COVID-19 Update

Coronavirus info and quantification:

UPDATED 10/20: Wednesday’s numbers.

New cases, world per capita.

The number of new cases reported across the world on Wednesday was 452k, about 1% more than the same day last week.

25 major countries (population five million or more) were in the red zone (143 cases per million population per day). Romania topped the world with 900 cases per million. The same country also had the highest rate of fatalities per capita.

Fatalities, world per capita

Across the globe, 7,479 fatalities were reported on Wednesday. That total is about 3% lower than the same day last week.

13 major countries were still in the red zone (3 per million per day). Romania was far above the others at 22 per million.

Only ten major countries were in the red zone in both categories (cases and fatalities). They are ordered below based on the number of consecutive days they have appeared on the list: The USA, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and Greece.

Vaccinations, world.

Three major countries have managed to vaccinate more than 80% of the population fully as of Tuesday, with Portugal and the UAE leading the world.

UAE 88%
Portugal 86
Singapore 82

Three countries have administered at least one dose to at least 85% of their population:

UAE 98%
Portugal 87
Cuba 86
Chile 85

Testing rates, USA

The current 7-day testing percentage is 5.3% (red zone = 10.0%). The last date reported was October 18th, when 3.4% of the 3.4 million tests came back positive.

Although the country’s average is no longer in the CDC red zone (10% positivity), or even close to it, 14 states were still above the red line on the latest 7-day average, published on the 20th. (Or on their most recent reports.)

(The plus and minus signs indicate the direction since the previous report. Multiple signs indicate the number of consecutive reports in which the state has moved in that direction.)

Wyoming 18%
Washington 17% (f2)
North Dakota 15%
Tennessee 13% –
South Dakota 13% – (f)
Ohio 13%
Kentucky 12%
Montana 11% – –
Michigan 11%
Utah 11% – (f)
Idaho 11% – (f)
Pennsylvania 11% +
Oklahoma 11% – (f)
Arkansas 10%

Footnote: Four of the states listed above are not tabulated accurately on the ranking chart. Their correct info is linked below:

Footnote 2: Washington’s current numbers are meaningless. The last reported day above is now too dated to be relevant. It is entirely possible that they should not be on the list at all, but there’s no recent data and that state’s COVID dashboard says that they are not going to resume their reporting of testing data until November 1st!

Vaccination rates, USA.

  • 57% of the population in the USA has been fully vaccinated as of Wednesday (69% of adults, 85% of seniors). Vermont is the highest, with 71% fully vaccinated, while West Virginia is the lowest at 41%.
  • 66% of Americans have received at least one dose (79% of adults, 96% of seniors). Vermont and Massachusetts report that they have given at least one dose to 79% of residents, making them the most successful states by that criterion. Idaho trails the pack at 48%.
  • Several states have given at least one shot to 99% of seniors. Hawaii has also given at least one shot to 93% in the 18-64 age bracket, the highest such percentage in the USA. West Virginia trails all other states in both of those measurements (only 80% of seniors, only 50% of those 18-64).

New cases, USA

All 50 states, plus Puerto Rico and DC, filed reports on Wednesday. 41 of those states were in the red zone, which starts at 143 cases per million population per day. Montana topped the nation at 1165, with Alaska close behind at 1100. Those two states topped every country in the world. The country’s total, while still in the red zone, dropped 21% from the same day last week.

The hospitalization numbers run some days behind real time. On October 15th, the total number of Americans hospitalized with COVID (49,700) was about 11% lower than it had been seven days earlier. As of October 14th, hospital ICU units were at 78% capacity, down from 79% from seven days earlier.

The following table represents the USA’s daily “new cases” total in thousands. Red backgrounds indicate an increase versus the same day of the previous week. Red numerals indicate an increase over the weekly average from the previous week. An asterisk indicates that the data are incomplete.

5 Weeks Ago 4 Weeks Ago 3 Weeks Ago 2 Weeks Ago Last Week This Week
Monday 116 95 81 74 63 53
Tuesday 142 134 114 103 92 72
Wednesday 166 135 124 108 101 80
Thursday 158 133 121 110 97
Friday 159 132 122 107 94
Saturday 124 106 93 82 66
Sunday 93 82 71 65 48
AVERAGE 137 117 104 93 80

Fatalities, USA.

According to the NY Times summary, the USA reported 3,112 COVID fatalities on Wednesday. That is not comparable to the same day last week because of reporting peculiarities.

33 of the 50 states were in the red zone of at least 3 fatalities per million population in a single day. The highest were West Virginia and Oklahoma at 41, higher than the highest country in the world.

ADDED 10/6: Idaho did a systematic study of the relationship between vaccines and COVID. 89% of cases, 90% of hospitalizations and 88% of deaths were not fully vaccinated.

