by New Deal democrat
Here is the update through yesterday (March 31)
Over 75% of the US population is now under lockdown, and it appears to be lowering the rate of exponential growth of new infections.
Based on South Korea’s experience, a ratio of 15:1 in total tests to results showing infection is the level where there can be some confidence that the infections have been contained. But testing in the past 5 days has plateaued (not good) and is not keeping pace at all with the growth in new infections. We will not be able to transition from the Sledgehammer of lockdowns to the scalpel of aggressive testing and quarantines until this changes.
The above three most important metrics are starred (***) below.
Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)
- Number: up +25,023 to 189,633 (vs. +21,555 on March 30)
- ***Rate of increase: day/day: 15% (vs. 34.6% baseline, 19% for the past week, and 15% on March 30)
This looks like confirmation that the exponential rate of growth is beginning to slow.
Also, Ben Engebreth is started tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers for each state, with graphs, here.
Number and rate of increase in deaths and testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
- Number of deaths: Total 3946, up +807 day/day
- Rate: increase of 27% day/day vs. average of 24% in past week
- Number of infections: 104,117 down -9,386 vs. 113,503 on March 30 day/day
- Rate: decrease of -8.3% vs. number of tests previous day
Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing
- Infections +15% vs. Tests -8.3% day/day
Result: The rate of testing has been failing to improve (until today) and remains far, far below what is needed, which is probably now at least 250,000/day. Note this target 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: 113,503 new tests vs. 24,240 new diagnosed infections
- ***Ratio: 4.3:1
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 4.3:1 continues to show that testing is falling further and further behind the level of new infections.
Number of States (+DC and Puerto Rico) in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions
- Total lockdown (personal + business): 33 (AK, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MD, ME, MN, MI, MT, NC, NH, NM, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PR, RI, TX^, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV)
- Business lockdown: 6 (KY, MA, NV, PA*, SC*, TN*)
- Partial restrictions on business (restaurants and bars): 9 (AL, FL*^, GA*, IA, MO*, MS, ND, UT*, WY)
- School closure only: 3 (AR, OK**, SD)
- No mandatory restrictions: 1 (NE*)
- ***Total lockdown: 228.9 million, 70.0%
- ***Business lockdown: 39.2 million, 11.8%
- Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 53.9 million, 16.2%
- School closure only: 7.9 million, 2.4%
- No mandatory restrictions: 1.9 million, 0.6%
On Monday MD, DC, VA, and AZ* *(with a lot of loopholes) went to total lockdown, and TN went to business lockdown. Yesterday Maine and Texas went to total lockdown, and South Carolina went to a business lockdown.
I started adding the number and rate of increase in deaths as of today.
Over 3/4 of the total US population is under total lockdown. “Social distancing” and lockdowns appear to have lowered the growth rate of new infections. Unfortunately, we still have to wait 1 to 2 weeks for this to have its full effect. Because no action has been taken to “quarantine” incoming travel, including from the recalcitrant States, especially Florida, travelers from those States will re-seed new outbreaks.
Further, the number of daily tests has stalled at about 100,000. So long as the virus keeps spreading at an exponential rate, even a lower one, we are falling further and further behind, I.e., we are failing to catch more new infections. The longer this continues, the longer it will be until total lockdowns can be lifted – because we don’t have the wherewithal to go to a “South Korea” style regimen of pervasive testing and quarantines.
The federal government will continue to fail. It is up to the States to band together to implement quarantining of visitors from other States, and in ordering emergency production of masks, tests, thermometers and other necessary equipment.