COVID-19 DIARIES, WEEK OF 9 OCTOBER 2020

Shelter From the Storm

California enjoys coronavirus calm as cases spike nationwide

According to this analysis of state data from computational biologist Mike Bass, there are far fewer cases per day now than during the summer surge, both in Ventura County and statewide. However, the decline in new cases has stagnated over the past few days. Essentially, Mike writes, we’re at a point where the virus and the humans are tied.
Despite the recent stagnation of new case growth in the past few days, California remains in much better shape than much of the rest of the US. New cases/day fell 8% compared with last week. Hospitalizations grew slightly, although the numbers of ICU patients and deaths both fell.
Nationally, the picture is far more dire. Cases rose 11% this week, with testing up just 1%. Hospitalizations and ICU patients rose 13% and 10% respectively. Deaths fell 1%, but that’s a trailing indicator and may well rise again given the spike in new cases.
New cases per day have risen steadily over the past month. The 7-day average trend line smooths out the increase somewhat, but the 57,000 new cases per day reported Friday are the highest in two months.
This chart (from the NY Times, via former CDC director Tom Frieden, MD) shows cases are steady or increasing in most of the country. Dr. Frieden anticipates 230,000 COVID-19 deaths by Nov. 3.
The virus continues to be widely distributed, with Midwestern and Southern states experiencing the most infection per capita. South Dakota was this week’s the most infectious state, but new cases per million rose in many other states as well. (Arkansas and New Hampshire did not file reports on Friday; their numbers are not 0.)
Looking at case growth over time, this chart (from the Financial Times, via Eric Topol, MD, of the Scripps Institute) shows we’re beginning a third cycle of new cases just as cold weather and flu season begins.

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