Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 3, 2020

In the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., we introduced skyline tower charts as a way to compare the progression of coronavirus infections among U.S. states and territories.

They've been useful for quickly comparing the relative experience of different states with the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and other aspects related to it, but they have a weakness in that they don't quantify some key information that's also useful for comparing the progression of COVID-19 among states over time, such as the average daily number of newly confirmed infections or deaths per 100,000 residents.

For that kind of data, we need to turn to line charts, where we've generated the following interactive charts. The first chart shows the rolling 7-day average daily number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in 50 states and the District of Columbia per 100,000 residents since 17 March 2020, where highlighting your cursor over a line will highlight it against the background of other states' data.

Here's the second interactive chart, which tracks the rolling 7-day average number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 in 50 states and the District of Columbia per 100,000 residents.

For both charts, we suggest hovering over the data for the different states that have ranked the highest at different points of time during the coronavirus pandemic, where you might be surprised to find which states have led the nation in these measured at different points of time. You'll confirm the worst outbreaks have been in Northeastern U.S. states, where as of 2 June 2020, Massachusetts appears to rank at the top for the incidence of both new coronavirus infections and deaths.

That particular outcome however may be the result of a data reporting anomaly, where both Massachusetts' number of newly confirmed cases and deaths shot up on 2 June 2020, similar to how the state of New York caught up its own data with previously unreported deaths back on 7 May 2020.

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