Comments on today’s report, April 2, 2020.
Remember, limit discussion to just the facts and/or suggestions/questions about the data. These reports tend to get lost down in the feed pretty quickly. Remember, to retrieve them, just do a search for “covid19 tracking” and they’ll be there.
1) California still has 59,100 pending tests, driving the completed tests per 100k people down to 78.6, compared to 356.9 for the nation. Of the top 10 states, comprising 1/2 of the population, California’s test rate is by far the worst. (See new chart on Completed Tests below). Supposedly, California has by far the biggest backlog in the country. BUT, Quest Diagnostics just reported yesterday that they had a backlog of 160,000 tests. So even if all of California’s backlog were at Quest, that would leave 110,000 tests from other states. One thing is clear: Quest has dropped the ball, leaving hundreds of thousands of people facing an uncertain future and making it very difficult for epidemiologists to understand what’s happening. Here’s a good article about the testing situation in CA: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/01/california-coronavirus-shelter-in-place-flatten-curve
2) The rate of daily new cases for Encinitas and Carlsbad fortunately was lower than that of the rest of the U.S., and lower than the county. However, the problems in testing (#1 above) may be part of that.
3) The situation outside of North County is growing worse, with a doubling rate of around 5.5 days for the county, state, and nation.
1) Added a new chart, Showing Completed Tests for April 2, 2020 for the 10 largest states in the country.
Once again, thank you for your comments and suggestions. And please, if you find a math error somewhere, let me know! Stay well everyone!
Comments from Readers & My Responses
The following are some of the comments from readers on Reddit and other social media platforms where I regularly post. Reader comments are in italics and color. My responses are in plain text. If there is more than one commenter without a response, they are separated by different colors.
A lot of good info here … thanks. I don’t want to necessarily defend Quest for the testing backlog, but I can add some perspective. It is often true that initial designs of lab tests are very time-intensive to analyze for the labs and may require equipment that is not commonly available. As time goes on, engineers design tests that are far easier to analyze … eventually, a truly inventive test may be designed that doesn’t even require a lab (present day pregnancy tests are an extreme example of a test that even the consumer can analyze). I don’t know that this is the case, but I suspect it is. I know that new tests are on the way that can yield results in minutes using portable equipment. Abbott has received approval for such a test and has said they can manufacture 50k tests a day starting soon. Unfortunately, that’s only 3 million tests per month; at that rate it would take 100 months to produce 300 million tests.
Thanks for the good info, Kevin. I also learned that California jumped on the testing early, and Quest was flooded with tests that took a lot longer to process. I’ve read about the Abbott test, too. I just hope they can get it into production very soon.
Concerning that Encinitas numbers per capita are higher than many other cities in the county such as Oceanside and Vista.
This may not be a great consolation, but if you look at today’s report (which I just posted) Encinitas had a lower growth rate than any of the localities on the report. Also, Encinitas’s doubling rate is 9.0 days, almost twice that of the county, which is a scary 4.9 days. However, it’s more important to look at the trend lines rather than the ups and downs each day.
Please keep posting. Thank you.
Thanks Arlette. I’m planning to post an updated report every day between 5 & 6pm. A number of people have asked me where it was, since they couldn’t find it on their feeds. I don’t know how ND does their algorithm for the feed, but I find that 5 minutes after posting, the report is almost impossible to find.
The solution is to do a search using the phrase “covid19 tracking”. Then they’ll all show up.