USA COVID-19 Cases and Deaths: A Projection

UPDATE: 4/3/2020 Can you get COVID19 again, after you recover? “Yes…we are seeing these reactivation cases” says a top Korean physician in charge of Coronavirus cases for his hospital. Interview here, see the 8:00 minute mark and following.

UPDATE: 4/1/20 death rate in the U.S. is up to 2.22% from the earlier 1.44%. This follows a steady rise in the death rate, ever since the lockdown. Case rate is down very substantially, but death rate is up.

With a death rate in the U.S. of 1.44% of total U.S. cases, is it possible we will see a million deaths? One million is 1.44% of 69,444,444 cases, which would be 21% of our population of 330 million persons. So 21% of the population would need to be infected, it would seem. However, if we consider that 80% of cases are mild, and most of those don’t make it into the “cases” statistic, we could not reach a million deaths, as that would imply more than 100% of the population were infected. Maximum deaths, then, depends on the actual percent of the population infected. If there are 13.2 million reported cases, that would mean 66 million actual cases (with the 80% mild/unreported cases), which is 20% of the total population. And 1.44% of 13.2 million is 190,080 deaths. That is the maximum, IF the death rate holds and IF the maximum infected is 20% of the population. Now if 50% of the population were infected, the number of deaths would be 475,200 (330 million x .50 x .20 x .0144).

Today the total cases of COVID-19 in the United States exceeded 79,000 about 3 p.m.
March 26th, 15:18 hrs, Total Cases: 79,082, an increase of 1.43x
Over the last 10 days, the number of total cases, at about the same time of day, as reported at Worldometers.info was as follows:
55,416 cases on March 25, an increase of 1.14x
48,720 cases on March 24, an increase of 1.24x
39,207 cases on March 23, an increase of 1.44x
27,137 cases on March 22, an increase of 1.36x

19,956 cases on March 21, an increase of 1.37x
14,549 cases on March 20, an increase of 1.35x
10,781 cases on March 19, an increase of 1.46x
7,398 cases on March 18, an increase of 1.41x
5,243 cases on March 17, an increase of 1.37x

3,836 cases on March 16, an increase of 1.24x
3,083 cases on March 15, an increase of 1.32x
2,340 cases on March 14, an increase of 1.28x
1,832 cases on March 13, an increase of 1.33x
1,375 cases on March 12, an increase of 1.35x

1,016 cases on March 11, an increase of 1.40x
729 cases on March 10, an increase of 1.29x
566 cases on March 9, an increase of 1.27x
447 cases on March 8, an increase of 1.33x
335 cases on March 7, an increase of 1.44x
233 cases on March 6

The average increase is 1.341x across 20 days. The 5-day average, starting with March 7th, for each of four sets of 5 days was:
1.346 oldest
1.304
1.392
1.322 newest
And the 10 day average for the last 20 days was 1.325 (oldest) and 1.357 (newest).

So it looks like the rate of increase of cases is relatively steady. Projecting forward, using 1.341x as the daily increase, gives us the following daily number of total cases, starting with March 27th
27th: 106,048 [actual: 86,548 cases, rate of 1.09x]
28th: 142,211 [actual: 105,161 cases, rate of 1.22x]
29th: 190,705 [actual: 124,659 cases, rate of 1.19x]
Case rate is slowing! But death rate is up to 1.75% (0.0175)

30th: 255,736 [actual: 156,818 cases; death rate 1.83%]
31st: 342,942 [actual: 165,392; case rate 1.26x; death rate 1.92%]
Case rate has slowed so much we have less than half the cases would have had if the rate remained steady just from March 26th! The Shutdown is working! However, the death rate is rising. This could be because the death rate lags behind the case rate, as cases take 20 days ave. to resolve.

April 1: 459,886 [200,269 cases; rate 1.21x; death rate 2.22%]
2nd: 616,707 [217,372 cases; rate 1.085x; death rate 2.37%]
The drop in the case rate above is steep, which is good — but the death rate continues to climb steadily.

3rd: 827,004 [257,379 cases; rate 1.18x; death rate 2.55%]
Case rate has slowed so much we have less than a third of the cases we would have had, if the rate established from March 6 to 26th had remained the same. But the death rate continues to climb.

4th: 1,109,013 [291,021 cases; rate 1.13x; death rate 2.70%]
5th: 1,487,186 [321,339 cases; rate 1.10x; death rate 2.84%]
Case rate continues to slow; death rate continues to climb. This may be due to hospitals turning away all but the severe cases, so that fewer mild cases are reported, making the severe case rate and the death rate seem to climb. We have less than 1/4th, nearly 1/5th of the cases predicted if the case rate had remained steady. However, true number of cases could be that higher number, as many cases are unreported (and/or untested).

