Some optimism for Friday the 13th!
When looking at the numbers in terms of overall number of infections in the United States over the past week, it looks as if the rate of increase of new COVID-19 infections is starting to flatten. This is particularly obvious when one looks at the seven-day averages in the national infection figures.
Given the large number of infectious people and the degree of rise observed over the past several weeks, many will be reluctant to suggest we may be starting to see the top of this third peak. In addition, this should not be taken as any indication that Americans should lower their guard or increase their social interactions at this time. It is also important to note that the stabilization is not apparent in all areas of the nation, especially given the high rates of infection in some areas.
Despite this, even hospitalizations appear to be trailing down in some of the hardest hit states, such as North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Other indications that the overall rate of increase in infections is decreasing are the Rt values. The R values (measure of virus spread) in most states reflect a decrease in the rate of new infections over two weeks ago, suggesting less infection activity (although still higher than a month ago).
Finally, the death rate from COVID-19 has not increased in this third peak anywhere near where it was in April! This is a remarkable accomplishment related to the quality of healthcare delivered in the United States along with the lessons learned from the first peak of COVID-19.
If we can just get this peak of COVID-19 infections under control through the holidays and are able to launch vaccinations early in January, life should get better.
6 thoughts on “Is the third peak starting to recede?”
Do any other countries have the home test capability?
Tests that can be used at home are available in all countries, but in the US are not approved for that use.
Many people are talking about PCR cycle threshold and how Dr. Fauci said in interview to never test above 35 CT – CDC recommendation for 40 CT. What is your take on this? Do you think the current case numbers are skewed because labs using too high a CT? https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html
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With cycles from 30 to 40, you increase sensitivity (may pick up a few more infected people), but are much more likely to get false positives or people that have recovered from infection.
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Thank you for your reply. Are these false positives counted in the current infection rates that are used to make lockdown decisions? e.g. if someone tests positive and then has another test to verify it and it is negative, do they report both tests?
Depends on the state and who is reporting. Likely considered simply a positive.