An outbreak in the White House has turned attention away from the broader outlines of the pandemic. However, cases nationally rose for the fourth consecutive week and hospitalizations have followed, causing serious strain on some states’ health care systems.
Interpreted correctly, test positivity can tell us so much that we need to know about COVID-19 outbreaks and testing in the United States. But we don’t publish test positivity calculations for US states and territories. Here’s why.
Good News in the Big Picture, but Regional and Weekly Views More Troubling: This Week in COVID-19 Data, Oct 1
Cases in the Dakotas and Wisconsin continue their troubling rise, but in September the average daily number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths fell nationwide. After a difficult summer, averaged metrics for August and September showed drops in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths at the national level. At the same time, indicators in a few states are ringing alarm bells, and this week’s data continues a three-week rise in cases, with hospitalizations starting to increase as well.
The Midwest and certain Western states showed a rise in case numbers and an uptick in hospitalizations, even as other regions continued to decline. The US reported over 6 million weekly tests for the first time this year, though some states are now lumping antigen tests results into standard PCR test data.
Test positivity is extremely useful, but it has also become one of the most commonly misunderstood metrics for monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we take a step back and look at what it really means.
Several sites tracking the progression of the virus hit a grim milestone today: more than 200,000 deaths since the pandemic began. Our figures haven’t yet reached that level. Here’s why.