6th: 1,994,317
7th: 2,674,379
8th: 3,586,342
9th: 4,809,285
April 10th: 6,449,251 cases

Now these figures assume that the rate of increase of cases remains the same at about 1.341x. Eventually, the case rate has to slow, simply because a larger portion of the population will already have had the disease. As far as we know, recovered patients cannot be re-infected [1].

Right now, the death rate is 1.44%, which is the total deaths divided by the total cases. On March 21st, the death rate was 1.40%. On March 16th, the death rate was 1.82%. So if the case rate and the death rate hold steady — and hopefully, instead, both decrease — we could be looking at 6.45 million cases total on April 10th (Good Friday) and over 90,000 deaths (1.44% is 92,869). That would be the total deaths due to the pandemic, in the U.S. alone, and not the deaths on that day. This high estimate for total cases in the near future is consistent with a recent study [2] on the transmission rate of the disease.

I stopped running the numbers at April 10th. Things might change on Good Friday, if it is the day of the Warning. Things might change after Easter, if the U.S. decides to end the shutdown. And we might have an effective treatment sorted out by then as well.

Ronald L Conte Jr

[1] Bao, Linlin, et al. “Reinfection could not occur in SARS-CoV-2 infected rhesus macaques.” bioRxiv (2020).

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2020/03/14/2020.03.13.990226.full.pdf

[2] Aguilar, Jacob B., and Juan B. Gutierrez. “Investigating the Impact of Asymptomatic Carriers on COVID-19 Transmission.” medRxiv (2020).

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/medrxiv/early/2020/03/20/2020.03.18.20037994.full.pdf

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10 Responses to USA COVID-19 Cases and Deaths: A Projection

  1. Michael says:

    I just find it interesting that the Swine Flu a decade ago infected far more people with more deaths and it was barely a blip on anyone’s radar.

  2. Firas Mishu says:

    I’m still not a believer that this will continue at this rate..I do think that it will decrease , either to medicines or summer heat/humidity..but lets just say that it does increase and we continue to battle this for a year or so..do you think that the ” Miracle” could be an instantaneous healing of all afflicted on Easter in the year 2021, coupled with a permanent sign for all to see..

    • Ron Conte says:

      The rate might decrease, rather than stay the same, as the post assumes. I hope this is the year of the Miracle, as we could really use one right now.

  3. Alessandro Arsuffi says:

    Dear Ron, your calculations are good but there Is one thing nobody takes into account: hospital collapse. Here in Italy, hospitals are full and many people with symptoms are kept home until they get much worse, because there are no intensive care rooms, drugs, physicians, nurses etc ti take care of them all. Another secondary problem Is indirect death. Many people, often elderly, are forced to live in isolation and have other unrelated illnesses. Many of them here are dying because they cannot be properly assisted. My mother-in-law’s 90 years old aunt, for example, died yesterday because nobody could ensure that she had regular meals and that she took her everyday pills: It was too risky to pay a visit ti her since the Bergamo province Is the biggest infection area. Yes, we do need a Miracle this year.

  4. Rob says:

    The feds are predicting 32% unemployment, with 47 million people laid off in the months ahead. For comparison, the unemployment rate in the Great Depression was 23%. Get ready for tough times:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/fed-unemployment-forecast-coronavirus-pandemic-millions-layoffs-record-rate-jobs-2020-3

    Whatever happens, the world will never be the same. Pray for us all.

  5. Jeff says:

    Coronavirus is a global killing machine that will also put the world in an economic depression and possibly famine. The warning, miracle, and consolation are up in the air as to when they will occur and they are tied in, but as an ER nurse, I believe this virus IS the start of the tribulation. Revolution and anarchy are close in NYC RIGHT NOW.

  6. Sunimal Fernando says:

    Pl. Read ISAIAH 24 . You can compare it with the current situation.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Isaiah 24 describes the tribulation, just as Matthew 24 also does. I don’t think we are at the end times yet, as the end times begin with the Warning. So, we will have to wait and see if this Good Friday is THE DAY of the Warning, as in Zechariah 12.

  7. Michael says:

    I trust in God and if he chooses to take me from this world by way of COVID-19, then let it be done according to His will. He allowed this pandemic for a reason and it should be a wake-up call for all of us to deepen our faith but it’s important to remember that panic and anxiety are from the devil, not from God.

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