Greater Houston Area COVID Data

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Dehn0045

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I happened upon the Texas Medical Center's COVID dashboard and really liked it, figured I would share. The data appears to be pretty reliable and other than the thresholds for "concern" there is very little interpretation/commentary. I was a little surprised that >200 new cases per day in the greater Houston area is considered "warning", that doesn't seem like very many new cases. https://www.tmc.edu/coronavirus-updates/

I also saw reports that Rice University was analyzing sanitary sewer for virus concentrations in the Houston area, but I haven't seen any data or information on that, if you have a link I'd be interested to see it. Here is a study that was done in the New England area, I haven't read through in detail, but the general concept of testing sewage to monitor the virus is interesting. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.19.20105999v1.full.pdf
 
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FGarbrecht

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I'd be concerned. After a period of improvement, Houston is seeing increasing new daily cases about 10 days (and beyond) after phase 1 reopening which would reflect increased transmission in the city population. It's hard to tell without the trailing 5 day growth rate plotted which way the trend is really going, and the final two days plotted which look good fell on the holiday weekend (all weekends generally show decreased cases), so you aren't going to know if the trailing growth rate is rising or falling yet and whether you are going to see entry into an exponential growth rate related to relaxation of restrictions. These graphs are pretty but they would be far more informative if the trailing growth rates were plotted against the bars and the y axis could be viewed as a logarithmic plot. Good luck, stay safe.
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Dehn0045

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I'd be concerned.
Thanks Frederick, I agree, and I am. Just to clarify, when I said about the data that I "liked it", I didn't mean that the data itself was worth liking, but rather the presentation of the data (and its relevance). To be honest though, back in late March I was bracing for the Houston area to be in much worse shape than we are now, so that is worth celebrating, but there is still a long road ahead. I was talking to my 86 year old grandmother the other day and our conversation gave me a little perspective -- she talked about living through WWII and other sicknesses and geopolitical issues, she said what we are going through now is bad, really bad, but that we'll get through it.
 

monophoto

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Fred's a doctor. I'm a retired engineer who likes to play with spreadsheets. But like Fred, I don't get a warm feeling from those charts.

The best way to display this information would be to plot trend lines - probably rolling seven-day average lines - so see if the slope is negative (good) or positive (not so good). But just looking at the bars, it seems to me that the bars are getting taller as the chart progresses in time. To Fred's point, the notably low days, especially more recently, are weekend or Mondays, and one might expect that the number of reported new cases might be lower on weekends.

It's not clear from the chart alone why certain days are flagged (in red) as warning days even through the number of cases may be lower than are flagged (in yellow) as 'moderate concern'. But its a bit troubling to see the frequency of red bars increase as time goes by.
 

Dehn0045

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It's not clear from the chart alone why certain days are flagged (in red) as warning days even through the number of cases may be lower than are flagged (in yellow) as 'moderate concern'. But its a bit troubling to see the frequency of red bars increase as time goes by.
I think the thresholds for the bar colors are adjusted based on the projected future maximum ICU needs versus available capacity. If ICU beds are in low supply then the threshold for "acceptable" new cases is lower. The current threshold appears to be 200 new cases per day. Doing the math, if you assume 20% of new cases need hospitalization and 20% of those need ICU then we are talking 8 new ICU patients per day with a typical stay of around 10 days for a total of 80 ICU patients, this would result in a decrease of ICU patients which currently sits at 185. The goal is to keep COVID+ ICU patients to less than 10% of ICU capacity, but it is already 13%. I am assuming that the 10% goals comes from the fact that typical peak ICU bed usage is around 90% (this is just my guess), so it is really a future concern not a current concern because ICU beds are not being used up by other causes. I think they could have done without the bar colors and just put a level on the graph that represented what they believe to be an unsustainable level of new cases from a hospital capacity standpoint (apparently 200 cases per day, but this very well could change as the testing and infection demographics change).

