It’s been almost a month since I provided an update regarding Missouri’s COVID numbers. Rather than editorialize regarding the current stats and some of the measures being taken in response (that’s a separate article in the works), this is simply intended as an update as to the current reported data regarding reported cases, deaths, testing, and hospitalization. Here’s where we currently stand:
Over the past three-and-a-half weeks (again, per Worldometers), Missouri has jumped up another two spots (among the 50 states plus DC) in reported cases (from 17th to 15th), with a total number of reported cases as of this morning (November 14th) of 241,830, (up by 76,588 since October 20th.) Missouri now has 39,402 reported cases per million persons (up from 26,924), which places it tied for 18th with Rhode Island (up three spots from October 20th.)
There have now been 3,524 deaths in Missouri attributed to COVID-19. That’s up from 2,691 on October 20th (so by 833) and Missouri has now moved up one spot into 22nd place in terms of total (reported) COVID-related deaths. In terms of deaths per million, Missouri now sits at 574 (up from 438 on October 20th) but remains in 26th place on that metric.
Regarding testing, as I noted in the last update, Missouri saw a significant jump around the first of October in total tests administered. There was another, smaller jump on October 15. Since then, the numbers have remained fairly consistent (ranging from 15,000 to 30,000 per day.) Missouri has now reported 2,719,980 tests administered (up from 2,406,589 three-and-a-half weeks ago), which keeps it in 19th place in total tests. As for tests per million persons, Missouri has administered 473,186 which bumps it down four spots to 25th.
COVID hospitalizations have continued to increase in recent weeks. The last reported data per the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services dashboard is 2,523 as of November 13th. (We were at 1439 on October 20th.) Per DHSS, remaining total hospital bed capacity is 38%, remaining ICU bed capacity is 31%, and remaining ventilator capacity is 65%. (For a bit of perspective, though this increase is placing some stress on the hospital systems, the number of COVID patients currently hospitalized constitutes 1.5% of the number of active cases in Missouri. The number of COVID ICU patients equals .3% of the number of active cases.)
Again, while the total number of reported cases of — and deaths attributed to — COVID-19 have increased measurably, and Missouri has moved up relative to other states in several of the categories tracked by Worldometers, we have not yet seen a spike the way Florida, Texas, and Arizona did earlier in the summer — and hopefully won’t. The rate of increase in reported cases has averaged 1.9% over the past 30 days. For the previous 30 days, it was 1.3%.
Again, I’m including a chart of what Missouri’s numbers look like — you’ll note that wild gray spike on October 1 (and another smaller one on October 11, when 78,414 tests were reported in one day.)
Because that one day spike skews the perspective, I am again including the chart without the spike.
The thing that stands out to me about this one presently is that the orange line (reported COVID-related deaths) appears to be trending upward. However, Missouri’s current rough case fatality rate (reported deaths divided by reported cases) has again decreased slightly (from 1.6% to 1.5%). In comparison, the US rough case fatality rate is at 2.3% and neighboring Illinois’ sits at 2.0%.
For additional perspective, below is the current chart for the US overall:
You’ll notice two big testing data spikes in that one, as well. Florida accounts for the one on October 29. (They added 3.7 million tests to their count on that day.) I’m not certain who gets to claim the one on November 3rd.
Missouri’s positivity rate (total reported cases divided by total reported tests) climbed as high as 9.3% (on September 29th) but then fell off when the testing number jumped on October 1st. While it was 6.9% for the last update, it has now climbed back up to 8.3%. The positivity rate for the U.S. as a whole remains at 6.7%.
As always, I’ll continue to track the numbers and provide occasional updates. And as always, don’t just focus on the headlines and soundbites. Take a look at the actual numbers if you’re interested (ideally via your state’s health department website but, at minimum, using the same data set — e.g., Worldometers or Johns Hopkins — consistently.) And be careful (i.e., use your common sense) out there.