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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Below are two graphs of Covid Cases and Deaths in the United States and Florida. We have used 7-day averages in New Covid Cases and Deaths from Covid to smooth out the weekly reporting issues.

Skeptics have been saying over the last 2 months that deaths will follow cases “in two weeks.”

This clearly is not the case.

What is clear from the US data that since early June the virus has become significantly less lethal. Less cases are being hospitalized – the percent of cases being hospitalized has dropped from 12% in May to 3.2% in July. The case fatality rate has dropped from 5.6% in May to 1.2% in July. This is likely due to a combination of a younger population and improved treatment. The average new daily deaths in July has dropped to 680 a day less than half the deaths in May.   

Average New Daily CasesPositivity RateAverage New Daily HospitalizationsAverage New Daily Deaths% of Cases HospitalizedDeaths / HospitalizationsDeaths / Case
July59,1298.4%1,8916803.2%36%1.2%
June27,7405.4%1,0657123.8%67%2.6%
May23,2297.0%2,7961,31112.0%47%5.6%
April29,18917.8%3,3351,79811.4%54%6.2%

Of course, everyone should still focus on prevention, especially given higher numbers of cases. Hand washing, masks indoors and social distancing. There are still significant risks that transmission can happen from the younger population to the older population.

However, the decreased death rate needs to be taken into account by any future public health strategies that contemplate increasing lockdowns.

Sources: Covidtracking.com, downloaded data from US and Florida July 18, 2020

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