There are several other bits of information in the collection of charts/graphs that I personally find more useful than "new cases" because there are so many factors than can impact real versus observed new cases. The chart showing new hospitalizations, the breakdown of ICU bed use and availability, and the observed hospitalization/death rate (22% of cases requiring hospitalization, 9% of those have died -- similar to early data from Wuhan, suggesting that our working assumptions about mortality have been about right). The PPE data is also interesting, but really only locally relevant. I also like that the data is presented in a pretty raw format with minimal commentary, there are plenty of deceptively edited charts and graphs out there now that are trying to prove a point rather than provide information.
 

leehljp

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In the MS area, we are expecting a rise in the number of cases simply because of the availability of open testing that is becoming available and the urging to get everyone tested. This was discussed in ministers circuits in which concerns for an increase in cases that will be known because of testing. In our county, we had a free testing for one day. The number of cases increased but most were not serious cases requiring hospitalization but quarantine at home.

I look at the cases daily, (for MS) the outbreak areas and the mortality rates. (I get an email from the MSDH daily) I am sure some of you look at some of the States as the department of health designates them as Dark Blue counties vs Medium Blue vs Light Blue counties - A designation to denote the severity in numbers. That is highly misleading. Our flat land pure farming county (Tunica) has 10,000+ people and we are light blue; Neighboring Desota county has 186,000 and is listed as dark blue. When the stats are looked at closely, percentage per population, Tunica has a higher death rate with 3 deaths than Desota County with 6. We have 50 cases in 10,000 (1 for every 200) and they have 450 cases in 186000, or 1 in every 413 people. But they are listed as Dark Blue. (That is not what is intended, but that is the way MOST people see it.)

I point this out because LOML watches these stats daily also, and she believes every bit of it! And that means that Dark Blue counties are MUCH worse than light blue ones even when I point out the higher percentages in our rural county. o_O

Some of our churches are opening up with distancing and masks, but they ARE opening back up.
 

Edgar

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I'd be concerned. After a period of improvement, Houston is seeing increasing new daily cases about 10 days (and beyond) after phase 1 reopening which would reflect increased transmission in the city population. It's hard to tell without the trailing 5 day growth rate plotted which way the trend is really going, and the final two days plotted which look good fell on the holiday weekend (all weekends generally show decreased cases), so you aren't going to know if the trailing growth rate is rising or falling yet and whether you are going to see entry into an exponential growth rate related to relaxation of restrictions. These graphs are pretty but they would be far more informative if the trailing growth rates were plotted against the bars and the y axis could be viewed as a logarithmic plot. Good luck, stay safe.
View attachment 239713

As it turns out, I am actually performing statistical analysis of the data from several counties as part of a task force trying to make recommendations for returning to Sanctuary services at our church. In doing so, I have learned a number of things about these dashboards and charts - among them
1. There is no consistency from county to county in the way data is presented in these dashboards
2. There is especially no consistency in how “probable” cases get updated to “confirmed” cases from one county to another
3. You have to be very careful to be sure that the data in a chart is what you really think it is

I haven’t had a chance to analyze the data in that “greater Houston area chart”, but from what I’ve seen from the most populous counties in that area, I have my doubts about its validity.

I updated my analysis of the combined Houston/Harris County data as of today. The photo below shows a statistical regression of the daily new confirmed cases in Harris County & Houston. It clearly shows an overall declining trend.

If you simply read reports about Houston/Harris, you may see claims that 400-600 new cases were reported this weekend. Technically that’s true, but what is overlooked is that most of those “new” cases are reclassification of cases that were previously reported as probable.

Harris County does a good job of going back to the date an individual’s case was opened and updating the confirmed cases for that day accordingly. So the total cases added to the end of the chart for the last 4 days is only 168.

This approach keeps the overall trend fairly accurate and properly accounts for newly confirmed, but already existing cases. As a result, the total confirmed cases for Houston/Harris jumped by 785 since last Friday, but there have only been 168 newly reported cases.

Most counties aren’t this meticulous. Some count probables separately, but when they become confirmed later, they simply count that the same as a new confirmed case. As a result, it distorts the current day’s data if you are trying to look at the charts as a measure of new infections.
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Dehn0045

