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Third Surge Worsens

The Covid Tracking Project reports The Third Surge Worsens as Hospitalizations and Deaths Rise Nationwide.

  • The upswing in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continued this week, as the United States recorded the highest number of hospitalizations in almost two months.
  • Nearly 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 were reported on Wednesday alone, and that didn’t include Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, which were experiencing reporting issues. 
  • States reported 5,300 COVID-19 deaths since last Thursday, an increase of more than 10 percent week over week.
  • Hospitals across the country saw patients increase, mirroring the widespread case growth. While the Midwest remains the region of greatest concern, Texas led the nation in increased hospitalizations over the past seven days.

Covid Metrics by Week

Covid Metrics Bu Week OCT 21

North Dakota vs  San Francisco

San Francisco and North Dakota Oct 19

To get a sense of the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota, a comparison with San Francisco is instructive. There are more people in the city of San Francisco (883,000 people in 47 sq. miles) than in the state of North Dakota (762,000 people in 70,762 sq. miles). This week, more than 5,200 people in North Dakota tested positive for the coronavirus; San Francisco counted 213. Since the pandemic began, San Francisco has recorded just over 12,000 cases and 138 deaths; North Dakota has seen 34,165 cases and 323 deaths since March. 

Hospital Data Wobbles

  • In Missouri, for example, the currently hospitalized figure has been underreported since October 17; the state links the problem to hospitals’ scrambling to keep pace with HHS requirements. 
  • Georgia, Alabama, and Florida reported only partial updates to their hospitalization counts. Some or all of these reporting deficits may be linked to HHS reporting changes, but we haven’t yet determined a definitive reason—or set of reasons—for the apparent instabilities in hospital reporting.
  • Only a few states make the actual date of testing figures available, usually well after the reported counts. This can lead to dramatic fluctuations in calculating test positivity using our data. 
  • We’re closely watching Louisiana because of a particular data quirk: Louisiana reports their long-term care data cumulatively, meaning we’re working with total numbers. It seems easy enough to assume we’d be able to track rises in this cumulative count, but unfortunately, it’s more complicated than that. Occasionally, we’ve found that a facility in the state will report cumulative COVID-19 case and death numbers one week, but the next week, those numbers might be gone, or the facility might be marked as “closed,” “not reported,” or “data pending.”
  • We’re alarmed that Florida went nearly three weeks without releasing long-term care death data, despite saying they publish numbers weekly. The state finally released data on October 22, though it’s dated October 16, reporting 599 new resident and staff deaths.

Covid Cases by Country 

Covid Cases by Country - Oct 23

The above graph from Worldometers.

Record Cases

The Wall Street Journal reports New U.S. Covid-19 Cases Top 80,000 to Reach a Single-Day Record.

The U.S. reported 83,757 new cases Friday, surpassing the previous high of 77,362 reported July 16, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Daily new-case totals have risen for five straight days.

Since the pandemic began, more than 8.49 million infections have been reported in the U.S. and more than 223,900 Americans have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. World-wide, more than 42.2 million cases have been reported, and more than 1.14 million people have died.

“We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a news conference Friday. “The next few months are going to be very tough and some countries are on a dangerous track.”

New Cases vs Hospitalizations

New Cases vs Hospitalizations

Look at what's happening in all the states that dissed masks.

There are now more cases per 100,000 people in nonmetropolitan counties than there are in metropolitan areas, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of data from Johns Hopkins and the Census Bureau. That is a shift from earlier in the pandemic, when there were more cases per 100,000 people in metropolitan areas and nonmetropolitan areas.

“People had hoped that in the summer it would get better, and it did for a short period, and then as we engaged in communities it increased again,” said Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“If you’re talking about Covid fatigue from having to keep wearing a mask, think about the Covid fatigue for health care workers, respiratory therapists who are going to have to go through this whole episode again of trying to fight for peoples’ lives because we couldn’t figure out how to control this virus by doing some of the simple measures that have been prescribed,” Dr. Ezike said.

Ohio Governor Chimes In

Single Biggest Cause of Misinformation

Big Drop in Death Rates

NPR reports Studies Point To Big Drop In COVID-19 Death Rates.

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That's the positive side. It stems from better treatments, better understanding, and lower age groups being impacted more.

Those are the medical views. I agree but also suggest that Covid has mutated into less lethal strains

Still this is very serious stuff. A focus on the death rate alone is horribly wrong. Covid is leaving tens of thousands of people with serious long-term medical complications. 

Hospitals Crammed With Covid-19 Patients

Bloomberg reports Hospitals Across the U.S. Are Crammed With Covid-19 Patients

U.S. hospitalizations for Covid-19 hit the highest point since Aug. 22, with New York doubling its count from early September and at least 10 other states reporting records.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, cited four national studies that predicted a probable in-patient increase of as much as 6,200 daily over the next four weeks. 

The U.S. on Tuesday had 39,230 people in hospitals, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Of those, 8,178 were in intensive-care units; it’s been two months since the U.S. had more under such care. The number on ventilators, 1,889, reached its highest since Sept. 10.

Across the country, 37 states are reporting increased hospitalizations, including 21 states that have recently reported new records or are approaching previous highs, according to Johns Hopkins University data. While the trend is national, the hardest-hit region is the Midwest, according to the university.

That is another blast at the fools who only look at death rates as if that's the only measure that matters.  

Spotlight Germany

DW notes Germany reports record 11,000 cases, RKI warns of 'very serious' situation

It is the first time since the start of the pandemic that more than 10,000 new cases in Germany were recorded in a 24-hour period and the second time in a matter of days that the country has reported a new daily high.

"The situation has become very serious overall," Dr. Lothar Wieler, head of the RKI, said.

The German government has issued travel warnings for popular ski regions in Austria, Italy and Switzerland, as well as for all of Ireland and Poland. Mainland Britain is also now viewed as a high risk area.

Under the warnings, which take effect from Saturday, travelers coming back to Germany must quarantine for 10 days.

It's not just Germany. Europe has been clobbered. 

Spotlight Switzerland 

Riots in Italy

Football First Students Second

Super-Spreader Event in NC Church

Jim Bianco on Top of Things as Usual

Trump Mocks Biden for Wearing a Mask

Please recall Trump Is Hospitalized With Covid-19, Days After Mocking Biden for Wearing a Mask

Trump Blames the Media

Here's an amusing clip of a Trump supporter.

That is the attitude Trump has fostered whether you accept it or not.

What to do about it is a serious question.

No matter who wins the election, we need a serious discussion and coming together on Covid policy.