Is the third peak starting to recede?

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.

National new infections, deaths and COVID-19 test per day. Johns Hopkins.

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.

Rates of COVID-19 infection vary greatly across the US, but are especially high in the upper midwest.

Despite this, even hospitalizations appear to be trailing down in some of the hardest hit states, such as North and South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Hospitalization rates for Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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).

Rt values for Friday, November 13th. From Rt.live.

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.  

Published by jbakerjrblog

Immunologist, former Army MD, former head of allergy and clinical immunology at University of Michigan, vaccine developer and opinionated guy.

6 thoughts on “Is the third peak starting to recede?

      1. 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?

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