Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: testing falls further behind

Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: testing falls further behind- by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (March 27)

In order to succeed in containing the pandemic, I believe that the US needs 2 weeks of China (nearly complete lockdown) followed by at least a month of South Korea (very aggressive and widespread testing).

At minimum, that means at least 50% of the US population under lockdown and a ratio of 15:1 in tests to results showing infection. The recent exponential growth of about 35% per day must be stopped. Those three most important metrics are starred (***) below.

As of now, just over 50% of the population is under total or business lockdown, and the rate of increase in new infections decelerated significantly – but is still growing at near 25%/day. The amount of testing continues to increase, but still is falling far short of what is necessary for a successful regimen.

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via

• Number: up +18,825 to 104,837 (vs. +16,815 on March 27)
• ***Rate of increase: day/day: 22% (vs. 34.6% baseline and vs. 24% on March 27)

I am using Jim Bianco’s excellent exponential projection of 34.5% growth from March 10 as my baseline. It appears that “social distancing” strategies as well as State-mandated partial and total lockdowns may have begun to put a dent in the exponential rate of increase, as the average rate of increase for the past 4 days has been 22.5%.

Note: Ben Engebreth, whose Department of Numbers used to track house prices back in the housing bubble days, has started tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers, with graphs. You can find it here.

Number and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
• Number: 107,329, up +9,523 vs. 97,816 on March 26 day/day
• Rate: increase of 10% vs. number of tests previous day
Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing
• Infections +22% vs. Tests +10% day/day

Result: The rate of testing is failing to improve and is far, far below what is needed, which is probably now at least 200,000/day. Note this number is also increasing exponentially as we try to chase the number of exponentially increasing infections.

Ratio of tests to positives for infection (from COVID Tracking Project)

• Number: 107,329 new tests vs. 18,712 new diagnosed infections
• ***Ratio: 5.7:1

In South Korea, where aggressive testing has led to a near-total disappearance of new cases, the inflection point where the number of new daily cases plateaued was reached when the ratio of tests to new cases found reached 15:1. Any ratio less than that suggests that not enough testing is being done. Yesterday’s ratio of 5.7:1 is poor – and has been worsening for the past week, I.e., we are falling further and further behind in testing.

Number of States (+DC and Puerto Rico) in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• Total lockdown (personal + business): 25 (AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, LA, MN, NC, NH, NM, MI, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PR, VT, WA, WI, WV)
• Business lockdown: 7 (DC, KY, MA, MD, ME*, NV, PA*)
• Partial restrictions on business (restaurants and bars): 14 (AL, FL*, GA*, IA, MO*, MS, ND, RI, SC*, TN*, TX*, UT*, VA, WY)
• School closure only: 5 (AZ**, AR, KS, OK**, SD)
• No mandatory restrictions: 1 (NE*)

*some local areas are under lockdown

**some local areas with partial restrictions

With the exception of Arizona, all of the remaining States with no restrictions or only school closures are rural. The only news today is that North Carolina (a big State) and Alaska both went to Statewide lockdowns.

Number and percent of US population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• ***Total lockdown: 153.2 million, 46.2%
• ***Business lockdown: 39.2 million, 11.8%
• Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 104.4 million, 31.5%
• School closure only: 15.7 million, 4.7%
• No mandatory restrictions: 1.9 million, 0.6%

Earlier this week, there was a decisive move towards more restrictive measures across the board. This has all but ground to a halt across the southern “red” States. Continued exponential growth in those cases will teach a brutal lesson.

Over half of the total US population, including metro areas in some non-lockdown States, is under total lockdown. That is the percentage, AT MINIMUM, I think we need to have a chance of following China’s successful strategy for beating back the pandemic.

The deceleration of the rate of increase in new cases may be the first signs that “social distancing” is bearing some limited fruit. But a deceleration in the exponential rate of increase still means the US as a whole is failing.

Further, the rate of testing, while having increased tremendously, still remains abysmally too low compared with the spread of the virus. In other words, we are still chasing the virus, and we are falling further behind.

There is NO HOPE that the federal government under Trump will take necessary steps. Therefore those States which have gone to lockdowns need to cooperate regionally in quarantining incoming visitors at airports, train stations and at highway checkpoints.