The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Smashing the testing record!

The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Smashing the testing record!

And by the way, when we apply the word “testing” here, it would be more accurate to say we’re referring to the number of results that came in that day, not the number of tests performed. It’s another lagging indicator that doesn’t have much value unless you view it over a reasonable period of time.

But when you consider yesterday’s record 7,956 (19 percent than the previous April 10 high) led to just an 8.7 daily coronavirus percentage increase, it’s yet another sign that Illinois is doing alright in this regard.

Facts Not Fear 3

The best news, however, was our COVID-19 death toll of 43 was the smallest 24-hour total in the last six days, which meant, for the first time since we started tracking that number, the Illinois mortality rate actually fell! It’s far too early to throw off our shelter-in-place shackles, but if this 3.4 percent isn’t a mere blip, it’s another very good sign.

So, let’s take another look at our updated table:

Date   Cases   % Increase N Cases  N Tested  Prevalence    Deaths 

3/18     288

3/19     422               46.5           134                           1 in 14

3/20     585               37              163                           1 in 12

3/21     753               29              296                           1 in 7

3/22     1,049            39              896                           1 in 2

3/23     1,285            28              236                           1 in 8

3/24     1,535            22.5           250                           1 in 8

3/25     1,855            21.5           320                           1 in 6

3/26     2,538            37              683                           1 in 6

3/27     3,026            19              488                           1 in 8

3/28     3,491            15.4           465                           1 in 8

3/29     4,596            31.6        1,105                           1 in 4               65

3/30     5,056            10              460           2,684       1 in 6               72

3/31     5,994            18.5           938           4,779       1 in 5               90

4/1       6,980            16.5           986           5,159       1 in 5             141

4/2       7,695            10.2           715           3,272       1 in 4.6          157

4/3       8,904            15.7        1,209           4,392       1 in 3.6          210

4/4     10,357            16           1,456           5,533       1 in 4             243

4/5     11,256            8.6             899           5,402       1 in 6             274

4/6     12,262            9             1,006           3,959       1 in 4             307

4/7     13,549            10.5        1,287           5,790       1 in 4.5          380

4/8     15,078            11.3        1,529           6,334       1 in 4             462

4/9     16,422            9             1,344           5,791       1 in 4.3          528

4/10   17,887            8.7          1,445           6,670       1 in 4.6          596

4/11   19,180            7.2          1,293           5,252       1 in 4.1          677

4/12   20,852            8.7          1,672           7,956       1 in 4.75        720

Our total testing number hit 100,735, the prevalence remained within its range, and as previously indicated, the Illinois mortality rate dropped to 3.4 percent. Due to that record testing day, Illinois marginally jumped over Louisiana and Florida for the seventh state ranking spot.

And we’re gonna learn about a new statistical tool today class – the moving average! Anyone who’s ever applied technical analysis to the stock market already know the purpose of a moving average is to smooth out the “noise” so you can better recognize the trend.

For example, here’s our brand-new five-day daily coronavirus case moving average:

Date         5-day M Average

4/7                   1,172

4/8                   1,236

4/9                   1,214

4/10                 1,323

4/11                 1,382

4/12                 1,457

The math is simple! Add today’s number to the previous four and divide by five.

Now you can more easily see the slightly upward trend, but when taken in light of our vastly increased testing, our daily new case number has essentially flattened out. So, I’m now convinced that, per our previous rollercoaster analogy, we will soon “roll over the top” and begin the descent. I’m also almost as convinced that yesterday was the Illinois COVID-19 peak, too!

Our eminently low 8.7 percent daily case increase is nothing to sneeze at either. Despite that record testing, we tied the third lowest mark set just two days ago.

The bottom line is, when you analyze these statistics as a whole:

  • Daily new case percentage increase
  • Mortality rate
  • Five-day new case moving average
  • Daily testing increase

they all tell the same story – we haven’t just flattened the curve, we’ve stomped it into submission.

But rather than sign off with my typical, “Let’s keep up the good word,” I’m going to leave you with my favorite literary passage, the last paragraph of existentialist philosopher Albert Camus’ ‘The Plague.” It’s an allegory for our time on SO many levels:

And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.

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