National numbers, April 18

In the past week (April 10 through 16), the U.S. reported about 487,000 new cases, according to the CDC. This amounts to:

  • An average of 70,000 new cases each day
  • 148 total new cases for every 100,000 Americans
  • 1 in 674 Americans getting diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past week
  • 8.5% more new cases than last week (April 3-9)
Nationwide COVID-19 metrics as of April 16, sourcing data from the CDC and HHS. Posted on Twitter by Conor Kelly.

Last week, America also saw:

  • 38,500 new COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals (11.7 for every 100,000 people)
  • 5,000 new COVID-19 deaths (1.5 for every 100,000 people)
  • 44.1% of new cases in the country now B.1.1.7-caused (as of March 27)
  • An average of 3.2 million vaccinations per day (per Bloomberg)

I am really worried about Michigan. The state comprises a full 11% of new U.S. cases in the past week—and Michigan only makes up 3% of the national population. On any COVID-19 chart right now, Michigan sticks out like a sore thumb. Over 500 new cases per 100,000 people in a week, 4,200 new COVID-19 patients in a week, 15% positivity rate… none of the signs are good.

B.1.1.7 seems to have truly taken hold in Michigan. Combine that with a resistance to safety restrictions, and the state may serve as a warning of what other parts of the country may experience soon if we don’t keep up the pace on vaccinations. For more reporting on the state, I recommend Jonathan Cohn’s recent story in HuffPost.

B.1.1.7 has taken hold elsewhere, too. The variant is now causing at least 44% of the new cases in the country, as of the CDC’s most recent data (March 27). As that figure is now over two weeks old, the true prevalence is most likely much higher. Meanwhile, the NYC variant (B.1.526) and California variants (B.1.427/B.1.427) are each accounting for 10% of cases nationally, troubling figures on their own.

On the optimistic front, though, the daily average for vaccinations is now up at 3.2 million. The last few states that haven’t yet opened up eligibility to their entire adult populations will do so tomorrow, meeting President Biden’s deadline. We’ve also reached 200 million doses administered, ahead of Biden’s (revised) goal for his first 100 days in office.

Will these vaccinations be enough to break the tide of variant cases? I hope so. The vaccines at least appear to be protecting our most vulnerable neighbors so far, though; the death rate has remained below 1,000 per day despite several weeks of rising cases and hospitalizations.

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