Monday, July 6, 2020

COVID-19 cases in Cambria County Have Far Outpaced the Rise in Testing



When I tell people about the recent upsurge in cases of Coronavirus in Cambria County I am often asked "is that because there is more testing?"  I have been looking at the trend in testing and cases in the county sine records have been available.  I was unable to track the number of cases from June 19 to June 24 due to problems with my computer.  I added the average number of tests per day as a proxy for this period.

The graph above shows the trend in cumulative cases (black line) where it rose steadily from March 22 to May 17 (57 days) to 54 total cases.  This gives an average of 0.95 new cases per day.  Over this period there were 2,538 tests performed as reported by the health department.  Dividing the number of tests by the 57 days of this period gives an average of 44.53 tests per day.  

From May 18 to June 25 (39 days) the curve flattened with ten total new cases (0.26 cases per day).  For this period, there were 4,500 total tests for an average of 115.38 tests per day

From June 26 to July 6 (11 days), there were 34 new cases (3.09 cases per day).  For this period, there were 1,502 total tests or 136.55 tests per day.  

Period

Number of Cases

Cases per day

% Change in Cases per day from Previous Period

Number of Tests

Tests per day

% Change in Tests per day from Previous Period

1: 3/22-5/17

(57 Days)

54

0.95

 

2,538

44.53

 

2: 5/18-6/25

(39 days)

10

0.26

-72.6%

4,500

115.38

159%

3:6/26-7/6

(11 days)

34

3.09

1,088%

1,502

136.55

18.3%


Thus the average number of tests has increased 159% from period 1 to period 2 but the number of cases per day decreased by 72.6% over the same period.  From period 2 to period 3, the average number of tests increased by 18.3% but the average number of cases per day rose by 1,088%.  Thus the rise in cases has far outpaced the rise in testing.  Wear a mask.

So far the number of deaths has not risen in the third period.  One of the deaths in the county was in the first period while the other two were in the second.  


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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Second Wave of COVID-19 Cases in Cambria and Allegheny Counties?


Cambria County has experienced 22 new cases of COVID-19 in the last 7 days to give a total of 83 cases.  In the previous 37 days, the county had a net increase of 7 cases.  The best fit line is now a fifth order polynomial with an R-square of 99%.  In the graph below, a second order polynomial provided the best fit for the cumulative case curve for the months of March and April with an R-square of 97%.



The map above shows the distribution of the 83 cases in Cambria County by zip code.  The lightest blue zip codes have zero confirmed or probable cases.  The next darker color blue zip codes have between 1 and 4 cases.  The next darker blue colored zip codes have between 5 and 10 cases.  The zip code with the most confirmed cases is 15904 with 7 cases. This zip code covers Richland Township followed by 15931 (Ebensburg) at 6, the Johnstown zip codes of 15905 and 15902 and the Portage zipcode 15946 with 5 each.  The most tested zip code in Johnstown is 15901 with enough tests to cover 12.32% of it's population.  The image below is a screenshot of the distribution of cases on April 26 showing all of the light blue zip codes with the number of cases between 1 and 4.


So far there hasn't been an increase in the number of deaths which tend to follow an increase in cases.  Allegheny County has been showing a similar rise in cases, over 400 in the last five days.  So far they have not had a corresponding increase in deaths.  The bars have been closed down in Allegheny County but not in Cambria County so far.  WEAR A Mask!!!!


**UPDATE**

WTAE in Pittsburgh reports that it is now mandatory to wear masks in publicBelow is a graph showing the trend in testing and cases in the county since March.



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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Update on Johnstown Zip Code Testing




























Last week I reported that my most viewed post on COVID-19 was on zip code testing in Johnstown zip codes compared to the county, state and the U.S I reported that the testing rates for the zip code for downtown Johnstown (15901) was nearly identical to the U.S. rates while the rates for the other zip codes and the county lagged behind the state and the U.S. rates.  I reposted the chart from that post above. 

 

As I was tracking the testing rates I noticed that the pattern was changing in the testing rates.  You can see that pattern in the bar chart above from the Google Sheets I put together for the county.  The rate for 15901 is still the highest in the city but it is falling behind the U.S. rate. The 15902 zip code has been inching upwards while the 15909 zip code lags behind the others and the county.  


I updated the line chart at the top of the post with the trend in testing up to the current date.  I got rid of the data table to make it more readable. In the chart we see that the testing rate for 15901 started to fall behind the U.S. rate on May 29. The post for the chart at the top was on May 17.  