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@Edgar I really appreciate your perspective, especially your bullet #3. I ran into this looking at Georgia's statewide data a couple weeks ago, the trend of new cases was dropping dramatically over the past 2 weeks. At quick glance it seemed like a fantastic trend, but after reading the notes I realized that the "new cases" were being allocated based on the reported onset of symptoms, so it was unlikely that a test would be run in the last couple days on a person who started having symptoms that day. This basically made the most recent two weeks of numbers useless. Even something as seemingly objective as counting deaths has a whole bunch of issues, including substantial delays. Just now I ran into yet another misleading headline that said basically "half of the time antibody tests are wrong", but the underlying example that was used was a test that produced 5% false-positives, so objectively the test is right 95% of the time. The real issue being that if only 5% of the population has antibodies then a test with 5% false positives will say that 10% of the population has antibodies (the 5% that actually do and the 5% that are false positive). This is fundamentally different than the test being wrong half of the time. It really does get exhausting trying to drill down to the heart of the matter on all these different issues
 

Edgar

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@sam - When I was charting the Fort Bend County data, I found that the when you total the cases reported in their daily tracking chart, it was different from the total confirmed cases that they report. It took some time, but I finally figured out that they changed their criteria for that chart on April 24. Prior to that date, the chart shows all Coronavirus cases reported on that day. After that day, it shows only the confirmed cases reported.

To determine the actual number of daily confirmed cases prior to April 24, you have to look at their chart of cumulative daily confirmed cases and extract the day-to-day change. Then you can produce a plot of data from the entire range of time with consistent data throughout.

Of course there is nothing on their dashboard site that explains that reporting change, so most people don’t even realize that the first half of the chart represents one thing while the second half represents something different.
 

Edgar

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Ok, I have figured out what's wrong with that chart that Frederick posted from the Texas Medical Center. Note that the source for that chart is from usafacts.org which is a compilation web site. The problem with such sites is that their data presentation doesn't always match the individual county presentations that they purport to illustrate.

Take a look at that big spike on April 10 that shows 811 cases reported on that day in the 9-county greater Houston area. You have to look at their detailed spreadsheet to find it, but that includes 706 cases from Harris county alone. However, if you look at the Harris county dashboard for that day, you will see that Harris county reports 255 cases for that day - a difference of 451 cases. .

So why is the usafacts chart showing a total of 811 instead of 360 for that day?

You have to drill down into the details of both their data and that of Harris county to find the answer. As I mentioned earlier, Harris county updates its charts to allocate positive test results back to the day when that individual's case was first opened. So, while Harris county got 811 positive test results on April 10, they allocated most of those results back to the day of onset of infection as best they could. Harris county constantly updates its daily tracking chart accordingly as they are able to do that. The usafacts.org chart just shows the results for the day they come in and doesn't keep up with the Harris county reallocations.

As a result, the apparent overall trend of the greater Houston area chart at usafacts.org looks quite different from the trend if you would extract the data from those 9 counties own dashboards. The usafacts.org has the correct total cases, but their distribution of that data is misleading.
 
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Dehn0045

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I think this discussion highlights the importance of shifting to metrics other than testing/cases for monitoring the trajectory of the disease. There are just too many pitfalls with testing data and how it is being collected/presented. I really think institutions should focus more on hospitalization rates than testing for policy decision making. Sure the hospitalizations lag behind the infections, but the data is much more robust. Best I can tell the data presented on the TMC dashboard for hospitalizations is data from member hospitals, so I think the data is fairly trustworthy. But there are still probably pitfalls. Hopefully we can find something better, like the sewage testing, that is able to predict hospitalizations and give us an even better idea of "where we are going".
 

Edgar

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What’s so frustrating about this is that they want us to look at declining cases over a given period of time to determine when & under what conditions to reopen. Even though churches don’t fall under that criteria since Gov Abbott added us to the “essential” list, our Synod and national leadership still want us to use it. It’s difficult to convince people that cases are declining when the only metrics we have are so difficult to understand use.

Media hype doesn’t help either. The local news reports the numbers added to the total confirmed count as if they are newly contracted cases when, in actuality, the infection may have incurred anytime in the previous two weeks or more. Then there’s the issue of cases being added to daily counts as much as 3 months prior as they analyze the circumstances of individual cases.

As I mentioned, 785 confirmed cases were added to Houston’s total over the past 4 days. Only 186 were from that time - an average of about 44 per day - the other 599 were distributed back over daily counts as far back as Feb 10. But local media and usafacts report them as if we are still experiencing almost 200 new infections per day which gives the impression that infections are increasing since we reopened the state on May 1 when that’s not the case at all.
 

