Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update October 16, 2020

Well, I was clearly wrong about test positivity rates stabilizing.  The positivity rate for newly tested people is now over 4%.  That rate bottomed out at 1.4% on August 30, increased to 2% by September 8, rose to 3% on September 26, and hit 4% on October 13th.   Even the overall test positivity rate has increased to 1.4% after bottoming out at 0.8% on September 23.  And test positivity for repeat testers is now 0.4%, after holding steady at 0.2% for over a month until October 8th.  Not a good trend.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
October 16, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   4.1% 3.5% 2.2%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   4.5% 3.7% 2.4%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   1.4% 1.1% 0.8%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   4.1% 3.5% 2.2%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.4% 0.2% 0.2%
Percentage Repeat Testers   72.5% 73.7% 71.5%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   17,365 15,976 14,638
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   65,978 59,072 49,123

 The total number of patients in the hospital, patients in the ICU, and patients intubated have held roughly steady for about a week, but at significantly higher levels than four weeks ago. The most troubling statistic here is the new hospital admissions, which are at their highest levels since June 30th. Given the rise in positivity rates and diagnosed cases over the past several weeks, this is not that surprising.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 16, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   510 474 332
Covid Patients in ICU   85 84 62
Covid Patients Intubed   30 29 23
New Confirmed Patients   39 35 19
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   17% 18% 19%
Percent Intubated / ICU   35% 35% 37%

 

Diagnosed cases have not been this high since the end of May, with the 7 day average of confirmed cases over 600 for four days in a row.  The 7 day average number of reported deaths broke through the fairly tight range of 11 to 17 from mid-July (surprisingly, the 7 day average of reported deaths was 11 as recently as October 10).  Clearly, Massachusetts is headed in the wrong direction.  Is this the beginning of the second wave, or just an uptick in a continuing first wave?  Will Charlie Baker et. al. move to roll back openings? 

 

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 16, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   18 12 13
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   17 12 13
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   12 12 9
Percent from Long-Term Care   65% 93% 69%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   665 581 371
Total Confirmed Cases   620 542 338
Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update October 12, 2020

Very little has changed on the testing front since the last update five days ago.  7 day positivity rates for newly tested individuals are still 3.6% (they have been between 3.5% and 3.7% every day since September 29) and  the overall test positivity rate is 1.1% (it has remained there every day since September 28, with one exception).  A minor change is that the positivity rate for repeat testers is now 0.3%, after holding at 0.2% for a month. Three-quarters of the tests done are for repeat testers, and the number of tests is increasing slowly – now at 60,000 per day on average.

 

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
October 12, 2020
Testing Statistic Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals) 3.6% 3.7% 2.3%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected) 3.8% 4.0% 2.5%
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests) 1.1% 1.2% 0.8%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested) 3.6% 3.7% 2.3%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers) 0.3% 0.2% 0.2%
Percentage Repeat Testers 75.5% 73.6% 70.5%
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week) 15,927 15,449 18,368
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week) 60,215 57,687 49,180

 

If there is a flashing yellow sign, it is for hospitalizations.  The 7 day average of hospitalized patients is over 500, a level not seen since mid-July.  We’re closing in on almost 40 new patients per day, the highest figures since the end of June.  ICU patients and intubated patients remain elevated compared to a month ago.

 

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 12, 2020
Hospitalization Statistic Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Covid Patients Hospitalized 505 438 328
Covid Patients in ICU 85 86 58
Covid Patients Intubed 29 30 22
New Confirmed Patients 37 33 18
Percent ICU / Hospitalized 17% 20% 18%
Percent Intubated / ICU 35% 35% 37%

 

Cases also remain elevated, and deaths continue unabated  The 7 day average of deaths has been between 12 and 17 since late August.  The anomalous one-day report for long-term care facility deaths (43 deaths in long-term care facilities, but only 20 overall deaths on October 5) has rolled off the current statistics and is now embedded in the figure for one week ago.

