Covid-19 MA Update

After heading in the wrong direction since mid June, Massachusetts began flattening the curve again on January 6th, with case growth steadily dropping at rate of -4.4%/day for the last 30 days. When the case growth rate is negative, this roughly corresponds to an R0 less than 1.

This is only slightly slower than the -5.7% rate that Massachusetts flattened the curve in the spring, despite a much more open economy and schools. You can see in plot below that MA lost its momentum in mid June due to reopening or other factors.

If we can sustain the current rate of flattening, Massachusetts could be down to less than 35 new cases per day per million residents state-wide from the peak that averaged 1000/million/day. This would make it 28 times less likely we would be unknowingly running into someone with Covid19. The challenge for the state is balancing this goal with the need to reopen the economy as much as possible to sustain local businesses and employment. Eventually, even if Massachusetts sustained its current trend, travel from other more infected states would start to limit the infection reduction achievable.

That could translate to about 60,000 more cases between now and April 15, which would roughly translate to 1200 more deaths state wide on top of our current 14.8K if the observed case fatality rate stayed around 2%

The App now include data on the number of people partially and fully vaccinated. Massachusetts is now at the point of having vaccinated roughly the same number of people that are known to have been infected (about 7% each). Assuming no overlap, that would amount to roughly 14% of the state’s population being protected from severe illness.

The forecasts above do not account for any accelerating benefit of vaccination, so there may be some further infection reduction to be achieved above this pace if the the vaccination role out can be sustained or accelerated.

Leadership, Culture, and Success Bending the Curve

The app now allows you to select more than one state/country for its plots.

On NPR “Up First” podcast this morning, Jason Beaubien noted that “there are some trends emerging in the types of governments best able to respond to this. If you look at the countries having the toughest time they have some similarities.”

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Newton May 20th Update

Newton has 710 cases and is forecast to have another 20 to 730. It has 105 deaths and is forecast to have another 25 to 130. The new totals do not reflect a surge in cases but instead reflect cases with initial symptoms several weeks back with delayed reporting.

On a per-capita basis (assuming an approximate population of 85,000), Newton has had 1235 deaths per million residents. That ranks higher than all other countries and US states and ahead of NJ and NY.

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Metrics for Reopening Readiness

As the countries and states start to move to reopen, the metrics by which these decisions are being made are not clear and not consistent.

Each region is going through an “S-Curve” of initial exponential growth followed by a flattening brought on by social distancing. Although many regions are beyond their peak, the degree to which they have moved their daily counts downward, and how fast that is happening, varies greatly.

We don’t want to move back into a burning building.

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Newton May 13th Update

Newton Covid-19 data is now incorporated in The forecast shows Newton largely through its infection period, with cases potentially starting to average under 1 new case per day 10 days from now. Newton has had 675 cases and is forecast to have another 25. Newton has been steadily slowing its case growth by 9%/day, which is quite fast compared with Massachusetts as a whole, which has been steadily dropping at -5.9%/day.

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Updated MA Hospital Admission Forecast

Back on April 11th, when the reported hospital admission total was ~2000, the forecast for May 4th was a total of 5800 admissions by May 4th with a peak on April 15th. On April 11th there was a 1-time ~1000 admission increase in reported cases are more hospital data was incorporated into the total. The reported total on May 4th was 6622, so within 200 admissions of the forecasts adjusting for the step change in reporting.

Using a forecasting data window of April 22th to May 4th , the forecast currently points to a June 1st total of ~8600 cummulative admissions by June 1st.

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Contrasting China and US Social Distancing Impact on Flattening the Curve

App.JackPrior.Org now has the ability to adjust the time window of social distancing used in forecasting.

For any particular country you want to use the “Growth Rate” button to view the rate at which the daily growth rate is dropping and choose the window that best represents the country’s current social distancing practices for use in forecasting future behavior.

Looking at China’s case growth rate, their steep decline occurred between February 6th and March 14th and where their case growth rate dropped at a rate of 17.5% / day from 20% to 0. 003% in ~37 days.

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Covid-19 Hospitalization Patterns By State

Massachusetts has nearly twice the number of total deaths per total hospitalizations than the next closest states on this metric. Daily Deaths and Hospitalizations are nearly equal in MA while in the remainder of the country hospitalizations tend to fall clearly above the rate of new deaths. Some hypotheses as to why this could be the case include treatment of nursing home patients outside of hospital settings or more deaths at home than in other states. See article from the globe on the slow drop in hospitalizations for MA.

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