Dehn0045

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but the 186 over the past 4 days is going to grow, but by how much? I think it is entirely possible that it could grow by 400-500, but nobody really knows. In reality, a 2-week trend of new cases from (-3) weeks to (-1) is probably most valuable way for determining trajectory based on new case data. But this guarantees that you are at least a week behind. Hospitalizations probably lag infection by 1-2 weeks, but you don't have to wait for the data, it is essentially accurate in real time (at least that is my assumption). Looking at the hospitalizations on TMC dashboard and Texas statewide data it seems like the infection rate is roughly flat, even with the reduction in restrictions. You could maybe make an argument that the Houston area is increasing slightly and Texas is decreasing slightly statewide, but its really not significant either way.

I personally think that it would be negligent for a church to resume in-person services without a minimum of temperature checks upon entry, masks required, reduced capacity for social distance. Also, high contact individuals like pastors should probably be tested weekly (preferably with results immediately prior to services). If these kinds of safeguards are appropriate for our elected officials, then they should be appropriate for the most vulnerable members of our society and everyone in between. Just my opinion.
 

leehljp

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a minimum of temperature checks upon entry, masks required, reduced capacity for social distance.
"Temperature checks" - I had to laugh at that one. I suggested it and a few other deacons concurred - but when it was announced to the church, I don't know who all reacted, but the pastor said there was a lot of pushback from laser checking the forehead. (Back when the SARs flu happened, LOML and I landed in Japan, no one was allowed to leave the plane until everyone had been checked with an infrared thermometer aimed at their heads. Every international plane was checked.) This doesn't bother me.

I am an ordained minister, a deacon and served as missionary (church planter) overseas in oriental language for 26 years. I work as a consultant in mission endeavors (titled "director") with numerous churches in a 3 county area. I am not "over" them but a consultant. As a result I know what is going on in Individual churches, and they are all over the place in their decisions and reactions. Some churches are not going to meet until July at the earliest. (But they are doing online streaming services.) Some are starting up in June with social distancing (two pews closed, one open, two closed one open, multiple services even in small churches, hand cleaner, strong recommendation for masks, cleaning teams between services, ionized foggers etc.

The Constitution of the United States prevents the POTUS or Governors or Local officials from denying the meetings no matter how terrible it gets. Some of these officials might "think" they can, but the end result will be a severe abuse of the Constitution. The SCOTUS will uphold the Constitution. It comes down to individuals being responsible decision makers for their sake and others, and hopefully they will.
 

Dehn0045

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@leehljp you could always tell them that rectal temperature measurements are the other option 🤪 🤮 !

Obviously I'm no constitutional law expert, and I'm sure even some of them disagree, but my understanding is that states have pretty broad authority to impose *temporary* quarantine measures and take other steps to protect the health and well-being of people. One often cited case that is relevant is the 1905 supreme court case where a man opposed the states forced vaccination of all adults against smallpox, the supreme court sided with the state 7-2 (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobson_v._Massachusetts). No constitutional rights are truly absolute, yelling fire in a crowded theatre is not free speech. While I think it is pretty clear that it would be unconstitutional to prevent churches from gathering while simultaneously allowing other similar gatherings, that doesn't mean that preventing gatherings (church or otherwise) is unconstitutional. I think it's well within the states rights to impose and enforce these types of quarantines during a pandemic. Hopefully things don't get bad enough justify stricter quarantine measures than we have already witnessed, but if it does I wouldn't count on the supreme court to get me out of a jam if I decided to defy those orders based on the assumption that they are unconstitutional. But as they say, the devil is in the details, and we definitely need watch out for *temporary* powers that somehow magically become permanent.
 

sbwertz

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I haven't been able to go to church for three months, but not because my church is closed, but because I don't want to risk bringing the virus home to my very vulnerable husband, plus I'm vulnerable myself because I'm 77 and take two powerful immuno-suppressants. I've only been inside two buildings in the last three months...my Dr. office to get my Remicade infusion and Smart and Final because it was the only place I could get eggs at one point. With a diabetic husband, eggs are a very important part of our diet. I went at 6am with only four other customers in the store, and wearing mask and gloves. And I stripped and showered as soon as I got home, immediately washing my clothes and disinfecting my shoes. We have 43 cases in our 8 sq mile zipcode, and they are finding more and more evidence that there are a LOT of silent carriers out there with no symptoms.

