Coronavirus dashboard for April 2: nationwide lockdown nearly complete, but the surge in testing has completely stalled

Coronavirus dashboard for April 2: nationwide lockdown nearly complete, but the surge in testing has completely stalled

 – by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (April 1)

Close to 90% of the US population is now under lockdown, and it appears to be lowering the rate of exponential growth of new infections.

But testing in the past 6 days has plateaued at about 100,000/day 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. Deaths continue to climb at a steady exponential rate consistent with infections 2 weeks ago.

To transition to a South Korea style program, we also need to be able to trace infections and quarantine those newly infected. For that we need millions of thermometers, masks, and other equipment. There is no indication at all that this is happening.

The four most important metrics are starred (***) below.

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

  • Number: up +27,089 to 216,722 (vs. +25,023 on March 31)
  • ***Rate of increase: day/day: 14% (vs. 34.6% baseline, 18% for the past week, and 15% on March 31)

The exponential rate of growth in US cases has begun to slow:

Ben Engebreth is started tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers for each state, with graphs, here.


Number of deaths and infections and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)

  • ***Number of deaths: Total 4700, up +954 day/day
  • Rate: increase of 25% day/day vs. average of 26% in past week
  • Number of tests: 100,989 down -3,128 vs. 104,117 on March 31 day/day
  • Rate: decrease of -3.0% vs. number of tests previous day

Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing 

  • Infections +14% vs. Tests -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: 100,989 new tests vs. 26,000 new diagnosed infections
  • ***Ratio: 3.9:1

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 3.9:1 continues to show that testing is falling further and further behind the level of new infections:

US States (+DC and PR) and population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

  • ***Total lockdown: 37 States (FL, GA, MS, OK^^ joined in last 24 hours), 268.0 million, 80.8%
  • ***Business lockdown: 6 States (KY, MA, NV, PA*, SC*, TN*) 39.2 million, 11.8%
  • Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 6 States (AL, IA, MO*, ND, UT*, WY) 18.8 million, 5.7%
  • School closure only: 2 States (AR, SD) 3.9 million, 1.2%
  • No mandatory restrictions: 1 State (NE) 1.9 million, 0.6%
*some local areas under lockdowns
^restrictions on entry into State from some other States
^^high risk populations only

Following Trump’s reversal on Easter Sunday openings, almost all of the holdout States in Dixie have implemented lockdowns. Nearly 90% of the US population is now under stay at home orders:

Summary for April 2
  • Almost 90% of the total US population is under total lockdown.
  • “Social distancing” and lockdowns appear to have lowered the growth rate of new infections.
  • But travelers from States that resisted lockdowns will re-seed new outbreaks in those that went to lockdowns early
  • 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.
  • Since the Trump Administration will continue to fail, it is up to the States to band together to order emergency production of masks, tests, thermometers and other necessary equipment in order to transition to a South Korea type of testing, tracing, and quarantining of new cases.