state drops to 12,478 today, down from 20,200 a week ago. And also with my increased confidence in my infection modeling.

We also get baseball around July 4, assuming the players and owners can agree on how much the players get paid. That’s tricky in the best of times, but ultimately is probably settled one way or another. All theater from here, we hope.

I’m working on some other posts that will hopefully cover other angles.

 

 

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