Tracking COVID-19 cases and tests in the US

Another coronavirus pandemic post that I’m planning to update frequently to keep track of how we and a few other countries in the world are doing.

Updated on 04/17: You’ve probably seen many incarnations of this plot, but it’s a good one so here is one more instance. I’m now showing the number of deaths in several countries over time (used to show cases, but deaths seem to be more objective because of the differences in testing rates). Because the outbreaks in every country started on different dates, to be able to compare the curves I plotted the deaths as a function of number of day passed since the day when the number of deaths became greater than a 100.

US growth is on an exponential curve at the moment and is looking steeper than all other countries plotted. Currently the US curve is closer to 30% daily increase. It is just starting to flatten out. Italy and France are starting to flatten out more as well. China was flat for a while, but now the numbers started going up again

What is going on in US? We can use a similar graph to compare the states with the most COVID-19 cases:

NY, NJ and MA have the steepest mortalities trajectories with growth between 30%-40%, although NJ and NY are showing signs of the beginnings of flattening. CA and FL are doing better, with growth closer to 20% a day and WA has the flattest curve with ~10% daily growth.

Updated on 04/02: Another useful data set is coming from The COVID Tracking project. The project gathers data from official state sources on the number of tests and the number of positive cases. These are estimates, but they paint an interesting picture. The table shows the top 10 states with the most cases. If you look at the column where I show the percentage of positive cases out of total tested, you can guess how stringent the testing policy is in each state and whether they are experiencing a shortage of tests for the growth in cases they have.

California jumped to 28% positive cases as the test results started coming in, although many are still pending. In NY, NJ and MI the % of positive cases is very high (>39%). It seems like the virus is spreading faster there and there is a shortage of tests. The mortality rate is highest in WA again.

Data sources:

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