Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties

First, I want to thank everyone who responded to yesterday’s post with such heart-warming comments. I was really touched!

I’m working on a commentary that connects the whole subject of systemic racism with the pandemic. I know that will drive the people who hate my political commentary even crazier, but I think it’s something that has to be addressed — especially as the virus ravages the red states and Trump “jokes” about telling his staff to slow down testing for the _____ [insert racist slur here] virus.

I’m working on a rule-based system that will assign Z-scores to any entity based on the metrics available. Still a long way to go, and I may never get it to work right. But if I do, you’ll be able to see how I quantify my personal judgement about how a locality is doing.

Charts & Tables for Today’s Update

  • Z-scores for 10 Counties
  • ANALYSIS – metrics for all 10 counties
  • CVS5 – Riverside County Vital Stats Chart
  • CVS6 – San Bernardino County Vital Stats Chart
  • CVS8 – San Luis Obispo County Vital Stats Chart
  • CVS9 – Santa Barbara County Vital Stats Chart
  • CVS10 – Ventura County Vital Stats Chart
  • Sources & Hospitalization Rates for Counties
  • VS2 – Vital Stats Table, Southern California & 5 States
  • VS3 – Southern California Snapshot
  • LD1 – Local Dashboard [primarily for SD subs]

Data Commentary

Today will be limited to the final 5 counties in Southern California that I’m covering: Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.

The following commentary is based on a starting date of May 22 and an ending date of June 22. Whenever I refer to “the beginning” or “at the start” that means May 22. Please refer to the “Analysis” chart if you would like to check the numbers.

Riverside County – see CVS5

Cases in Riverside have gone up by 201%, from 122 to 367. This has resulted in a decrease of case doubling days, from 31 days to 27 days, right in the danger zone. Fortunately, the rolling 7 day fatality total has also decreased by 7%, from 43 per 7 days to 40.

Hospitalizations have increased by 36%, from 310 to 423, bringing the HUR from 74% to 77%, still not in the danger zone. ICU has also increased by 36%, from 80 to 109, bringing the IUR from 76% to 84%.

Z-score for Riverside County: 4 out of 10

San Bernardino County – see CVS6

Cases here have gone up by 120%, from 126 to 278. However, doubling days went from 22 to 27 days, still in the danger zone, but in the right direction. The best indicator is that the 7 day rolling fatality total dropped by a whopping 78%, from 23 to 5. This increased the fatality doubling days from 31 to a much safer 46 days.

The trend in hospitalizations wasn’t quite as favorable. There we saw a 70% increase, from 226 to 385, bringing the final HUR to 75%. ICU patients also went up by 124%, from 55 to 123, bringing the IUR at the end to 95%, getting close to capacity.

Z-score for San Bernardino County: 2.5 out of 10

San Luis Obispo County – see CVS8

This is a county that’s hard to score. The absolute numbers are so small, they don’t really show up on a comparison chart. True, the case increase was 429%, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re going from 2 cases to 13. Case doubling days are at 47, well into the safe zone. On a daily basis, there are fractional fatalities, and even the 7 day rolling total was at zero, so fatality doubling days are not applicable.

The only half way meaningful metric is hospitalization/ICU data, but even there the numbers are tiny in comparison. Hospitalizations went up by 133%, from 3 to 7. ICU’s doubled, from 2 to 4. The final utilization rates: an HUR of 67% and an IUR of 31%.

Z-score for San Luis Obispo County: 1.5 out of 10

Santa Barbara County – see CVS9

Like San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara has small numbers in absolute terms. Unlike SLO, there are some concerning trends — nothing too bad yet, but definitely worth keeping an eye on. Cases went up by 171%, from 21 to 56. There’s been a health increase in doubling days though, from 15 to 45 days, a doubling of the doubling. The 7 day rolling fatality total went up a whopping 800%, but here the absolute number are absolutely relevant — from 1 to 9, compared to 212 for its neighbor to the south, LA county. That did reduce the fatality doubling number from 38 days to 21, right in the danger zone.

Hospitalizations had a 142% increase, from 24 to 58, bringing the HUR from 68% to 72%. ICU’s went from 9 to 21, a 133% increase, with a final IUR of 64%. So we’re nowhere close to max capacity, but the numbers aren’t moving in the right direction.

Z-score for Santa Barbara County: 2.5 out of 10

Ventura County – see CVS10

Another county with low absolute numbers. Cases went up by 176%, but we’re only talking about going from 21 cases to 58. That flattened out doubling days from 29 to 28 days, at the top of the danger zone. The good thing is that the rolling 7 day fatality total dropped by 60%, from 5 to 2. That’s 0.3 fatalities per day.

Hospitalizations did increase by 64%, but again the numbers aren’t huge, from 64 to 105. ICU’s also went up by 59%, from 17 to 27. The final HUR and IUR are not particularly concerning: 73% and 47%.

Z-score for Ventura County: 2 out of 10

Finally, a word about the Z-score. I’m not comparing localities in the US to anywhere in the world, especially countries like Denmark or Germany. If I did that, I’d have to use a logarithmic scale for the Z-score! Instead, it’s more like a 1 to 10 pain scale – where 10 is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced. In this case, a 10 would be New York City at the height of the outbreak — hospitals overwhelmed, cases exploding, etc.

Many of you have generously offered to give me money, coffee, burritos, and other material rewards. I really appreciate that. If you’re still so inclined, I’d urge you to donate to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Stay safe and healthy, everyone!

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