Unexpectedly Intriguing!
03 June 2020

In the twelfth week of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, the U.S. is now averaging over 407,000 tests for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus per day as the rate of spread of the infection has continued to slow across the nation, though some states that had mostly avoided large numbers of cases since the early weeks of the pandemic are now detecting higher numbers of new cases.

But even that trend has a silver lining, in that many of the new cases now being reported are being found in younger Americans, who are much less likely to experience severe symptoms or to die from the COVID-19 infection, which we'll touch on shortly.

The following three charts summarize the progression of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. since 10 March 2020. The first chart is the update to the tower chart for the entire United States, indicating the expansion of coronavirus testing (light blue), the number of active coronavirus cases (light orange), the number of hospitalized patients (dark orange), deaths (black) and the number of recovered or discharge patients (light green), where the overall trend continues to be positive. The second chart shows the nation's daily test positivity rate (the percentage of positive test results among all tests reported), and the third chart shows the nation's rolling 7-day average of newly confirmed cases and deaths per day. Click on the image below to access a much larger version of the three charts together:

Progression of COVID-19 in United States, Daily Test Positivity Rate, 7-Day Total Newly Confirmed Cases and Deaths per Day, 10 March 2020 through 2 June 2020

Most states and territories within the U.S. have continued to see improving trends during the past week, though this data comes before the wave of protests and looting that has taken place after a Minneapolis police officer used excessive force to subdue and kill George Floyd, who had been arrested after allegedly trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. The protests have the potential to reverse the positive trend in the spread of the coronavirus since they have predominantly taken place in cities that have previously experienced high numbers of infections, which had enacted more restrictive lockdowns than other parts of the U.S.

The following skyline tower chart illustrates the progression of COVID-19 cases for U.S. states and territories from 10 March 2020 through 2 June 2020, where we can see the slowing rate of growth of confirmed cases in the individual state or territory tower charts, and for the states and territories that report the number of recovered patients, in the transition from orange to lighter green shading in their tower charts.

Progression of COVID-19 in the United States by State or Territory, 10 March 2020 through 26 May 2020

Each of these charts span the same period of time and the width of each corresponds to 2.0% of each state or territory's population, making it very easy to see which states and territories have been most impacted and which have been the least impacted through the first eleven weeks of the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S., especially since we've ranked them from the highest percentage of infection within the state's population to the least as you read from left-to-right, top-to-bottom.

This is the sixth week in a row we haven't needed to adjust the horizontal scale of the charts to accommodate larger percentages of confirmed cases within the populations of the most affected states and territories, which is another very positive indication.

A Surge In Infections of Younger Americans

One state in particular stand out for having increasing infections. Washington is seeing a surge in COVID-19 infections among people under the age of 40. Here's is what its full tower chart, daily test positivity rate, and number of newly confirmed cases and deaths looks like:

Progression of COVID-19 in Washington, Daily Test Positivity Rate, 7-Day Total Newly Confirmed Cases and Deaths per Day, 10 March 2020 through 2 June 2020

Washington is an example of a state that had seen a large number of cases early in the pandemic that imposed a very restrictive lockdown in response to it that triggered massive job losses among lower income earning residents, which is now experiencing protests and looting.

We'll soon find out if the claimed health benefits of the repressive lockdowns ordered by state and local government officials are worth the costs of the economic and social problems they appear to have exacerbated and inflamed.

Previously on Political Calculations

Here's our series of articles featuring the data visualization we've developed to track the spread and severity of the coronavirus epidemic at the state level, which we've listed in reverse chronological order:

We're also covering the worst-in-the-U.S. situation in the state of New York and why it has been so bad in that state:

Meanwhile, if you prefer your data in the form of tables presenting numbers and percentages, we also have you covered!

We're exploring some alternative ways of presenting the state-by-state time series data, which we may have ready to introduce as early as later today. Otherwise, we anticipate this will be the second-to-last weekly update for this series, with the last edition set for 9 June 2020. After 9 June 2020, we'll be following the story on a less regular basis.

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