South leads the way in cases, but the North leads the way in fatalities… for now

New Case Data

A lot of data to cover in this analysis. Starting with cases – as of the data I have downloaded (to June 16th) – you can clearly see an explosion of cases in the South. See below:

Arizona has been widely reported is leading the way, but as you can see from this picture, many states are exceeding 100 new cases per million per day.

Context – from my previous posts – the fatality rate for a new case today is approximately 3.5% – so anything greater than 30 new cases per day – will exceed 1 fatality per million in the near term. If that trend holds – then look for possibly 7 fatalities per million per day in Arizona in the next few weeks.

Also recall that at New York’s peak in early April – over 500 cases per day, per million were being reported. Rhode Island, Massachusets, and NJ all hit a peak exceeding 360 cases per million per day in late April. All now feature on the top 3 for recent fatalities. Case data matters and seemingly is a good predictor of fatalities 3 to 6 weeks in the future.

Fatality Data

Today’s fatalities however are driven by cases from a few weeks ago. Here the North – and in particular the North East leads the way – in paricular Rhode Island. Only 16 states are at, or below the level of 1 fatality per million per day.

Hospital Capacity

Its time to relook at hospital capacity. Looking at the past few weeks of case data, and dividing that by an internet search of hospital bed capacity – we get the following estimate of which states may start to experience constraints against capacity. The good news – nothing looks too severe right now – but the media focus on Arizona is appropriate (but they should also consider Maryland, Utah, Nebraska, Indiana etc).

The assumptions behing the expected bed need are 15% of current caseload – which is estimated as the past 1 month of cases. Both are estimates / assumptions – but I’m sure the general direction of the analysis is sound. 15% was used by NY for capacity planning in the early stages of COVID.

More needs to be done to limit case growth in the South. Anything more than 30 new cases per million per day, and without a declining trend, should be a cause for concern.

2 thoughts on “South leads the way in cases, but the North leads the way in fatalities… for now

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