The 15902 zip code (red dotted line) testing rate has nudged ahead of the state rate (solid black line.  Finally we see that the 15909 zip code has fallen further behind the other zip codes and the state and county overall in the testing rates on May 26.  

The number of COVID-19 cases in the county on May 17 was 54.  Today (27 days later) it is 61.  The 15902 zip code (Hornerstown and Moxham) now has a cluster of five confirmed cases and between 1 and 4 probable cases (the exact number is not released for privacy concerns) while 15901 has between 1 and 4 confirmed cases according to the PA Department of Health.  
Does the lag in testing account for the decrease in the number of new cases for the county?  I suppose only God knows for sure.  The COVID cast website shows a decrease in the indicators that they use to forecast the future cases from may 17 to May 31.  These indicators include doctor visits with COVID-19 symptoms, google search data, and Facebook search data.  After May 31 the indicators has leveled off which suggests that a surge in cases is not imminent.  Dr. Fauci has warned that a surge could happen as the states have been reopening.  So far it has yet to materialize in Cambria County.  Time will tell.


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Sunday, June 7, 2020

COVID-19 and CSI without Dead Bodies


Since March 14, thirteen out of the last 14 posts on the blog have been on the Coronavirus pandemic.  One was on the new hate group numbers from the Southern Poverty law center.  With states starting to reopen after the I thought I would take a look at how the pandemic has affected traffic on this site according to Google Analytics.  I compared the traffic from March 14 to today (June 7) to the previous period (Dec 19,2019 to March 13, 2020).

Overall, the site has received 20.4% more traffic for the current period to the previous (1,133 to 941).  The average number of page views per session increased by 18.23% (1.47 pages/session for this period to 1.24 pages/session for the last period).  However, the average time spent on a page was 30.5% lower for the current period (0:26) compared to the previous (0:38).

Although the overall number of users on this site was up by 20.4%, the number of users from the U.S. was down by 12.46% (752 to 859).  There was number of users was up from China (49 to 2), India (19 to 3), the U.K. (18 to 10), Hong Kong (15 to 0), Germany (13 to 3), Japan (11 to 3) Mexico (11 to 5) and Canada (8 to 5).  Overall the number of users for this site from outside the U.S. was higher for this site with 381 for this period to 82 from outside the U.S.  This gives an increase of 365% from outside the U.S.

The ratio of new users to returning users for this period was 93.7% (1,103) new to 6.3% (74) returning for this period to 89.4% (897) to 10.6% (106) for the previous.  For those users that have their gender identified by Google the ratio of males to females was 51.01% (177) females to 48.99% (170) males for this period.  For the previous period it was 29.89% (55) for females versus 70.11% (129) for males.

For those users whose age is identified by google, the largest increase in users was in the 35-44 age group with a 180% increase (70 to 25) followed by the 65+ age group at 173.68% (52 to 19), and the 25-34 age group at 126.67% (102 to 45).  There were increases for all the age groups.  

The results here appear to be mixed.  There are more users for this site for the pandemic posts.  According to the graph in the image at the top of the post, the largest spike in number of users between the period occurred in the week from May 17 to May 23.  The post for this period was the one on COVID-19 testing in zip-codes in Johnstown.  The traffic for this post was almost exclusively from the U.S.  More specifically, it was mostly from Johnstown and the surrounding areas.  Without this post, the gap in users between the US and the rest of the world would be even greater.





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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Protests and Pandemics: Lessons from History


Watching the developments of the past week were surprising even to me. Were the up swelling of protests over the death of George Floyd and the corona virus pandemic totally unrelated?  Is Trump's generally incompetent leadership a factor?  The mostly peaceful demonstrations have been occurring just as the turbulent restriction from the pandemic are being lifted.  Do people just have more time now to pay attention to the news surrounding Floyd's death?  History may provide some clues.

The late 1910s were a largely forgotten turbulent time in our nation's history.  We had just entered World War I, the battle over women's right to vote was reaching a critical stage, the brutal race riots in Tulsa, OK were happening just as the Ku Klux Klan was becoming a national force, and of course the Spanish Flu epidemic was rampaging globally,  None of these things occurred in a vacuum.  



The Spanish Flu may not have originated in Spain but it was the first country to report on it as the news was censored in the neighboring countries fighting in World War I.  It unknown where the pandemic started but it was first observed in Europe just as U.S. soldiers arrived there in 1918.  Returning soldiers brought it back home with them and it spread quickly.  Worldwide it killed approximately 50 million and in the U.S. the death toll was around 675,000.