ADDED 7/29: Europe, after a bungled start, has come from way behind to pass the USA in vaccinations. When I posted the news item below on March 20th, the USA’s vaccination rate was nearly triple that of the European Union. The European Union passed the USA on July 28th, and is still speeding ahead.

ADDED 7/23: Variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 are now responsible for all cases in the United States. The original strain is no longer detected among variants circulating throughout the country.”

ADDED 7/12: 97% of all Covid-19 hospitalizations in the United States, and 99% of deaths are now occurring among unvaccinated individuals.

ADDED 7/11: Delta spreads 225% faster than original virus

ADDED 6/14: Coronavirus infections are dropping where people are vaccinated, rising where they are not

ADDED 5/31: COVID-19 cases and deaths are way down from the December-February peak, but the rate of infection is the same as it was in December for the unvaccinated.

ADDED 4/7: How could the world’s most vaccinated country be seeing an unprecedented spike in coronavirus cases? “The Seychelles situation is being watched all over the world for what it says about the effectiveness of vaccines. It is providing a critical case to consider the effectiveness of some vaccines and what range we have to reach to meet herd immunity.”

ADDED 3/25: India reports novel COVID-19 variant, daily deaths at year’s high. “New ‘double mutant variant’ detected, says health ministry amid concerns over highest single-day tally of new infections and deaths.”

ADDED 3/20: Europe has fallen far behind the USA and UK in vaccinations. Where did they go wrong? This is something President Trump’s administration got right. “The bloc shopped for vaccines like a customer. The United States basically went into business with the drugmakers, spending much more heavily to accelerate vaccine development, testing and production.”

ADDED 1/27: The new strain in Brazil is not only more transmissible than the original strain, but it is also more severe. Worse still, people who have had the first strain don’t seem to be immune to the new one!

Soon after the holidays, deaths and hospitalizations exploded. The hospital system buckled. The number of confirmed coronavirus deaths at home rose from a total of 35 from May through December to 178 so far this month, according to city health officials. That stunned Brazilian researchers who last month published a paper in Science proclaiming that 76 percent of Manaus’s population had already been infected with the virus.

“How can you have 76 percent of people infected and, at the same time, have an epidemic that’s bigger than the first?” asked author Ester Sabino. “This was a concern from the moment cases started to rise.”

As viruses course through a population, they inevitably mutate, although most such genetic changes are functionally insignificant. The coronavirus has spawned countless variants around the world. But P.1 — along with variants found in South Africa and Britain — is provoking particular concern. Not only does it have a spike protein mutation that could lead to a higher infection rate, it possesses what’s called an “escape mutation.” Also found in the South Africa variant, the mutation, known as E484k, could help it evade coronavirus antibodies.

ADDED 12/11: FDA authorizes the first coronavirus vaccine

ADDED 11/15: Doctors Are Calling It Quits Under Stress of the Pandemic. Another horrible irony of the pandemic – as we need more doctors, we have fewer. “About 8 percent of the doctors reported closing their offices in recent months, which the foundation estimated could equal some 16,000 practices. Another 4 percent said they planned to shutter within the next year.”

ADDED 10/19: China becomes the first major economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic

ADDED 10/14: Proposal to let coronavirus spread naturally through US population interests White House and alarms medical establishment.” The math surrounding that strategy is terrifying. Scientists say that herd immunity requires about 2/3 of the population to have the antibodies. That’s 220 million people. In the USA in recent months, about 1.4% of the people who get the virus do not survive it. In other words, achieving herd immunity without a vaccine will require about three million Americans to die … and that’s IF IT WORKS!

ADDED 10/8: Infections fell 75% after mask mandates and bar closures in Arizona, study shows

ADDED 9/24: What’s Behind Mainland Southeast Asia’s Surprising Success Against COVID-19?

ADDED 7/15: President Trump says the U.S. would have half the number of coronavirus cases if it did half the testing.

UPDATED 6/19: This can’t be good: “The antibodies our bodies develop against COVID-19 can fade away in just two to three months.”

ADDED 5/21: Black Americans are dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people

UPDATED 5/9: In a bizarre irony, hospitals are making mass lay-offs in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. The institutions are suffering financially because they have had to eliminate all the most profitable parts of their business in order to treat corona victims. In all, 1.4 million health care workers lost their jobs in April, 135,000 of those in hospitals.

ADDED 3/28: The data reveal that covid-19 is much more dangerous for men. The data are consistent from country to country.

March 9:

March 4: A lot of people will have this, and it’s very mild. They will get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

Feb 26: “We have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better, just by, you know, even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Feb 26: We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time..”

Feb 26: We’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up..”

Feb 26: The 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Feb 25:

Feb 24:


The Dow was at 27,960 that day. One month later it was at 18,592.

Jan 24:

Jan 22: We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”