Friday, January 7, 2022

Changes in How Cases and Deaths in PA are Reported Due to the Omicron Variant

This week Anthony Fauci reported on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulus that cases were not as important as hospitalizations and deaths in measuring the severity of the coronavirus pandemic under the omicron variant.  This is because new Omicron variance of COVID-19 is believed to be more contagious but less severe.  With the advent of the new year, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has changed how it reports COVID cases and deaths at the county level.  

Instead of providing daily pdfs with case and death counts for each county which can easily be entered into a spreadsheet, these numbers are only provided on the state's dashboard.  This makes it more difficult for me to enter statewide numbers into a spreadsheet.  Having to enter it manually makes it easier to make errors of entry.  

I am still able to enter numbers for just Cambria and Somerset Counties from the dashboard and show they trend as in the above graph.  Here, the 7 day average for new cases (198.14) is the highest it has been since Dec 12, 2020.  So far there has not been a corresponding increase in hospitalizations or deaths (the dotted black line in the graph above).  If this increase in cases is due to the omicron variant, then there should not be a similar rise in deaths in a few weeks.  

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