 

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 12, 2020
Statistic Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
Total Deaths Including Suspected 12 16 12
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only 12 16 12
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases) 8 15 7
Percent from Long-Term Care 67% 89% 59%
Total Cases Including Suspected 602 627 328
Total Confirmed Cases 575 587 299
Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update October 7, 2020

There are signs that we are stabilizing once again in Massachusetts, but unfortunately with higher test positivity rates than before. Positivity rates for newly tested individuals have been above 3% since September 26th, and the 7 day average rate is currently 3.6%. However, this  rate has not changed since the beginning of the month. The overall test positivity rate is still 1.1% (unchanged since September 28th), and positivity is at 0.2% for repeat testers (unchanged for a month). Testing remains dominated by repeat testers.

 

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
October 7, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   3.6% 3.5% 2.0%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   3.9% 3.7% 2.1%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   1.1% 1.1% 0.8%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   3.6% 3.5% 2.0%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.2% 0.2%
Percentage Repeat Testers   74.1% 72.7% 67.2%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   15,990 14,300 21,520
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   58,675 55,480 46,364

 

As cases and positivity rates increased over the past few weeks, it is perhaps inevitable that hospitalizations would increase as well, but with a bit of a lag. The 7 day average of hospitalized patients and the number of intubated patients are both at their highest level since the end of July. The 7 day average of newly admitted patients is at its highest level since the beginning of July.

 

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 7, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   456 404 324
Covid Patients in ICU   82 84 53
Covid Patients Intubed   31 29 24
New Confirmed Patients   34 31 22
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   18% 21% 16%
Percent Intubated / ICU   38% 34% 45%

 

Deaths from Covid continue unabated. One anomaly in the statistics today is the percentage of deaths from long-term care facilities, which spiked to 87% of all deaths in the past week.  This is an artifact of the way data is reported in Massachusetts: on October 5th, the state reported an additional 43 deaths in long-term care facilities, but only 20 new deaths overall. 

Undoubtedly, the 43 long-term care deaths represent some sort of backdating of prior deaths, but it is unclear as to why this reporting isn’t reflected in the overall death figures.  This points out that short run trends may be somewhat unreliable – however, a salient statistic is that over 70% of deaths from Covid in Massachusetts since June 1 have been in long-term care facilities (looking at this percentage over a longer period removes short-term reporting anomalies) .  Cases continue upward, with higher positivity rates and overall testing that is flat.  We haven’t had this many cases since the end of May.

 

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
October 7, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   14 16 12
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   14 15 12
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   12 10 7
Percent from Long-Term Care   86% 67% 56%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   625 515 289
Total Confirmed Cases   588 478 281

 

 

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update October 3, 2020

My data updates tend to be very table oriented. I find this a useful way to present information that can be easily and quickly grasped. But that approach can obscure longer term trends that provide context about the spread of Covid in Massachusetts. This data update provides graphical formulations of selected data from my usual coverage to better illustrate where we are compared to where we’ve been.

I’m starting these graphs on June 1st for two reasons. First, some of the information I present has only been published in the daily coronavirus updates provided by the Commonwealth since June 1st. Second, the scale of certain data prior to June 1st is so out-sized relative to current information that it obscures recent trends in the data. As an example, the number of reported hospitalizations peaked at almost 4,000 in late April, compared to 300 to 400 today. When a graph is scaled to include 4,000 hospitalizations, changes from 300 to 400 appear small. Relative to the beginnings of the outbreak, that change is indeed small, but in the current context that change may be significant.

Figure 1 shows test positivity rates through October 1st. The black line is the positivity rate for newly tested individuals. This is the rate the state emphasized through mid-August, when it switched its headline positivity number to the “all test” positivity number (shown in red). The black “new individuals” line clearly shows a decline in test positivity during June, shows that positivity rates were under control (under 2%) during July and August, and shows that rates began to increase near the end of August. As of the October 3rd update, this rate has climbed to 3.6%.

