COVID-19 day 180: 📈 63,698 new cases; 853 new deaths : 18 July 2020

WHO reports new daily record in global cases, 259,848; not a rosy picture for college sports this fall; 4-in-5 Texans live in a COVID-19 red zone; FDA approves pooled sampling

It’s day 180 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. A light edition.

Each day seems to see yet another new record. On Saturday, WHO reported 259,848 new cases, the largest daily report to date. Brazil, India, South Africa and the US are responsible for more than 165,000 of the cases. 

Sections (no jump links, sorry!)
1, One big thing; 2, Key metrics; 3, Recommendations; 4, Politics, economics & COVID; 5, Case counts and resources

⓵ One big thing - sports

The Canadian government has rejected a plan for the Blue Jays to play its regular baseball season in Toronto.

Due to the risk of spreading the coronavirus, the government said, it would not be safe for the team and opposing Major League Baseball teams to travel back and forth between the U.S. and Canada.

ESPN has schedule highlights for each major league sport.

Turning to collegiate sports, the NCAA has released new guidelines for conducting sporting events this fall. “The big message: The outlook is getting worse, not better.

They used White House talking points to make projections. Bad call, that.

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⓶ Key metrics

🦠 SundayJohns Hopkins reported 3,711,413 (63,698 new) cases and 140,119 (853 new) deaths, an increase of 1.75% and 0.61%, respectively, since Saturday. A week ago, the daily numbers increased by 1.93% and 0.51%, respectively.

  • Today
    - seven-day average: 65,855 cases and 753 deaths 
    - 3.78% cases leading to death
    - case rate, 1,121.26 per 100,000; death rate, 42.33 per 100,000

  • One week ago
    - seven-day average: 56,472 cases and 668 deaths 
    - 4.15% cases leading to death
    - case rate, 980.63 per 100,000; death rate, 40.72 per 100,000

Note: the seven-day average is important because dailies vary due to factors other than actual case numbers, particularly over a weekend.

As these charts show, except for the northeast, the US is a mess. And outbreaks in The Americas are driving global numbers, both gross data and per capita.

⓷ Recommendations

🤓 Recommended reading

If you have not been following closely as COVID-19 has played out the past six months, this is a thorough history. If you have, there may be very little “new.” Except, perhaps, Dr. Deborah Birx and her loyalty to the (flawed) University of Washington model. Quotes and attributions are thinner than Girl Scout mint cookies.

Inside Trump’s Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus. NY Times, 18 July 2020.

🔬 Research and medical news

Pooled samples can extend our testing capacity “because it allows for more people to be tested quickly using fewer testing resources.” Big caveat: prevalence (positivity) needs to be low; in other words, most test results are expected to be negative. You wouldn’t pool samples of members of a household, for example.

Saturday the FDA approved pooling (combining) the samples from four individuals. The lab will run that single, pooled sample. If it’s negative, all four clear. At least for that point in time. If the pooled sample is positive, each of the individual samples in that pool would be tested. 

FDA Issues First Emergency Authorization for Sample Pooling in Diagnostic Testing. FDA news release, 18 July 2020.

⓸ Politics, economics and COVID-19

☆ A “red zone” is any area that (1) reports more than 100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in a single week and (2) has a test positivity rate of 10% or more. And 4-in-5 Texans live in one.

Experts say instead of large clusters tied to specific, enclosed locations, like meatpacking plants or nursing homes, they are increasingly seeing smaller outbreaks out in the community. Small gatherings of families and friends and summer visitors to tourist destinations are spreading disease. That behavior, particularly among young people, may be responsible for dozens of new hot spots that will be more difficult to eradicate.

The median age of people in Florida testing positive continues to decrease. In Miami-Dade County, the median age is 41; in Orange County, 29; and in Seminole County, 26.

🍎 The Freedom Foundation, a conservative organization, sued the state of Washington on behalf of a water park, claiming that Gov. Jay Inslee (D) did not have the authority to issue an emergency order curtailing business activity. A judge has dismissed the case.

🗻 In Alaska, several large cities, including Anchorage, Seward and Valdez, have mandated masks in all public indoor spaces.

Local officials in several cities without mask mandates said they are following the lead of Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor has repeatedly said he opposes a statewide mandate and has talked at length about his opposition.

⓹ Case counts and resources

CDC, Johns Hopkins, states, WHO

🇺🇸 18 July 

  • CDC: 3,630,587 (74,710 new) cases and 138,782 (918 new) deaths

  • Johns Hopkins*: 3,711,413 (63,698 new) cases and 140,119 (853 new) deaths

  • State data*:  3,693,814 (66,179 new) cases and 131,530 (769 new) deaths
    KS reports only M-W-F; CT and RI report only M-F

  • WHO Situation report, 180
    3 544 143 cases (71 484 new) with 137 674 deaths (921 new)

🌎 18 July 

Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard (11.00 pm Pacific)

  • Global cases: 14,288,689 (181,936 new)

  • Total deaths: 602,138 (5,620 new)
    Correction for 17 July: 596,518 (6,607 new)

WHO Situation report, 180

  • Global: 13 876 441 cases (259 848) 593 087 deaths (7 360)

  • The Americas: 7 306 371 cases (151 531) 302 508 deaths (4 653)

* Johns Hopkins data, ~11.00 pm Pacific.
State data include DC, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

The virus was not created in a lab and the weight of evidence is it was not released intentionallyAlthough early reports tied the outbreak to a market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data in January suggested that the virus might have developed elsewhere.


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