COVID Watch with David Troy

By David Troy

(BALTIMORE – May 15, 2020) – Projection I made two weeks ago for US on May 13 was 85,136 deaths. Actual was 85,197. Next projection is 114,428 on May 30.

The good news:

• Closed case fatality rate is down to 22%, after many weeks close to 37%; we want to see this get down to 1% or below.

• Percentage of active vs. closed cases is down to 73%, down from many weeks at 90%+, suggesting slightly slowing infection growth and/or insufficient testing.

• Percentage of tests returning positive is trending towards 7% for about two weeks, after many weeks at 10-20%

• Testing growth is exceeding deaths growth by a slight margin for last two weeks, after many weeks where the opposite was true

• Testing and death doubling rate are both converging at about 18-20 days

• 310,359 cases have recovered

The bad news:

• We have 1,034,792 active cases and have had over a million for several days. We will likely not have fewer than a million active for a good while.

• Case Fatality Rate (CFR) has trended upwards to 5.96%, up from 5.79% two weeks ago, suggesting testing is still woefully inadequate, and/or that care is inequitable. We want to see this go downward and approach 1% or lower.

• We will fairly soon exceed two Vietnams (119k) and forty 9/11s in avoidable deaths

• Many states are making poorly-communicated policy changes in response to very real quarantine fatigue; this is likely to result in acceleration of cases and deaths for the next 45 days. We should expect some policy reversals by June 30 as states re-evaluate options, and try to stem medical overflow that may result from July 4 weekend.