The blue line is the positivity rate for repeat testers. It demonstrates the changing composition of repeat testers over time. Through mid-July, repeat testers were likely individuals who had tested positive for coronavirus and were getting retested to see if they were clear. At that time, the positivity rates for repeat testers were higher than the rates for those newly tested. Starting sometime near the end of July, it appears that preventative testing (for front-line workers and college communities) became more prevalent among repeat testers, driving down the repeat testing positivity rate below the rate for newly tested individuals. It has been about 0.2% for several weeks.

We can also derive the mix of new testers and repeat testers. The “all test” line is a weighted average of the “new individuals” line and the “repeat tests” line. In June, the “all test” line is closer to the “new individuals” line, indicating that more of the tests were for new individuals (roughly a 75-25% mix). Over time, especially as the amount of college testing has increased dramatically, the “all test” line has moved closer to the “repeat tests” line (now roughly 75-25% but with the categories switched).

Figure 2 summarizes hospitalization information, also through October 1st. For clarity, the number of patients hospitalized (in black) is shown on the right axis, and the other statistics (ICU patients, intubated patients, and new admissions) or shown on the left axis. The scale ratio between the two axes is 4:1.

Hospitalization and ICU figures track each other well, with a relatively steep decline until the end of July, a roughly level period until around Labor Day, and a gradual increase since. It is a bit difficult to tell from the chart because hospitalized patients and ICU patients are shown on different scales, but the percentage of patients in the ICU has declined from about 25% at the beginning of June to about 20% now (although the percentage bottomed under 15% near the end of July).

The number of intubated patients as a percentage of ICU patients declined from about 70% at the beginning of June to about 35% currently. While intubations have increased slightly since Labor Day, the increase is smaller in percentage terms than the increase in the number of ICU patients, either because admitted patients are less ill than previously, or because treatment protocols have changed. The ratio of new admissions to total hospitalizations has been relatively constant since June 1 – between 4% and 7% until just about a week ago, when it went above 7% for the first time. That is perhaps a worrying trend.

Figure 3 shows the 7 day trailing average number of cases and deaths. Cases are shown in black on the right hand axis, deaths are in red and blue on the left hand axis. The scaling is 10:1.

As Figure 3 illustrates, the daily number of deaths declined rapidly through June and the beginning of July, but has been basically steady since then. The same is roughly true for deaths in long-term care facilities (LTC Deaths). About 70% of all (confirmed and suspected) deaths since June 1 have been in long-term care facilities. This ratio has been declining over the past month, but very slowly.

The number of cases also dropped sharply through the end of June (with a low under 200 cases per day), but began to tick upward starting in July, leveled off during much of August, and then started its current sharp upward swing after Labor Day. Much of the recent increase is not from increased testing, but from higher positivity rates among those newly tested. Testing has increased from about 9,000 new individuals per day at the end of June to about 15,000 per day now (and peaked at about 20,000 near the end of August), but the newly tested positivity rate was already below 2% on June 30, compared to 3.6% today.

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update: September 29,2020

The negative trend continues, just as Governor Baker announced that lower-risk communities can relax capacity and other restrictions in early October. I believe he is fully committed to continuing with reopening unless positivity rates go much higher. However, there is an out. If more communities go into the “red-zone” based on the weekly public health report, those communities will be required to roll back to the more restricted standards. The red-zone is a daily case rate of more than 8 per 100,000. It will be interesting to see in today’s weely report if the increase in cases is due to more communities going into the red-zone, or due to higher rates within the communities already in the red-zone.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 29, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   3.2% 2.4% 1.5%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   3.4% 2.5% 1.6%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   1.0% 0.8% 0.9%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   3.2% 2.4% 1.5%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.2% 0.3%
Percentage Repeat Testers   73.9% 73.6% 51.8%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   14,480 16,750 20,585
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   54,805 55,476 34,646

 

Both the overall test positivity rate and the rate based on newly tested individuals continued their upward trajectory, with the newly tested rate now above 3%, more than double its low of 1.4% (on August 29). Even though the positivity rate among re-testers remains low (0.2%), both the count of daily tests and the percentage of re-testers appears to be leveling off (at about 55,000 and just under 75%, respectively).