While this was going on the suffragettes led by Alice Paul were getting close to the Seneca Falls convention of 1848's goal of achieving votes for women.  Woodrow Wilson eventually was convinced to support the amendment along with the proposed 18th amendment to usher in prohibition.  The suffragettes hoped that prohibiting drinking would curb domestic violence against women. 

Maurice Decaul: Commentary on "Close Ranks" and "Returning Soldiers" by W.E.B. Du Bois from The Gilder Lehrman Institute on Vimeo.


African American's fought in World War I hoping that it would improve their standing in society, it did not.  They came home to the same racism that they had experiences before.  W.E.B. DuBois had supported Wilson but was disappointed when they returned home.  Two years later things exploded when lynchings occurred and the KKK began a resurgence.  Things came to a boiling point when a race riot occurred in 1919 in Chicago and the  deadliest race massacre in U.S. history in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921.  In Johnstown, PA, another racial incident occurred in the Rosedale section when African American and Mexicans were driven out of the city in response to the shooting of police officers.

In addition to these other issues the government was involved in the Palmer raids which were conducted against suspected communists who had just come to power in Russia.  This was a precursor to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950's.  The socialist Presidential candidate Eugene Debs and Alice Paul were briefly imprisoned as a result.

These problems were exacerbated by small economic depression which followed the war.  In response to all of this, Warren G. Harding ran for president where he promised a "return to normalcy" from the turbulence of the last years of Wilson's Presidency.  He won in a landslide with the votes of women who could vote for the first time.  The roaring 20's and the corruption and hypocrisy of prohibition followed.


History does not repeat itself but it does rhyme sometimes.  Many of the same forces at work then are at work now.  Mostly peaceful protests occurred in response to the death of George Floyd as in the video above.  Joe Biden may be successful running as a normalcy president but will he be able to address all of these forces in a way that Trump is unwilling to?

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Thursday, May 28, 2020

A Comparison of State Mortality Rates: Pennsylvania is 6th Highest, Michigan is Highest

In my last post I spoke of how Pennsylvania's case mortality rate (7.16%) was greater than the U.S. rate (5.91%).  At the time I was unsure how the state compared to the other states in the case mortality rate.  To do this I looked at the cases reported on Johns-Hopkins Coronavirus Dashboard.  The numbers that they report for Pennsylvania (74,045 cases, 5,373 deaths) are different than reported by the state department of health (70,042 cases, 5,373 deaths).  This is due to Johns-Hopkins relying on media reports of cases as well as government reports.  Deaths from the disease are easier to track than cases.

The case mortality rate is the number of deaths divided by the number of reported cases.  The numbers for each state as of yesterday are displayed at the table below.  Johns-Hopkins reports cases and deaths on the U.S. flagged Grand Princess and Diamond Princess cruise ships are included in the total.  Michigan has the highest case mortality rate at 9.59% followed by Connecticut at 9.21%, the U.S. Virgin Islands at 8.70%, New York at 8.08%, New Jersey at 7.24%, and Pennsylvania at 7.16%.  The high rate for Michigan is troubling given all of the protests against the coronavirus lockdown there.

Looking at the population adjusted mortality rate as deaths per 100,000 population, not surprisingly, New York has the highest rate at 151.56/100,000 followed by New Jersey at 127.66/100,000, Connecticut at 106.67/100,000, Massachusetts at 93.91/100,000, and the District of Columbia at 63.05/100,000.  Pennsylvania is 9th on this measure (41.13/100,000) and is right behind Michigan which is at 53.41/100,000.

New York is also first in coronavirus cases at 1,876.08/100,000 followed by New Jersey at 1763.39/100,000, Massachusetts at 1359.35/100,000, Rhode Island at 1354.87/100,000, and the District of Columbia at 1191.08/100,000.  Pennsylvania is 13th on this measure at 574.57/100,000 which is just ahead of Michigan which is at 556.84/100,000.  The U.S rate on this measure is 514.95/100,000.  


The graph above shows the state case mortality rate by population (the two cruise ships are excluded).  There is no linear association between the state's population and their case mortality rate.  The line crossing the graph just below 6% is the U.S. case mortality rate.  

The population rates indicate the prevalence in the population of coronavirus cases and deaths.  The case mortality rates are an indication of the strain that the disease has placed on the health care systems in that state.  Michigan Pennsylvania, and the Virgin Islands with low population adjusted mortality rates but high case mortality rates suggest additional strain.

