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COVID19 from April to July

National stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid to late March around the country. At that time hospitalizations & deaths were still at a relatively low level. The average number of new cases per day in the United States peaked at 31,000 on April 10 and then slowly declined over the next 80 days to reach a plateau of approximately 21,000 per day in early June. The positive test rate declined to 4.8% during the week ending on June 9, which was a national low. Hospitalizations began leveling off through mid-April and then slowly declined. Deaths leveled off late April through early May and then began to decline in June.

A few weeks after reopening the economy, the pandemic has surged as evidenced by:

  • Test positivity rate steadily increasing since the first week of June
  • COVID19 cases trending upward since the week of June 11
  • Hospitalizations increasing since the week of June 25
  • Deaths starting to increase during the week of July 9

The average number of tests performed each day has increased by 80% since early June and now averages about 780,000 per day. During this same interval, the number of confirmed COVID19 cases has increased 215 per cent. Nationally, 8.6 percent of COVID19 tests have been positive during July. Thirty-one states have reported more of an increase in cases than can be accounted for by expanded testing. Some of the highest positive rates have been reported by Arizona at 24%, Florida and Nevada at 19%, and Idaho and Alabama at 18%.

New COVID19 cases have increased for seven consecutive weeks in the U.S. More than 460,000 new COVID19 cases were reported during the week of July 13. The country is averaging more than 66,000 new COVID19 cases per day. On July 16, the United States reported a record number of 77,255 new daily. The total number of cases reached 4.2 million on July 25.

Approximately 60,00 people are being treated in hospitals, which is more than twice as many as one month ago. The number of hospitalizations has reached the previous peak of 59,940 that occurred on April 15, when the epicenter was in New York. Sixty percent of hospitalizations have occurred in the South.  People under the age of 50 make up 40% of hospitalized patients, compared to 26 percent in late April.

At its peak on April 11, New York City reported the highest COVID19-related hospitalization rate of 144 people hospitalized per 100,000 population. Now it has only 4 people hospitalized per 100,000. In contrast, Texas and Florida have trended in the other direction. As of July 24, some cities in Texas had COVID19 hospitalization rates of 109 and Miami, Florida reported 95. Almost as many people are now hospitalized with COVID19 as any other time during the pandemic.

The number of deaths per day peaked at more than 2,000 per day in April and then steadily declined to approximately 600 per day by mid-June. The temporary decrease in deaths has been attributed to a shift to infections of younger people, continued protection of older people, more testing of people who were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms, and more effective treatment.Since mid-June, deaths from COVID19 have started trending upward again. On July 24, more than 1000 deaths were recorded for the fourth consecutive day. Rising death counts reflect viral transmission that began rising approximately 1 month before. The total number of deaths exceeded 147,000 on July 25. The U.S. is still in the early stages of the uptick in deaths.

It took 95 days to diagnose the first one million COVID19 cases, 43 days for the second million, 28 days for the third million and only 16 more days to reach 4 million. COVID19 is clearly exhibiting exponential growth. There is no indication that the number of cases is close to reaching its peak.

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