I buy my groceries online, and they bring it out and put it in my car for me at curbside pickup, or if non-perishable, ship it to me. Sam's has free shipping for Plus members, and Walmart has free shipping for anything over $35. Sam's also has concierge service two morning a week when you can give them your shopping list and a shopper will go in and shop for you and bring it out to your car. Even Ace Hardware and Home Depot have curbside pickup.
 
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Dehn0045

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As I mentioned, 785 confirmed cases were added to Houston’s total over the past 4 days. Only 186 were from that time - an average of about 44 per day - the other 599 were distributed back over daily counts as far back as Feb 10. But local media and usafacts report them as if we are still experiencing almost 200 new infections per day which gives the impression that infections are increasing since we reopened the state on May 1 when that’s not the case at all.
Im not sure which number was used to get the 186 a couple of weeks ago (Houston, Harris County or Combined -- https://publichealth.harriscountytx.gov/Resources/2019-Novel-Coronavirus ). I am thinking that it was the combined number as that was pretty close to 200 at the time. I've been watching this over the past two weeks, the total has been steadily marching upward for the 4-day period (May 23-26). Currently it stands at 496 with a substantial increase over the past few days. Also note that weekend days show a noticeable difference in the number of new cases reported, and this was a holiday weekend. I'll be surprised if the 7-day moving average doesn't approach or exceed 200 cases per day for that period. If we know that infection rates are either flat or increasing, then looking at the number of new cases added to the total today (no matter what day they were added to) gives us the best case scenario. I think that infection rates actually did decrease slightly for a period of time in the houston area during the initial lockdown (looking at hospitalization rates), but they are undoubtedly on the rise again. The current trend of daily new hospitalizations on TMC's dashboard is a little unsettling.
 

monophoto

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Like most people, my wife and I have been staying fairly close to home for the past few months. So much so that when I had to go out, I found that the battery in my car was dead!

Unfortunately, we had a family emergency that required that we travel from our home in Upstate NY to Seattle, WA last week. A few observations:
  • Most people seemed to be taking the matter of the pandemic seriously. In general, most people observed the recommended social distancing rules, and most people wore masks.
  • Flying can almost be pleasant if planes aren't full.
  • Southwest Airlines is doing a good job - they insist that all passengers wear masks (although the flight attendants weren't always diligent about enforcing that requirement), and they reduce crowding on the flights so that the middle seat can be left vacant. They still assign a boarding group number, but have implemented a modified version of their scramble-seating scheme - instead of lining up at the infamous columns in the terminal, they simply announce that they are boarding in groups of 10. They have modified their schedule to allow a bit more time to clean planes between flights, and they have reduced their cabin service to providing a small bag of junky snacks and a can of water - which, frankly, I see as an improvement because it's faster.
  • There are a few people out there who don't seem to take the situation seriously. They generally fall into two groups, the 'invinceables" - typically late teens (beyond parental supervision) to mid-twenties - people who believe that they immune, and people who appear to just rebel against societal expectations - mainly men in the 45-65 age group
  • Take-out food can be pretty good, and restaurants are being very clever about using technology to facilitate ordering and payment while minimizing contact.
  • We were able to do a one week trip to Seattle and back without using any cash at all - credit cards all the way.
  • I took along a 'Darth Vader' style fabric woodturning mask with exhalation vents and a replaceable N99 carbon filter liner - I'm sure it's effective, but I can attest to the fact wearing it for 11 hours straight was very uncomfortable. That liner is made from some kind of manmade pseudopaper, and will rub the skin off your nose as effectively as sandpaper! I also had a couple of simple fabric masks that were better, but even then there is a 'sweet spot' between too loose, and so tight that the straps cut into your ears.
 
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Texas Taco

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I'm one of the 45-65 age group rebels, I will not wear a mask. 41 years of Bio-Hazard and respirator training pounded into my head that the silly little feel good masks will not save you or the person(s) near you from a virus/bio-hazard. In fact the way everyone appears to be wearing them is a bigger hazard to them than they think they are saving themselves from.

I'm also one that does not believe there is an up kick in the numbers of covid cases. What we have is an up kick in numbers tested. Harris and surrounding counties were last in the nation for number of folks tested and to be tested you have to have symptoms AND a doctor ordered test. Now everyone can be tested whether or not there are any symptoms and this is driving the numbers up.

