Post #1057: COVID-19 trend to 3-13-2021. Now 79% down from peak.

Posted on March 15, 2021

Otherwise, just read yesterday’s post. There’s no strong trend.

New cases are rising modestly in the Midwest.  That’s due to Minnesota and Michigan.  And within those states, a quick look at the data yesterday showed that was concentrated among high-school youth and young adults.  By contrast, among the elderly, cases are falling there, as elsewhere, presumably due to the high rate of vaccination.

Otherwise, if there’s any pattern here related to the presumably more-infectious variants of COVID-19 (such as the U.K. variant B.1.1.7), it is not apparent to me.

The usual graphs follow, with a few bits of commentary.

Yesterday, there was a roughly 50/50 split between states showing increase and decreases in new cases that day.  That’s consistent with the lack of any strong trend.  And if you look at the lines for individuals states (in the regional graphs), you’ll see that there are now quite a few of them with a weak upward trend in new cases per day.  And the rest continue a weak downward trend.

All states, by six regional groupings.  These are all on a log scale.

I think the first graph pretty well illustrates the phrase ” … ceases to be a trend”.

Northeast.   The little finger sticking up at the end is New Jersey.  By eye, seems like a lot of states have a slight upward slope these days.

South Atlantic:  The little figure at the end there is Delaware, which clearly had one of those data-reporting catchups in the past few days.  That’ll be gone in a week.

South-Central states had their data reporting strongly perturbed by the power outages following the mid-February winter storm event.  If you were to take out those various “speed bump”, they remain a cohesive group.

Midwest matches the topgraphy:  Mostly flat.  Two large states stand out for having increases in cases, as discussed yesterday and above.

Mountain states:  Not a lot of cohesive behavior there.

Pacific:  Declines in new case counts in California continue unabated.  Majority of states are below 10 new cases / 100,000 / day.

School re-opening remains a topic of interest.  I’d like to get my hands on some current data showing new case rates by age, nationally.  The idea being to look at this issue of growth of cases in the high-school-age population, in those states where in-person high school classes have resumed.  (And to validate that the decline in new cases among the elderly matches the vaccination rate there.)

So far, I haven’t found that.  The only place I can get that information nationally is the CDC’s person-level public use file, and that tends to be weeks out of date, suspect as to data quality.  And that doesn’t even show the state of residence, in any case.

Even within individual states, I typically cannot find trend (historical) data on cases by age. You’d think that with school re-opening being an issue, states would make an effort to make that information available.

I started out by looking at Virginia’s data.  Virginia has provided the age-breakout data from (nearly) the beginning of the pandemic.  It never occurred to me that the equivalent information would not be available in all states.  But it simply isn’t.   This makes me appreciate the quality of the data produced by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until you take a look around and see what else is available.  Which, in this case, appears to be more-or-less nothing.