Unexpectedly Intriguing!
March 21, 2020

On Thursday evening, 19 March 2020, the California's governor ordered businesses to close across the state and for residents to stay at home in an effort to prevent the further spread of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. By Friday evening, 20 March 2020, four other state governors had followed suit in New York, Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania, instantly throwing the U.S. economy into a national recession. At this writing, these states will soon be followed by New Jersey in imposing restrictions on the movements of their residents, putting one-in-five Americans under such orders.

Here are the tower charts showing the progression of COVID-19 infections within each of these states from 10 March 2020 through 20 March 2020. (Update 22 March 2020: Louisiana has joined the shutdown states. Update 23 March 2020: Add Delaware and Ohio to the states whose governors issued stay-at-home orders yesterday, and now Massachusetts, Michigan, and Wisconsin for today - you can see each of their tower charts through 20 March 2020 in the large skyline chart below....)

CaliforniaConnecticutIllinoisNew JerseyNew YorkPennsylvania

For this skyline chart presentation, the horizontal scale of the individual tower charts has been indexed to the same scale, representing 0.05% of each state's population, with the charts indicating each state's confirmed cases, recovered patients, and deaths as a percentage of the state's population. The data for each is taken directly from Johns Hopkins' CSSE time series datasets.

New York has been particularly aggressive in testing to detect COVID-19 infections within its population, particularly in New York City. As such, the state of New York now reports both the largest number of cases within the U.S. and also has the largest percentage of confirmed cases among its population.

We should note that at this point, the progression charts for each state represent more the rapid expansion of testing than the speed of the spread of new viral infections, where the limited number of tests whose results have been reported don't represent a random sampling, but instead the results of testing that has been prioritized to focus on patients already suspected of having been infected.

Update: Here's a very large chart showing the tower charts for all 50 states, and also the territories of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico:

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