I am not trying to be argumentive, just voicing the other side. YMMV
 

sbwertz

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Too many people in Arizona thought lifting the "stay at home" meant "go back to normal." It has been a month since they "opened" the state. Our daily new cases have tripled in two weeks. We are running over 1000 new cases a day. 1600 yesterday.
 

sbwertz

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Here is what our daily new cases looks like...this is several days old....it's even worse now...in the 1500-1600 cases a day range.

graph.JPG
 

Dehn0045

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@sbwertz I'd caution looking at case counts without context. Obviously the number of people tested plays a major role. Early in March people were taking comfort in the fact that we only had something like 100 positive cases in the US -- but we had only done something like 400 tests. So when looked at in context, 100 cases, 400 tests and a population of 330,000,000, the situation was not good. To a certain extent, I think we are on the other side of that equation now. That said, I don't think the current trajectory in many states is good, but the path of the virus and transmission is changing. Nursing homes and long term care facilities and places like meatpacking plants were hit hard early. As Dr. Michael Osterholm (director of Centers for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of MN) has said, the face of the pandemic is changing. We are going to see more infections but they will be less severe. Things like contact tracing are revealing a lot more mildly symptomatic cases.

There is also the problem with different methods for counting what is a "new case". For those that have been following along -- for the 4 day period (May23-26) Harris County/Houston was reporting 186 new cases as of May 27th, this increased to 496 as of June 6th, and now sits at 742 today. So if you combine this data with data that doesn't back-date to the start of symptoms you end up with a meaningless number.

I personally think that looking at local hospitalization rates is the best way to really know how things are looking in your area. The problem being that hospitalizations are 2-3 weeks behind infection. Unfortunately the numbers for new hospitalizations are not looking great in a lot of places - including here in Houston. Another good metric to watch is percent positive tests. I was getting really worried about my home state of MN a few weeks ago when ICU hospitalizations were increasing rapidly, but you can see that as percent positive tests decreased dramatically, hospitalizations followed. But I doubt this correlation would hold in all circumstances -- it has to be viewed in context too.

Certainly things may well get out-of-hand, and maybe the trends of the new cases are the first sign that we are heading in that direction. But I don't think that is necessarily true. There are so many factors at play. I think we will see the pandemic change faces several times. There is a long road ahead. We need to stay smart and adapt, but we also need to stay positive.
 

sbwertz

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Our testing has been pretty steady for the last month. The disturbing statistic is the percent of positive tests is rising every day. Thursday it was 7.9 percent positive, Friday, 8.1 percent, and Monday 8.5 percent. Our Serology tests (those showing immunity) is 3.1 percent. Our CV 19 hospitalizations went from 942 beds two weeks ago to 1449 today. Several restaurants have closed back up again. We seem to be the new "hot spot" for the virus. Phoenix is the fifth largest city in the US.

I think we are beginning to see new cases from the protests now.
 
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Dehn0045

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@sbwertz yeah, it's hard to find the positives in these numbers. Houston is more or less in the same boat. Our increase in ICU hospitalizations seems to have slowed a little, which is one bright spot here.
 

sbwertz

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With my husband's health problems, it means we will be self isolating until there is a vaccine, I'm afraid.
 

sbwertz

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2519 new cases, 32 new deaths in AZ this morning. This is getting really scary. They say we will max our ICU beds by the first of July.
t
 

Dehn0045

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@sbwertz on the bright side I think we know that serious physical distancing measures work (shutdown/lockdown/whatever you call it). NYC, Italy and Spain are all examples. Unfortunately I think that for most people "seeing is believing", but behaviors will change when things get bad enough. The good news being that when behaviors change things tend to improve. Also keep in mind that 9 million people die each year in the US, even the most pessimistic predictions about the pandemic are on the order of 1 to 2 million deaths caused by COVID. I'm not trying to say it isn't bad, but know that it is by no means a death sentence for everyone with health conditions. Try to channel your fear into positive actions -- things that you can control -- eat right, exercise, make a pen or two hundred. I'm worried too, although I am not personally at-risk, but I have family that is. And I fear that too many people aren't taking it seriously. But I can't control them.
 

sbwertz

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Our governor finally is allowing the mayors of each city to mandate face masks in public. He didn't want to do it state wide because we have a lot of tiny towns that are isolated and have no CV19 cases. He didn't want to mandate they have to wear masks. Already half the cities in the state have announced mandated mask wear in public places. The rest, the mayor has to get city council approval, and emergency meetings have been scheduled.
 