State

cases

deaths

Case Mortality

case mortality rank

Population

Deaths per 100,000

Cases per 100,000

Michigan

55611

5334

9.59%

1

9,986,857

53.41

556.84

Connecticut

41288

3803

9.21%

2

3,565,287

106.67

1158.06

Virgin Islands

69

6

8.70%

3

104,901

5.72

65.78

New York

364965

29484

8.08%

4

19,453,561

151.56

1876.08

New Jersey

156628

11339

7.24%

5

8,882,190

127.66

1763.39

Pennsylvania

73557

5265

7.16%

6

12,801,989

41.13

574.57

Louisiana

38497

2723

7.07%

7

4,648,794

58.57

828.11

Massachusetts

93693

6473

6.91%

8

6,892,503

93.91

1359.35

Indiana

32437

2030

6.26%

9

6,732,219

30.15

481.82

Ohio

33439

2044

6.11%

10

11,689,100

17.49

286.07

Colorado

24754

1392

5.62%

11

5,758,736

24.17

429.85

Vermont

971

54

5.56%

12

623,989

8.65

155.61

Missouri

12798

688

5.38%

13

6,137,428

11.21

208.52

Washington

20181

1078

5.34%

14

7,614,893

14.16

265.02

DC

8406

445

5.29%

15

705,749

63.05

1191.08

Oklahoma

6229

322

5.17%

16

3,956,971

8.14

157.42

New Hampshire

4231

214

5.06%

17

1,359,711

15.74

311.17

Maryland

48423

2392

4.94%

18

6,045,680

39.57

800.95

Nevada

8113

396

4.88%

19

3,080,156

12.86

263.40

Arizona

17277

834

4.83%

20

7,278,717

11.46

237.36

Mississippi

14044

670

4.77%

21

2,976,149

22.51

471.88

Rhode Island

14353

655

4.56%

22

1,059,361

61.83

1354.87

New Mexico

7252

329

4.54%

23

2,096,829

15.69

345.86

Illinois

114306

5083

4.45%

24

12,671,821

40.11

902.05

Kentucky

9077

400

4.41%

25

4,467,673

8.95

203.17

Florida

52634

2319

4.41%

26

21,477,737

10.80

245.06

South Carolina

10623

466

4.39%

27

5,148,714

9.05

206.32

Georgia

44445

1908

4.29%

28

10,617,423

17.97

418.60

Minnesota

22464

942

4.19%

29

5,639,632

16.70

398.32

West Virginia

1899

74

3.90%

30

1,792,147

4.13

105.96

California

101032

3895

3.86%

31

39,512,223

9.86

255.70

Puerto Rico

3397

129

3.80%

32

3,193,694

4.04

106.37

Maine

2137

81

3.79%

33

1,344,212

6.03

158.98

Delaware

9096

344

3.78%

34

973,764

35.33

934.11

Alabama

15843

583

3.68%

35

4,903,185

11.89

323.12

Oregon

4038

148

3.67%

36

4,217,737

3.51

95.74

Montana

481

17

3.53%

37

1,068,778

1.59

45.00

North Carolina

24896

838

3.37%

38

10,488,084

7.99

237.37

Wisconsin

16462

539

3.27%

39

5,822,434

9.26

282.73

Virginia

40249

1281

3.18%

40

8,535,519

15.01

471.55

Idaho

2699

81

3.00%

41

1,787,065

4.53

151.03

Guam

170

5

2.94%

42

165,768

3.02

102.55

Grand Princess

103

3

2.91%

43

 

Texas

58537

1581

2.70%

44

28,995,881

5.45

201.88

Iowa

18360

493

2.69%

45

3,155,070

15.63

581.92

Hawaii

644

17

2.64%

46

1,415,872

1.20

45.48

Alaska

411

10

2.43%

47

731,545

1.37

56.18

North Dakota

2439

56

2.30%

48

762,062

7.35

320.05

Kansas

9270

212

2.29%

49

2,913,314

7.28

318.19

Arkansas

6277

120

1.91%

50

3,017,804

3.98

208.00

Tennessee

21288

353

1.66%

51

6,829,174

5.17

311.72

Wyoming

860

14

1.63%

52

578,759

2.42

148.59

Nebraska

12619

153

1.21%

53

1,934,408

7.91

652.34

Utah

8706

105

1.21%

54

3,205,958

3.28

271.56

South Dakota

4710

54

1.15%

55

884,659

6.10

532.41

Diamond Princess

49

0

0.00%

57

 

N Mariana

22

0

0.00%

57

56,882

0.00

38.68

Total

1697459

100274

5.91%

329,637,350

30.42

514.95

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