1. COVID-19 Testing in the U.S.

(3/14/20)

The Table above shows how poorly we are doing implementing COVID-19 tests in the U.S. vs. other countries. So in the U.S. today we have about 3,000 confirmed cases and 57 deaths. The former is a leading indicator and the latter a lagging indicator, which is why you can’t divide them to get a mortality rate. All the confirmed US cases are by tests. You can see tests are administered to only 0.0005% of the U.S. population. So how to calculate the true prevalence? Generally by using the death rate and dividing by the presumed mortality rate. In that case it doesn’t look so bad if we only have 57 deaths. That would say about 5,700 cases (assuming a 1% mortality rate). But some people estimate that real cases in the US are 10-100x confirmed cases and I can’t disagree. If so there should be a lot more deaths coming up. The best metric will be death growth rate. Today there were 8 more deaths in the U.S, which would say about 800 new cases per day 2-3 weeks ago assuming death comes 2-3 weeks after infection. If I track this for a few days I can get the growth rate, which would give prevalence and incidence for 2-3 weeks ago. I can then extrapolate prevalence today based on the trend. I’m sure someone else is doing this but I can’t find anything.

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