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Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee, USA.
Tennessee is also having some increase in cases, but not at the rate AZ, TX and OK are having.... Dianne and I stay in our little house out in the country and venture out only as is absolutely necessary. Dianne is diabetic, has atrial-fibulation, and a few other problems... she was hospitalized a few years back with a septic infection that left her with a couple of fused vertebrae in her lower back... we're both in our late 70's so both are very susceptible, plus now they are saying people with certain blood types( type A) also have an increased risk -- guess what our blood types are.
Not going to panic, but we are definitely take precautions.
 

Dehn0045

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
1,202
Location
Houston, Texas
for those following along on this thread, I have been monitoring the number of cases reported for Houston/Harris county over the 4-day period of May 23-26. Here is a summary of the observations:

5/27 186
6/06 496
6/15 742
6/24 897

This is for the SAME 4-DAY PERIOD! Yesterday I was about to suggest that the data was pretty stable, but then it went up by another 70 or so yesterday alone. This example highlights just how poor the real-time data can be and how misleading trends can be for "new cases" if the data is corrected or updated based on symptom onset or test date. Most of these types of charts suggest that the data is inaccurate for the most recent 2-week period, but this observations suggests that the data is inaccurate for much longer. There are many factors at play, but one obvious issue is the amount of time that it takes to get results back -- I know somebody that needed to get tested to return to work, the sample was taken last Thursday and she is still waiting on results. The numbers that we are seeing now reflect the infection rates from several weeks ago.

The Texas Medical Center dashboard that I linked to at the start of this thread has been updated several times over the last month. Yesterday they developed some new metrics for ICU capacity as well as new visualizations. Comparing the capacities listed by TMC to the capcities listed by the TX State Health Dept for the region, it looks like TMC accounts for 80-90% of the capacity of the region. I'm not sure the numbers are accurate, but I think that it is fair to say that the numbers for TMC are probably representative of the area. If the situation for the Houston area was worrisome a month ago, then it is downright scary now. It seems almost certain that we will exceed our normal ICU and "sustainable surge" ICU capacities, hopefully we are able to stay within the "unsustainable surge". One of the more troubling aspects about the current situation is that behaviors don't appear to be changing much in light of this information. I hope other areas of the country take notice about what is happening here and take corrective actions. In our case it look likes massively burdensome corrective measures will be needed, but I hope that I'm wrong.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,104
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Any way you analyze it, it's scary. At least we now have mandatory face mask laws. They are predicting we will run out of ICU beds by the fourth of July. For the last week we have been averaging 22 percent positive tests for the virus. A month ago it was 5 percent. And those were tests that were taken a week ago and are just now being reported. We had 79 new deaths reported today, also from about a week
ago.

Our 8 sq mile zip code now has 209 cases and we are ten miles north of the center of the city.
 
Last edited:

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
9,851
Location
Medina, Ohio
I have been following this thread. My wife started to track the Ohio data on February 4 (she's a data geek). Almost every week they have been "reconfiguring" how and what data they report. To us it appears to be a big "Wack-a-mole" game of controlling how poor Ohio has done with testing. It is fearful what Ohio's numbers would be if more testing would be done.

We go 2-3x a month to assist in the care for my wife's parents (both 94). In their county there are fewer than 50 cases; but there is no testing. 20 miles to the north there is a correctional facility in an adjacent county - they have over 2,000 cases. It is inconceivable that the county with 50 cases is accurate.
 

Dehn0045

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
1,202
Location
Houston, Texas
@mark james in my opinion the original sin of the US response to COVID was lack of testing. Early on I read a story ( https://www.asf.ca/news-and-magazin...-fish-vet-hailed-for-reducing-covid-19-impact ) about how a veterinary scientist in the Faroe Islands was able to adapt lab equipment for testing fish to perform human COVID tests. They were able to perform widespread testing very early and dramatically limit the impact of the virus. On March 10th the Faroe Islands (population of 50,000) performed 65 tests, this is a testing rate that the US didn't achieve until May 19th. Only 5 days later they tested 300 people, this is nearly 4X our current testing rate. Of course the US response with respect to testing was better than a lot of countries, but it could have been a heck of a lot better.

