October Covid Update

The leaves are starting to turn as fall festivals start up so its time to look at Covid before the expected flu season gets going. The state continues to track Covid numbers. Case numbers are falling roughly in proportion to testing numbers, but deaths seem to have stabilized at roughly 15/day in the state of Pennsylvania. Assuming Covid has not become more deadly (which is unlikely), this likely means a lower proportion of cases are being reported. To put the numbers in perspective, using CDC numbers from 2017, Covid would rank as the 6th cause of death in the state, just after stroke and chronic lower respiratory disease and just before Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

There’s less data available now. The state stopped tracking hospital preparedness in June (at least the numbers at the link above stop then). WSSD no longer tracks it, and doesn’t notify anyone exposed even if made aware of it. Delaware County is reporting about 14 cases/100k residents/day in the last month of data. A year ago this rate was about 20 cases/100k residents/day over the same month. Deaths are close to the same for both months, about 3 per 100k residents over the month (not per day).

Probably the best source of hyper-local numbers is Swarthmore College, which continues to post numbers. After a surge of student cases at the start of the semester, the college has apparently been able to control the spread of Covid well and numbers have remained low since then. In a reverse of previous patterns, staff numbers are now higher than student cases suggesting staff continue to be exposed primarily elsewhere in the community. Mask usage at the college has fallen but remains higher than anywhere else I’ve been lately.

Categories: Ramblings