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New coronavirus cases in US: 62,879 yesterday versus 74,987 on July 17: a drop or just a lull? The state numbers say there’s a reprieve coming


photo by William Iven via

There does seem to be a reduction in the increase lately, although that sounds stupid.  An increase is an increase, but if there’s an exponential increase rather than a linear increase, that’s not as bad.  Look at this chart from “Our world in data” that shows the biweekly trend of daily positive cases.  Back in June, between June 13 and June 17, the daily case count remained the same for several days (this was after a drop in the daily case count in May.)  Then, until July 6, the daily case count increased and peaked on that day at 80% more than before.  After that, the increase gradually dropped to today, where the daily new case count is “only” up by 42%.

This makes it appear that the increase is decreasing.  Not good news, but not as bad as two weeks ago.

Here are the state numbers for the worst-affected states:

Now look at the new case rate in Arizona.  After a peak on June 30 of 4,797 new cases, the number has dropped and yesterday was only 1,676 new cases.  The 7 day average has shown this drop since peaking on July 6.  So that’s a thing.  The new deaths peaked on July 18 at 138 and has been less the last couple of days.  You’d expect the deaths to peak a couple of weeks after the peak in new cases, so that looks reasonable.

In Florida, new cases peaked at 15,300 on July 12.  The 7 day average peaked on July 16.  There has been a slight downward movement since then.  New deaths peaked at 156 on July 16.  New deaths have dropped, but the 7 day average is still high– until July 23, we won’t be past the peak on July 16 so don’t expect much improvement yet.

In California, new cases peaked at 10,387 on July 14, only slightly higher than the rate on July 7: 9,897.  The daily death rate has plateaued since July 11.

In Texas, the new cases peaked at 15,038 on July 16 and dropped every day, to  7,636 on July 20 (about half that of four days earlier.)  New deaths peaked at 154 on July 16 but were high again yesterday at 127.

Louisiana is getting worse, with two big numbers of new cases in the last two days (I’ll leave off the details– too depressing.)  I think you can expect Louisiana’s deaths to be much higher in about two weeks– as high as they were after the peak of new cases on April 2 (which was not as high as the peaks now.)  (Mardi Gras was February 25 this year– how that relates to the peak of cases in Louisiana is problematic, since that was over a month later…)

Mississippi is also getting worse; they didn’t have a peak in April.

Georgia peaked at 4,904 on July 10 and again on July 18 at 4,074.  The last couple of days have been much less: 2,453 on July 19 and 1,994 yesterday.  It’s impossible to say if they’re getting better or not after only two days.

(All the above state level numbers are from the New York Times interactive web pages.)

I’ll leave the other states to you to explore if you’re interested.  The bottom line: most of these states, except California, have only required masks for the last week or so; Georgia still doesn’t require masks except for Atlanta (and that’s being fought in court.)

What does this mean?  Will there be a reprieve this summer?

What will lead to a reduction in new cases?  I don’t know, but I’m guessing whatever it is, it started two weeks ago and is beginning to take effect in most places where the virus has been spreading out of control since the middle of June.  Maybe it’s the mask mandate, maybe it’s fear of the virus finally taking hold in the South.  We will know in a couple of weeks.

Then when school starts, if it starts with all the kids congregating in schoolhouses the way it normally does, the virus will spread again rapidly.  That’s how it normally works every year: as soon as school starts, the colds and flu start spreading.  Kids are highly susceptible to coronaviruses and influenza viruses and every other infectious organism (they don’t get very sick, but they are highly contagious.)

When kids get it, they take it home and everyone in the household gets it– not right away, but soon enough.  So I’m saying we should not let kids go back to school this year.  I know it’s bad for their education, but we should put our money into improving online school with better web access and better laptops for the poor kids.  If we make them go back to school, this whole nightmare will just get worse.


One Comment leave one →
  1. 2020-07-21 11:24 AM

    About kids going back to school…. you’re right. Not yet ! !


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