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
September 29, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   393 362 319
Covid Patients in ICU   82 65 61
Covid Patients Intubed   28 28 27
New Confirmed Patients   28 23 18
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   21% 18% 19%
Percent Intubated / ICU   35% 43% 44%

 

The increase in hospitalizations supports the notion that the increase in cases is not just a result of more testing.   The number of patients hospitalized with Covid has been over 400 for the past three days, and the 7 day average is just under 400.  Also troubling is the increase in the count of newly hospitalized patients, at its highest level in over two months (since July 12th). The small bright spot in the hospitalization data is the number of intubated patients, which is basically unchanged (possibly because of improved treatment or changes in treatment protocols).

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
September 29, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   14 15 15
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   13 15 15
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   9 11 10
Percent from Long-Term Care   64% 72% 66%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   517 368 355
Total Confirmed Cases   482 349 338

 

The death toll from Covid remains unchanged.  The 7 day average daily reported death rate has been between 12 and 17  for over two months (since July 15th).  The 7 day average of reported confirmed cases is close to 500, and the highest since June 5th.  Some of this is a result of more testing, but the positivity rate on June 5th (4.6%) wasn’t significantly higher than it is today.

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update September 25, 2020

There is no good news in today’s report. The 7 day average percentage of positive cases for newly tested individuals hit 2.6% today, the highest level since June 14th.  This rate has been climbing for several days, after being below 2.0% from the end of June until the first week of September.  Repeat testers are now over 70% of those tested, and they continue to have a very low positivity rate of 0.2%.  However, the results for first-time testers are so bad that total test rate positivity hit 0.9% after being at 0.8% for over a week.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 25, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   2.6% 2.1% 1.5%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   2.8% 2.3% 1.6%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   0.9% 0.8% 1.0%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   2.6% 2.1% 1.5%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.2% 0.4%
Percentage Repeat Testers   73.1% 69.2% 47.1%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   16,689 14,682 19,555
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   54,177 46,426 29,485

Hospitalization statistics are no better than the testing statistics.  The 7 day average of patients hospitalized is now at its highest level since mid-August.  The number of patients in the ICU is at its highest level since mid-to-late July, and the number of intubated patients is higher than at any point since late July.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
September 25, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   370 332 324
Covid Patients in ICU   69 62 60
Covid Patients Intubed   29 23 26
New Confirmed Patients   22 19 16
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   19% 19% 19%
Percent Intubated / ICU   42% 37% 43%

Although I don’t think case statistics are the best way to measure progress against the pandemic, it is notable that the 7 day average of reported confirmed cases is at the highest level since early June.  And the death count marches onward, with little improvement in the number of deaths or the percentage of deaths in long-term care facilities.  In short, we’re heading backwards.

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day Trailing Average
September 25, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   15 13 17
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   14 13 17
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   10 9 11
Percent from Long-Term Care   70% 69% 65%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   414 371 343
Total Confirmed Cases   392 338 322

 

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update: September 21, 2020

My apologies. I slightly re-injured my back about a week ago, and think it might be in part because I had spent time hunched over a computer doing research and writing this blog. So, I’ve curtailed posts to these periodic data updates for now.

