Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research note published by Director of Research Daryl Jones on July 13th. CLICK HERE to get COVID-19 analysis and alerts from our research team and access our related webcasts.
“Just keep in mind: the more we value things outside our control, the less control we have.”
- Our last COVID-19 update was on June 30th and the 7-day moving average of U.S. daily new cases was ~46,000. As of yesterday that number was just over ~60,000, so an increase of ~30% in two weeks.
- Over that same time period the number of states with a R0 over 1 has increased from 36 -> 44, so while we are doing more testing which drives more positives, the culprit in the increase of new cases in the U.S. appears to primarily be community spread.
- Globally, new COVID-19 daily cases continue to go to new highs with the 7-day moving average now at north of ~207,000. This is largely being driven by growth in the U.S. and emerging markets.
- Western Europe and Asia continue to be in very good shape and have effectively stopped the spread of COVID-19 (at least for the time being). Across Europe new cases are typically 50x or more less than we see in the U.S. on a population adjusted basis and broadly R0s are below 1.
In aggregate, the U.S. has performed 40.2MM tests, has 3.3MM positives (8.2% positive test rate), and has 127K deaths (3.9% morbidity rate on positive tests).
As highlighted in the chart below, while U.S. testing has increased meaningfully, the positive test rate has more than doubled off its trough of 4.4% and currently stands at 8.9% (these are 7-day moving averages to smooth the data).
As one would naturally expect, daily new cases troughed at roughly the same time (June 12th) as the positive test rate.
In the somewhat busy chart below, we look at week/week test and case growth based on daily 7-day moving averages. They key takeaway is that currently new daily cases are clearly out growing daily new tests and have been for the last month, while in the prior month tests were growing and cases were declining.
- Incidentally, the rate of change of growth of new cases has been declining which is on the margin positive
Currently the combination of Arizona, Florida, California and Texas are contributing up to ~60% of the daily new cases in the U.S.
- California – Daily new cases peaked on July 3rd at 8,700 and growth of daily new cases (day-over-day) have begun to flat line
- Florida – Daily new cases hit a new high of just over 15,000 yesterday and the 7-day moving averages continue to trend higher
- Texas – Daily new cases hit a new high of just over 11,000 on July 8th and cases continue to trend upwards
- Arizona – Daily new cases hit a new high on July 1st at just under 5,000 and cases may be trending down marginally
In looking at these states collectively, it’s not all bad news as the growth rate of new cases is slowing and in Arizona and California it appears, as least for this outbreak, things may have peaked. The question remains, of course, how long and high is the plateau.
Hospitalization data is more challenging to come by and in many ways is subject to interpretation (especially when looking at capacity utilization).
The chart below shows Texas hospitalizations due to COVID-19 over the last month.
The chart below and data from Arizona hospitalizations suggests that hospitalizations are starting to decline on the margin, although ICU beds and ventilator use is going to new highs.
In Florida, hospitalizations appear to be making new highs, though the state just started reporting the data so it is difficult to gauge the longer term trend. The charts below compare NY to FL since March 15th
Over the coming weeks we will be closely watching the rates of change of R0s, daily new cases, and hospitalizations. As well, we will focus on the tri-state area which has, so far, been immune to a resurgence.
While daily new cases remain high in emerging markets, the growth rate of new cases is starting to decline at the same time as testing is increasing, which is a positive leading indicator.
The chart below looks at daily new cases in Brazil since the start of the epidemic and they remain at a very high level. But tests have ramped up significantly and are now at 21,000 tests per million people, though the overall positive test rate remains high near 40%.
Unlike Brazil, which appears to be showing some flatlining of daily new cases, India continues to go to new highs in COVID-19 cases and now has the third most COVID-19 cases behind Brazil and the U.S. (albeit much lower on a per pop basis). The positive test rate in India is below 10%, which is a positive indicator.
Mexico, Chile, and Peru are all now in the top 10 of countries with COVID-19 cases. Peru and Chile have had relatively high level of testing and have are now well off their peaks in new cases. Conversely, Mexico, which has tested at rate about 1/10th of Peru and Chile, is seeing cases go to new highs.
Rest of the World
In Western Europe and Asia, the COVID-19 epidemic remains very much under control. In recent weeks, the combination of the U.K., Spain, Italy, Germany, and France has had in the range of 1000 – 2000 daily new cases. So on a roughly similar population base as the U.S., they are seeing 25x+ fewer daily new cases.
Across Asia it is a very similar story with very low daily new case counts and an outbreak has been met with typically swift lockdowns (Beijing as an example). The exception is Japan, which has seen daily new cases increase, albeit off a low base, and with a low positive test rate.