Post #960: Current U.S. COVID trend. Do you think anyone will notice?

Posted on January 18, 2021

Source:  U.S. (dark blue line) and six regions, new cases / 100,000 / day, seven day moving average.  Data ending 1/17/2021.  Underlying data from the NY Times Github COIVD data repository.

The U.S. seven-day moving average for new COVID cases per 100,000 is back down to where it was a month-and-a-half ago.  All six of broadly-defined regions show the same downward slope.

Note that the first two dips in the line above are due to the holidays.  But this last decline is a new thing entirely.  Given that we never had a post-holiday surge for either Thanksgiving or Christmas/New Year’s, it’s hard to believe that the current decline is somehow tied to the holidays.  A large negative post-holiday un-surge doesn’t seem plausible.  So it is what it is.

The current decline in daily new cases is so nearly universal that not only is every region trending down, just a handful of states don’t have a level-to-downward trend:  Maine, Virginia and South Carolina. And the only high-population state with a level trend is Texas.  That’s more-or-less apparent from the graph below, where almost all the lines in the right edge slope downward.

The big exception to that is Virginia.  Not sure what we’re doing wrong, or whether it’s just our turn in the barrel, but new case counts are going through the roof.  Yesterday we broke a record for daily new cases, by a factor of about 50%.  After nine months of lying low, suddenly we’re the nation’s hotspot for new case growth?  And not so much as a note of explanation of the Commonwealth’s COVID dashboard.

If that doesn’t somehow resolve with today’s update, I’ll take a deeper dive into the Virginia data to see if there’s anything obvious.

Edit:  See next post.  At least part of that appears to be some sort of data reporting error.

Edit:  And almost as if on cue, there are two articles published today where they mention the possibility that we may be past the peak.  See post after next post.