Very little has changed with regard to testing since the last update several days ago. The positivity rate for both those newly tested and for repeat testers seems to have stabilized  – about 2.0-2.2% for those newly tested, and 0.2-0.3% for repeat testers. However, the percentage of tests given to repeat testers continues to gradually increase, and is now almost 70% of all tests. Testing in aggregate is leveling off.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 21, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   2.1% 2.2% 1.4%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   2.2% 2.4% 1.5%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   0.8% 0.9% 1.1%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   2.1% 2.2% 1.4%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.2% 0.6%
Percentage Repeat Testers   69.7% 67.5% 36.2%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   14,890 17,957 16,655
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   45,880 44,448 24,258

 

Unfortunately, hospitalizations are on the rise, with the 7-day average increasing to a level last seen exactly one month ago, on August 21st. The same is true for ICU patients, and the number of intubated patients (7 day averages) is the highest since the beginning of September.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Averages
September 21, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   353 328 339
Covid Patients in ICU   63 58 61
Covid Patients Intubed   27 22 22
New Confirmed Patients   22 18 15
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   18% 18% 18%
Percent Intubated / ICU   44% 37% 36%

 

Unfortunately, the percentage of deaths from long-term care facilities has moved back up to 72% after dipping for a few weeks.  Massachusetts clearly does not yet have this under control.  Although case counts are not the best indicator of how widespread Covid is in the community, the 7-day average of confirmed cases (and the number of confirmed and suspected cases) hit its highest level since the beginning of June.  Some of this is from increased testing, but positivity rates for those newly tested had been under 2% from the end of June until earlier this month. 

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 21, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   14 12 14
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   14 12 14
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   10 7 9
Percent from Long-Term Care   72% 59% 68%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   388 328 269
Total Confirmed Cases   369 299 253

 

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update September 17,2020

The positivity rate for newly tested people dropped back to 2.0% today after reaching 2.2% several days ago, primarily from today’s newly reported data  (1.5% positive on a large number of tests). Suspected cases have increased quite a bit over the past week (almost 30 per day compared to 10 a day the week before), which explains the widening difference between the confirmed case positivity rate and the confirmed plus suspected case rate. Testing is leveling out, and repeat testers are now over two-thirds of those tested.  The number of newly tested people is lower than last week and one month ago.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 17, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   2.0% 2.1% 1.6%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   2.3% 2.2% 1.7%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   0.8% 0.9% 1.3%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   2.0% 2.1% 1.6%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.3% 0.7%
Percentage Repeat Testers   67.3% 65.3% 32.7%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   14,959 19,780 15,699
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   43,096 42,140 22,780

And the beat goes on.  Hospitalization data remains basically unchanged from a week or month ago, except for a minor decline in the total number of patients hospitalized.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Averages
September 17, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   331 330 375
Covid Patients in ICU   61 53 63
Covid Patients Intubed   23 23 26
New Confirmed Patients   19 21 20
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   19% 16% 17%
Percent Intubated / ICU   37% 43% 41%

Unfortunately, after a brief decline, the percentage of deaths from long-term care facilities has begun to climb again.  The case increase is clearly from increased test positivity, as the number of newly tested people is roughly the same as four weeks ago, and substantially less than last week.

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 17, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   13 13 14
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   13 12 13
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   9 8 10
Percent from Long-Term Care   67% 60% 73%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   369 287 270
Total Confirmed Cases   340 277 256

 

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update September 14, 2020

The trailing 7 day positivity rate for individuals newly tested edged up once again to 2.2%, the highest rate since the middle of June. However, this rate has remained constant for the past three days, perhaps indicating that the increases since the end of August might be stalling out. The overall positivity rate based on testing remains steady at 0.8%, driven by repeat testers, very few of whom are testing positive. Only 30% of tests over the past 7 days were given to individuals who haven’t been tested before.

However, the large increase in the number of repeat testers over the past month is slowing down (the widespread college testing programs are probably up to speed).  The number of first time testers actually decreased from one week ago.

Table 1: Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 14, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   2.2% 1.9% 1.7%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   2.4% 1.9% 1.8%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   0.8% 0.9% 1.4%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   2.2% 1.9% 1.7%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.3% 0.9%
Percentage Repeat Testers   69.4% 59.4% 31.2%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   17,598 20,416 14,981
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   43,300 39,016 21,455

 

Hospitalization, case, and death statistics remain basically unchanged from a week or a month ago.  One encouraging sign may be a small drop in the number of intubated patients, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of patients in the ICU.

