COVID-19 DIARIES, WEEK OF 6 NOVEMBER 2020

The Virus Is Winning

We’re back to record risk levels, both nationwide and here in Ventura County

The rate of new US cases has risen unchecked over the past few weeks, and is essentially out of control around the nation. Five weeks ago, there were an average of 47,000 new cases per day; this past week, that number was 97,000 new cases, a 106% increase.
Every key coronavirus metric rose across the US this past week. For the second straight week, growth in new cases increased three times faster than tests, 24% to 8%. In the past five weeks, new cases are up more than 100%. Hospitalizations and deaths also rose by double-digit percentages compared with week-ago totals.
In California, new cases rose 14% while testing declined by 1%. Hospitalizations also rose. About the only positive note is that California deaths declined 5% this week; however, bear in mind that deaths are a trailing indicator, and may rise a few weeks after spikes in infections and hospitalizations.
As this chart from computational biologist Mike Bass shows, new coronavirus cases in Ventura County — although lower in absolute terms than the state or nation — grew at a rapid clip this week. Using the state’s color-coded system for risk rating, Ventura County has risen back into purple-tier risk levels, and the numbers are continuing to climb.
New cases rose in nearly every state last week. As this map from the Johns Hopkins school of public health shows, no state saw declines in new case rates this past week. Around the nation, the virus continued to grow, or in a very few states remained the same relatively high levels.
Even adjusted for population, the virus is growing fast in almost every state of the nation. For the first time anywhere in the world, North Dakota exceeded 2,000 new cases per million population. Five other Great Plains states also saw more than 1,000 new cases per million. Elsewhere, new cases rose or remained flat compared with week-ago totals.

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