COVID-19 Growth Slows

Penitentiary in Marion, Ohio
The worst single COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. appears to be in the prison system in Marion, Ohio.

In the past 24 hours, there have only been 25,223 new coronavirus cases reported in the United States, an increase of less than 4 percent.  The total now stands at 753,317.  This is the slowest rate of growth in two weeks. 

Reported deaths in the U.S. climbed to 36,109, an increase of 1,383 or 4 percent.  This represents a drop of 50 percent from the prior day.

Unless we are dealing with some data lag due to the weekend, these are both very positive numbers that seem to confirm that the curve has flattened and the U.S. is starting down the other side.  If that is indeed the case, then represents the success of social distancing.

Many recent cases are being reported in institutions where social distancing guidelines are difficult to enforce, such as prisons, nursing homes, and meat packing plants. Like cruise ships before they were shut down, the concentration of people in these small spaces provides an ideal environment for viral spread.

Global Data Also Slows

Globally, Johns Hopkins reports an increase of 67,000 cases, bringing the worldwide total to 2.422 million.  Of this global total U.S. cases make up approximately 38 percent while new cases in New York account for about 9 percent of the global number. 

There were  4,833 new deaths reported, bringing the total to 166,235, an increase of less than 3 percent.

In global news Turkey has now surpassed Iran in reported cases (and we stress reported because the Iranian data is thought to be under-reported) and is the country with the 7th most cases.  Russia has jumped to 47,121, which is an increase of 20,000 cases in 4 days.  

While most European countries have arrested the growth of COVID-19, it appears Russia is much earlier on the curve, entering the steepest part where growth explodes.

New York Stats Improve

Data from New York continues to lead the U.S. as cases, deaths and hospitalizations all continue to drop from prior highs.  Yesterday, New York reported 6,054 new cases, the lowest number since March 24, four weeks ago.  Deaths dropped to 507, the lowest since April 1.  We expect to see deaths continue to decline in New York as both hospitalizations and ICU admissions are declining inline with the number of new cases reported.

What is truly frightening about the numbers from New York is the penetration of the coronavirus in the population.  In Queens, which has more than 41,000 cases, more than 1.8 percent of the population has had a positive test.  The percentage of positive test result is just over 2 percent in the Bronx and across Staten Island.   In Nassau County on Long Island, there are more than 30,000 positive cases, or 2.2 percent.  North of the city, in Westchester County, the rate is 2.5 percent and it tops out at 2.87 percent in Rockland Country.

These rates are more than double the percentage of positive cases in other states and cities, including across New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and California, which along with New York make up the five worst states.  The only places across the country that are reaching new York-like numbers are counties where a large outbreak has struck a local prison, such as Marion Correctional Center in Marion Country, Ohio.

New Orleans appears to be the only city that comes close to New York levels of COVID-19 case with 1.5 percent in Orleans and St John the Baptist parishes and 1.3 percent in Jefferson Parish.  Other hard-hit areas like Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore are well below these levels.

If the rest of the country saw 2 percent of the population infected with the coronavirus, the 753,317 cases would be closer to 7 million.

To put these numbers in perspective, refer to yesterday’s news and numbers, or look back a week ago when there were 200,000 fewer cases in the U.S.