Friday, July 3, 2020

Those States Where Coronavirus Infections Are Dropping

In previous posts (1 and 2 and 3) I have described the process by which I put together a database with coronavirus infections, tests and deaths and presented some of the preliminary analyses. I am still striving to coalesce these data into a meaningful narrative.

During the past two weeks, coronavirus infections have surged in the United States, particularly in a block of states from California, across the Southwest to the South. For the week ending June 27, Arizona had a per population rate of infection that has only been exceeded by New York state at its peak. The highly populated states of Florida, Texas and California have seen a surge in infections leading to the highest number of new infections in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic. This surge is continuing through this week. I feel history appearing before my eyes as I collect and sort these data.

The Good News States

There is good news. New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland have all had their turns being the states with having the highest new infection rates. Each of these states, along with several others, have gone from the highest to among the lowest in new infections. 

New York: From first to fortieth shows us hope.

Weekly cases per million population (green bars). Ranking among states (above green bars).

Here we see New York leading the nation peaking with a high of nearly 3500 cases per million population. In recent weeks it has broached the bottom 10 in de novo infection rates. A similar path has been followed by New Jersey, in large part because of its New York City metropolitan population. New Jersey also had its share of being in first place, taking over from New York.

(Note the scales vary between graphs. Green bars are for those states that have dramatically improved their numbers, red bars for states with substantial increases, and blue bars for the remainder.)

Massachusetts and Connecticut had an extended period of being in the top ten. Now they are among the bottom ten. The "2" for June 6 for Massachusetts is green. That is to note that the numbers jumped primarily due to reclassification of cases that occurred that week.

I have the impression that Rhode Island's dramatic infection rates went relatively unnoticed. It continues to have a high rate of deaths per population, but has dramatically lowered its case rate.

Similar, although less dramatic improvements can be found for Illinois, Maryland, Delaware, Washington DC, and Michigan, rounding out a top ten among those with substantial declines. 

Similar to Massachusetts, Michigan reclassified a number of old cases during the week ending June 6th, causing an artificial jump. 

Several other states have also demonstrated a decent degree of improvement.

The best news for any state may be the case of Vermont. Early on it was among the top, but now has planted itself firmly near the bottom. 

The Bad News: A Slice Across America. 

In contrast to those with the above improvements, the week ending June 27th saw a remarkable increase in many southern and southwestern states. The alarming jump in new cases in the United States is in large part due to the fact that these include the three most populous states (California, Texas and Florida). 

With the exception of New Mexico, the top 14 states with the most new infections for the week ending June 27, 2020, comprised a contiguous slice across the southwest and south.

Here is a history of the infection rates in the states fairing most poorly. Many of these states had a low rate before June.


Arizona, during the week ending June 27, had the highest infection rate during any part of the pandemic, with the exception of the peak in New York.




Louisiana has had very little respite. And neither has Mississippi.












There has not been an alarming increase in Iowa's numbers. Just a stubbornness. Idaho's numbers were low but have shown a recent jump.

New Mexico, at eighteen, is sandwiched between Texas and Arizona, both among the worst outbreaks.

Kansas has had a disturbing recent rise in the past three weeks:

Rounding out the top 20, Nebraska has been showing improvement.

A Rise in Cases Among Those States with the Lowest Rates.

Before providing the remainder of the states, I want to note a disturbing trend among those states that has appeared among the states with the fewest of de novo cases. Note that the scales have often placed them below 100 new cases per million population per week with a rank near 50th. They still are low-ranked but their numbers are doubling or worse. Idaho and Oklahoma, now in the top 20 (above) could also qualify for this list.

The above graphs account for 38 of 51 states (including District of Columbia).

These are the remainder of the states, mostly with mixed news, in alphabetical order. 

New Hampshire has been steadily improving.