Will MA Have More Covid-19 Deaths than Hospitalizations?

4/28 Update:

With a few more recent data points and corrections compensating for the data gap in the Covidtracking.com feed the forecasted death curve has flattened considerably and does not show the crossover forecasted a few days ago.

Earlier Analysis

The Covid-19 trends in Massachusetts are extrapolating to a non-intuitive outcome. Typically while people understand that testing results understate the level of infection in the community, they put more faith in the hospitaliization rate as better reflecting reality, and then calculate a ratio off of that to estimate what to expect in terms of death rates. If things continue, by May 7th we may have more Covid-19 deaths than hospitalizations in Massachusetts.

As it is, we have more deaths today than we had hospitalizations 10 days ago. My guess is that this reflects the huge number of casualties that are occurring in nursing homes that don’t reach conventional hospitals, which are contributing the statistics.

We are also seeing deaths trend as a higher and higher percentage of detected cases. This parameter is referred to as the Case Fatality Rate or CFR.

28Apr Update — You can see for the first time that the MA CFR trend has reversed with increased testing;

Earlier Analysis

This could be due to a number of reasons. The first hypothesis would be that this reflects the lag from case identification to death. In some countries, you might assume it could be a reflection of an overwhelmed healthcare system. More likely it reflects that testing continues to not keep up with the true rates of infections in Massachusetts. Connecticut is seeing a similar trend in CFR (hospitalization data not available).

In contrast, here is the pattern for the New York. Hospitalizations far exceed deaths:

You can explore this data yourself using the web app created for this purpose: http://app.jackprior.org.

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