Counting the counties (COVID-19 daily data update CXII)

Graphs day 112, pandemic day 119, day 189 since the first cases were diagnosed.

Total cases of COVID-19 diagnosed worldwide: 11,620,096

Total deaths: 538,058

Today is independence day in the Solomon Islands, but there are NO CASES of COVID-19 in the Solomon Islands – one of the few places in the world to remain completely free of this new disease. Sounds like a good opportunity to take a closer look at cases in the United States.

Cases in the U.S. overall

Total cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in the United States: 2,936,077

Total deaths: 130,285

Here is how the number of cases reported per day has changed in the U.S. over the course of the epidemic:

Cases reported per day in the U.S. The light blue line shows actual cases; the brown line shows the overall trend (10-day moving average smoothing)

We had this pandemic under control. Cases were steadily decreasing from early April through mid-June. And now the U.S. COVID-19 epidemic is worse than it has ever been.

Cases by state

Here’s the map of the total number of cases reported from the beginning of the epidemic in the 50 U.S. states (excluding territories, which is why the total number looks a bit different).

Total cases by state (click for a larger version)

The total amounts shown on the map above show the total impact of the epidemic in the U.S. from the beginning. Another way to look at the cases reported yesterday, giving us an idea of the state of the epidemic right now. Notice which states are experiencing the most cases right now. How is this map different from the map of total cases above?

Cases reported yesterday (July 6, 2020) by state. Click for a larger version.

Yet another way to look at the progress of the epidemic is to look at how the rate of cases has changed since the pandemic reached the U.S. in early March. Plotting all fifty states on a single graph would look like a plate of spaghetti, so how can we create a clean graph that displays as much useful information as possible?

After doing a lot of data exploring, I found a few different patterns that states have followed over the course of the epidemic. I chose one representative from each pattern and displayed them on one graph. The result is a graph of cases in seven key states around the country: Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, and Ohio.

Here is the graph, with all our usual formatting and labeling (“dpm” means “deaths per million people”):

Cases in each state over time. Click for a larger version.

The pandemic seems to be well-controlled in New York and Maryland. Cases are increasing in Ohio and California, but they remain at a fairly low level for now. Meanwhile, cases in Arizona, Florida, and Louisiana continue to increase quickly.

Cases by county: one example

I’ll close today’s update with a first look at something a new dataset will bring us a lot of exciting insights as we go: cases by county. We can take a much closer look what’s going on from place to place.

As a teaser for what the new county data will allow us to do, consider a question: what does “cases in New York” mean? New York State is a big and diverse place, including everything from Manhattan to small north country towns like Watertown. Looking as “cases in New York,” like we did above, compresses all those diverse places into one graph.

But now:

Cases per million people per day in three regions of New York state: New York City, Westchester County, and the rest of the state

Using the county data, I divided cases in New York State into three regions. The graph is plotted on “Qatar scale” (zero to 700 cases per million people), BUT Westchester County goes off that scale. The inset map goes up to 1,000 cases per million people.

There are so many other exciting things we can do with the county-level data. What would you like to see?

Want to try out some of these graphs for yourself? You can get the data that I used to make the country graphs from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) COVID-19 data site. Click on csse_covid_19_data, then on csse_covid_19_time_series, then download all the CSV files. Or clone the whole repository in GitHub.

You are welcome and encouraged to use my Excel templates. They’re now at version 5.1, and I have two separate templates: a global data template and a U.S. state data template.

Update tomorrow, and every day after that until this pandemic comes to an end or I lose my mind.

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