So if lack of testing was the original sin, then poor communication of data is the ongoing sin. All the way back to the "don't wear masks, they don't help" then reversing course. Poor communication and representation of testing data and what they mean, as outlined in this thread. The models that were, and continue to be, wildly inaccurate. Institutional leaders need to step up and admit the things that they don't know, keep things simple, and get people on the same page.

My heart goes out to all of those that are caring for elderly parents during this time. I can only imagine that it is always a difficult thing to do, but so much more so right now.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,104
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Well, it's started in Phoenix. One of the major hospitals has had to move non CV patients to an adjoining children's hospital. They have converted one floor in the children's hospital to an adult ICU to free up ICU beds in the regular hospital. They are starting to ban elective surgeries in many hospitals. We are going to be a mini-NYC in a few weeks if people don't wise up and take social distancing seriously.

The fact that a full quarter of hospitalized CV patients in Phoenix right now are under 60 might make some impression on the people that are acting like the pandemic is over. Most of the new cases are in their 20s & 30s.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,979
Location
NJ, USA.
I know this is a Texas thread but it is alarming to read even in this thread there are still some no matter how intelligent there are they still are dumb when they look at this virus as just a blip. If the amount of deaths in such a short period of time does not spell it out for you then nothing will convince you as it does for the President. He too does not get it. Not getting into politics. But if the leader does not show remorse and common sense to at least promote wearing a mask then others will follow like the pied piper right down the path of destruction. The large groups of people gathering with all these protests and now political rallies is just not being responsible and the numbers are starting to show again. Some say the virus is becoming less dangerous or less potent, I do not buy that. Yes you maybe seeing more cases because of more testing but what that means is now more people can spread this to those most vulnerable. The so called young and strong people are now finding they are not immune. Yes maybe they can handle it better or at least you pray to God they can but we all are playing that game of Russian Roulette still. Even with things opening we now are becoming bigger players and this is where we need to be even more vigilant and responsible. Someone here said masks are afalse sense of security. and to him I ask what can it hurt??????????? If it saves one life than it worked and there is no way if it did or not. ( Texas Taco) We have to try to get back some sense of normal but at the same time practice what got us to lower those dangerous numbers. Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind and just wing it again. This is not over by any means and these rise in numbers across the board are proof of that. will we ever have a vaccine?? Who knows. Still looking for that Aids vaccine and Dr Foucci has been working on it for over 20 years. Sure hope there is a cure around the corner or that death total will continue to climb.

Stay safe and please practice the safety precautions and never listen to people like Taco Texas.
 

sbwertz

Member
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,104
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I know this is a Texas thread but it is alarming to read even in this thread there are still some no matter how intelligent there are they still are dumb when they look at this virus as just a blip. If the amount of deaths in such a short period of time does not spell it out for you then nothing will convince you as it does for the President. He too does not get it. Not getting into politics. But if the leader does not show remorse and common sense to at least promote wearing a mask then others will follow like the pied piper right down the path of destruction. The large groups of people gathering with all these protests and now political rallies is just not being responsible and the numbers are starting to show again. Some say the virus is becoming less dangerous or less potent, I do not buy that. Yes you maybe seeing more cases because of more testing but what that means is now more people can spread this to those most vulnerable. The so called young and strong people are now finding they are not immune. Yes maybe they can handle it better or at least you pray to God they can but we all are playing that game of Russian Roulette still. Even with things opening we now are becoming bigger players and this is where we need to be even more vigilant and responsible. Someone here said masks are afalse sense of security. and to him I ask what can it hurt??????????? If it saves one life than it worked and there is no way if it did or not. ( Texas Taco) We have to try to get back some sense of normal but at the same time practice what got us to lower those dangerous numbers. Now is not the time to throw caution to the wind and just wing it again. This is not over by any means and these rise in numbers across the board are proof of that. will we ever have a vaccine?? Who knows. Still looking for that Aids vaccine and Dr Foucci has been working on it for over 20 years. Sure hope there is a cure around the corner or that death total will continue to climb.

Stay safe and please practice the safety precautions and never listen to people like Taco Texas.
Our percent positive on virus tests was 24 percent today. In early May it was 5 percent.
 
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