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Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research note published by Director of Research Daryl Jones on March 18th. CLICK HERE to get daily COVID-19 analysis and alerts from our research team and access our related webcasts.

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”
-Lou Holtz


  • No surprise as more testing comes online, the positive cases in the U.S. are accelerating. Yesterday when we wrote our update, the U.S. was at ~10,000 cases and has since grown 40%+ to 14,250
  • Global cases now sit at 246,444, which is up roughly 10% day-over-day
  • We are starting to see some reprieve in Italian growth rates, though the data has been a bit spotty over the last 24 hours. Europe, generally, remains ugly.
  • The outbreak remains contained in China, Korea, and Japan

COVID-19 Update - U.S. Accelerating (3/20/20) - 02.25.2020 sick chart cartoon  1

U.S. Situation

As noted, the U.S. is seeing accelerating infection rates. Below we show the chart of U.S. infections since Day 0. Over the last ten days, U.S. infections have CAGRed at 36%

COVID-19 Update - U.S. Accelerating (3/20/20) - covid.3.20.1

  • The exponential math is scary at this rate. If the U.S. grew at 36% for the next week, the cases in the U.S. would surpass China. Obviously, that is (hopefully) unlikely to occur to do shutdown measures put in place, the law of large numbers, and testing limitations.
  • New York City has emerged as the epicenter of COVID-19 domestically. This is likely a combination of slow testing, shutdowns coming too late, and population density. NYC is growing cases at a rate that is unprecedented globally and the Governor just put into effect “Shelter In Place” for the entire state. Chart below for NYC. Note total cases in NYC are now 4,408 and 7,102 total in New York State.

COVID-19 Update - U.S. Accelerating (3/20/20) - covid.3.20.2

As of 4pm yesterday, the U.S. had 11,723 positives (now higher), 89,197 negative, 3,025 pending, and 103,945 total tests. The chart below shows the path of testing in the U.S., with capacity to do ~36,000 tests per day.

COVID-19 Update - U.S. Accelerating (3/20/20) - covid.3.20.3

A quick quote on testing in Korea versus the United States:

“South Korea has tested more than 250,000 people since the outbreak began, and has the capacity to test 15,000 people a day. It has conducted 3,692 tests per million people, compared with five per million in the US”

European Situation

Generally, growth rates remain very high across Europe

In the table below, we look at the major hot spots in Europe and their trajectory over the past seven days. Note the last data point is from Johns Hopkins, while the prior data points are from WHO. Across the board, these are higher growth rates than we saw in Wuhan

There may be some emerging evidence that Italy is slowing on a rate of change basis

    COVID-19 Update - U.S. Accelerating (3/20/20) - covid.3.20.4

    Emerging hot spots in Europe (data from WHO)

    • Switzerland 3010 cases, 353 new day-over-day
    • United Kingdom 2,630, 672 new
    • Austria 1646, 314 new
    • Belgium 1486
    • Norway 1423, 115 new
    • Sweden 1279, 112
    • Denmark 1044, 67 new

      Asia and Rest of World

      • COVID-19 has now reached 90% of the countries on the planet
      • No meaningful change in Korea, China, or Japan; All adding cases in low single digits
      • Canada seeing 20%+ growth
      • Southeast Asia developing as a new hot spot