COVID-19 Update: 5/12/2020 – Cases spreading to New Areas, but with Few Deaths

States ranked by growth of cases per 1000 persons – 5/12/2020
State Data Table sorted by growth of cases per 1000 (IROC_confirmed) – 5/12/2020

I’m following a new trend that seems to have emerged with increased temperatures. Case growth has slowed in the hardest-hit regions but is increasing in new areas such as Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, etc. The chart and table above are sorted by the case growth (IROC_confirmed) and you can see that the death rates for most of these new regions are very small. Keep in mind that case growth isn’t the thing we should be scared of (I predict people will continue to get infected by this coronavirus for years). The media is reporting case growth to support state lockdown extensions. I recommend instead that we watch the case growth closely (remember, some of it is surely due to the increased testing that’s happening across the US) and watch the death rates even more closely.

In the cases of the states that have had longer experiences with the virus (Rhode Island, the DC area, Massachusetts, Illinois, Indiana), note that though the current death rates (IROC_deaths) in those states are larger than in the new states, these rates are decreasing every day (dIROC_deaths). This also seems like good news.


It seems like 1) New infection outbreaks are being managed better due to what we have learned from the older outbreaks and this is resulting in more cases without deaths, 2) COVID-19 has not overwhelmed hospital systems in these new regions, most likely because hospitals have learned better ways of treating COVID-19 patients and are limiting ventilator usage (and using blood thinners), and 3) hopefully nursing homes have learned how to better keep COVID-19 out of their facilities. Perhaps this high case – low death trend continues through the summer.

2 Replies to “COVID-19 Update: 5/12/2020 – Cases spreading to New Areas, but with Few Deaths”

  1. Hi Todd,

    Great analysis as always. Also good to have this coming from a data person without bias.
    Why not look at hospitalizations in addition if that data is reliable?

    1. Yes, that’s an interesting measure, Rohit, I have data from IHME on hospitalization but can’t figure out what their source is. States’ hospitalization data is all over the place… some seems much poorer than others.

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