Coronavirus dashboard for April 5: mandatory lockdowns start to work

Coronavirus dashboard for April 5: mandatory lockdowns start to work

by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (April 4)

I’ve changed the format, moving the “just the facts, ma’am” data to the top, and comments to the end.

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

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

  • Number: up +33,787 to 312,245 (vs. +32,857 on April 3)
  • ***Rate of increase: day/day: 12% (vs. 34.6% baseline, 14% for the past week, and 13% on April 3)

The exponential growth rate began to fall on March 24. It now looks like in the past week or so it is in a new, decelerating trend, declining by about -1%/day. Voluntary social distancing was clearly not enough, but the State lockdowns appear to be beginning to  work (more on that in a separate post).

Ben Engebreth is tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers for each State, with graphs, here. Also, there is an awesome interactive tool to measure infections and other data for various countries and US States at
Number of deaths and infections and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
  • ***Number of deaths: Total 8,314, up +1,352 day/day
  • Rate: increase of 19% day/day vs. average of 21% in past week
  • Number of tests: 226,945, up +87,332  vs. 139,613 on April 3 day/day
  • Rate: increase of +19% vs. number of tests previous day
  • Tests pending result: 15,573 vs. 61,980 on April 3 day/day

Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing 

  • Infections +19% vs. Tests +63% day/day

Result: The rate of testing had been failing to improve up until the past two days, meaning that we were actually falling further behind. Now we are catching up a little bit. Nevertheless, it remains 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: 226,945 new tests vs. 33,767 new diagnosed infections
  • ***Ratio: 6.7:1

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 6.7:1 is the best showing yet, but was *very* heavily influenced by the -45,000 decrease in “pending” tests.

US States and population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

  • ***Total lockdown: 42 States, 301.6 million, 90.9%
  • ***Business lockdown: 3 States (KY, MA, SC*) 16.6 million, 5.0%
  • Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 5 States (IA, ND, NE, UT*, WY^) 9.7 million, 2.9%
  • School closure only: 2 States (AR^, SD) 3.9 million, 1.2%
  • No mandatory restrictions: NONE

*some local areas under lockdowns
^restrictions on or quarantine of travelers from out of State

Following Trump’s reversal on Easter Sunday openings, most of the holdout States have implemented lockdowns. There have been no meaningful changes in the past day.

US States with “test, trace, and quarantine” programs

  • Under development: 1 State: MA
Summary for April 6
Almost every public health authority who has weighed in has advocated the “Sledgehammer, then Scalpel” approach of a temporary total lockdown, during which time, as the infection rate of growth hopefully moves to flat, the production and distribution of necessary medical equipment is surged. Once enough is in place, a regimen of “test, trace, and quarantine” can be put in place as the lockdown is lifted.
Here’s how we stand:
  • There were no meaningful changes today in governmental responses.
  • Almost 95% of the total US population is – finally – under total lockdown, with only a few States in the Great Plains, plus Arkansas, Utah, and Wyoming holding out.
  • While “Social distancing” and lockdowns appear to have lowered the growth rate of new infections, they have failed as a method to halt the virus’s spread.
  • Mandatory lockdowns, first implemented on Statewide bases 16 days ago, appear to be making a difference.
  • Travelers from States that resisted lockdowns until this week (especially Florida!) have probably re-seeded new outbreaks in those that went to lockdowns early. (This will be the subject of a separate post).
  • The number of daily tests has finally improved from about 100,000 to 225,000, but is still short of of what is necessary, particularly since about 40,000 of that improvement was reducing the backlog of “Pending” tests.
  • So long as the virus continues to spreading at an exponential rate, the longer it will be until total lockdowns can be lifted.
  • The Trump Administration has still not mandated a nationwide lockdown.
  • The Trump Administration has taken no meaningful steps to mandate mass production of necessary medical equipment.
  • The Trump Administration has taken no steps towards a nationwide “test, trace, and quarantine” plan that will be needed to lift lockdowns.
  • Massachusetts has begun to develop its own “test, trace, and quarantine” plan. Hopefully this will be adopted by other States quickly.