Table 2: Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Averages
September 14, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   328 319 389
Covid Patients in ICU   58 56 63
Covid Patients Intubed   22 26 29
New Confirmed Patients   18 21 19
         
Percent ICU / Hospitalized   18% 17% 16%
Percent Intubated / ICU   37% 46% 45%

I’ve added two new statistics to Table 3 so that confirmed cases and deaths can be separated from suspected cases and deaths.

Table 3: Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 14, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths Including Suspected   12 14 14
Total  Deaths Confirmed Only   12 14 13
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities (All Cases)   7 8 11
Percent from Long-Term Care   59% 56% 78%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   328 331 291
Total Confirmed Cases   299 323 277

Categories
Data Update

Massachusetts Data Update September 10, 2020

Testing positivity rates continue to gradually increase, with a 7 day trailing average rate of 2.0%, the highest rate since early August. Once again, this is at odds with the headline positivity rate of 0.8% announced by the state. Tests of people previously tested are now over almost two-thirds of all tests, and these repeat testers have a positivity rate of only 0.2%, the lowest on record.

Massachusetts Testing Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 10, 2020
         
Testing Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Test Positivity Rate (Individuals)   2.0% 1.6% 1.7%
Test Positivity Rate (Include Suspected)   2.1% 1.7% 1.8%
         
Test Positivity Rate (All Tests)   0.8% 0.9% 1.5%
Test Positivity Rate (Newly Tested)   2.0% 1.6% 1.7%
Test Positivity Rate (Repeat Testers)   0.2% 0.3% 1.0%
Percentage Repeat Testers   66.4% 53.0% 30.8%
         
Newly Tested (Lagged 1 Week)   19,735 19,520 14,493
All Tests (Lagged 1 Week)   42,015 34,815 20,766

Hospitalization statistics are stagnant, although there are slightly fewer patients in the ICU or intubated compared to four weeks ago.  Unfortunately, the number of patients hospitalized has increased for four consecutive days.  Since the last data update, I’ve converted the hospital measures from current day only to a 7 day trailing average, consistent with the other tables presented here. I’ve also added two additional measures: the percentage of hospitalized patients in the ICU, and the percentage of patients in the ICU who are intubed, in order to track whether these measures change through time as treatment protocols change.

Massachusetts Hospitalization Statistics
7 Day Trailing Averages
September 10, 2020
         
Hospitalization Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Covid Patients Hospitalized   330 309 392
Covid Patients in ICU   53 59 65
Covid Patients Intubed   23 26 29
         
7-Day Trailing Average New Confirmed Patients 21 19 20
 Percent ICU / Hospitalized   16% 19% 16%
 Percent Intubated / ICU   43% 45% 45%

 

There appears to be a small dip in the number of reported cases. It’s likely this is an artifact of the Labor Day holiday, as the number of new cases reported today (including 40 new suspected cases) was over 400. The number of new individuals tested did decline over the weekend, so that may be the main driver of the reduced case numbers, as positivity rates are up somewhat.

One technical note: going forward there will be small differences in the case numbers I report, and those reported by data aggregators. This is because the state continues to change the number of suspected cases of Covid historically. For example, on September 9, the state reported 182 confirmed cases of Covid, and no suspected cases, yet reduced the cumulative number of suspected cases by one. Since there is no information on when this suspected case occurred, I treat this as a day in which there were 182 suspected and confirmed cases. In contrast the data aggregators such as https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/ reported 181 confirmed and suspected cases yesterday. Not a big deal, at least given the current low number of revisions, but something to point out.

Massachusetts Reported Case and Death Statistics
7 Day  Trailing Average
September 10, 2020
         
Statistic   Current 7 Days Ago 4 Weeks Ago
         
Total Deaths   13 14 14
Deaths in Long-Term Facilities   8 7 11
Percent from Long-Term Care   60% 55% 81%
         
Total Cases Including Suspected   287 353 364