Post #1036, new COVID-19 cases trending down slowly, ex-Texas

Posted on February 28, 2021

Today is probably the last time I’ll show the trends with and without Texas (and LA and AR).  At this point, the (seven-day moving average of) Texas data reporting appears to have recovered fully, and it’s only distorting the historical data.

If you include Texas (and LA and AR), cases are rising at a rate of about 4%/week starting 2/21/2021.  But that reflects the data reporting outage in Texas (and surrounding areas) due to the mid-February cold wave.  And then the recovery from that outage.

If you exclude TX, LA, AR, you find that cases have been falling about 4%week, starting 2/21/2021.  That’s almost certainly a more accurate picture of the underlying trend.

Doesn’t seem like a big difference, but that eight-percentage-point spread is the difference between “things are continuing to improve” and not.

Either way you slice it, something happened in early February (circa 2/5/2021) that put a serious kink in the graph.

If there’s any rhyme or reason to the state-level data, I sure can’t see it.  California continues on a strongly downward trend, which is why the Pacific (green) line below still slopes down.  South Carolina also continues to trend downward, though it still has the highest new-case rates in the country.  Otherwise, things are just moving sideways.

Trend since 1/1/2021, in logs, with and without Texas

Roughly equal numbers of states are seeing increases and decreases.