COVID-19: Up, Up, and Away

The latest data from the Virginia Department of Health:

Total confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday: 1,020, up 130 from Saturday.
Total hospitalizations: 136, up 24 from the previous day.
Total deaths: 25, up three.
Total tests: 12,038, up 1,429.

Doubling times: John Butcher has updated his calculations of how long it takes for these epidemic metrics to double. Based on the latest data, the doubling time has lengthened a tad, a tentatively positive sign.

Case count: 3,18 days
Hospitalizations: 3.71 days
Deaths: 2.65 days

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29 responses to “COVID-19: Up, Up, and Away

  1. one of the things that has to do with the data – is WHERE is this information coming from?

    who is reporting it , hospitals, labs, other?

    and how often is it being reported? is every new case reported or
    is it the number per 24 hrs , etc?

    and then are they all sending this data to one central place?

    Perhaps all of this is actually explained somewhere?

    • Please note the suspicion endemic (no, not pandemic) to Larry’s post. Larry is not alone. I recall my reaction to the French guy on TV last week who reported 100% success with Hydroxychloroquine. My wife and I both said “This guy is sketchy”. He came across as a snake oil salesman. Was he simply justifiably excited? Who knows?

      It presents a somewhat new phenomenon with both good and bad aspects. We don’t trust anybody, but more importantly, certainly not the media, and certainly nobody from the other side of the political spectrum. It’s “fake news”. Photos are doctored, etc. etc. It’s agenda driven.

      On the other hand, we should be skeptical of what we hear, particularly on the Internet. However, we’ve become used to dealing with the internet. We check it out if we’re interested.

      It’s not the same with the media. When the media purveys obvious crap, it’s a bigger problem. The trust may be very hard to restore. Have we have devolved into a redux of yellow journalism from the turn of the last century, when most all journalism was acknowledged to be agenda driven?

      Does any effort to restore trust become just another government intervention destined to fail? Should or can the government even need to try? Can the market solve the problem?

      I would be interested in discovering whether C-SPAN viewership is up. It’s clear that those in the media who are agenda driven are not going to to change their ways unless the market tells them to. So why C-SPAN?

      Some media outlets on the left are refusing to further carry the president’s press briefing on coronavirus. Is that because people are getting tired of the briefings and therefore tune them out? Or is it agenda driven? Viewership of C-SPAN, or even those right wing channels that still carry the briefings, might provide insight into the market for such briefings. On a personal level, the details I get in WSJ are far more informative than whatever the president says. However, today a client called and convinced me through his fact-free discussion of the virus, that I do not represent the market for such information.

      • the thing about any product or drug – is that the manufacture and pipeline are pretty much sized for existing demand.

        If demand suddenly increases – it quickly exhausts whatever was in the pipeline and just-in-time storage. Happens with drugs – happens with TP and hand sanitizer.

        The perception is that there is an endless supply.. you just turn up the machine and more will come out.

        re: where is the “truth”?

        yup. you have to figure that out yourself nowadays and no, it’s not just pick one source you “like”. It’s harder than that. You have to work to get it and there is no shortage of folks who believe conspiracy theories – as well as get scammed out of their savings… same folks maybe?

        re: ” However, today a client called and convinced me through his fact-free discussion of the virus, that I do not represent the market for such information.”

        ouch. if we can’t agree on what the truth is with regard to a pandemic, ditto for global warming, right?

  2. So we actually conducted fewer tests yesterday than the day before (1,443 vs 1,429)? The day before (March 27) we logged 1,929 tests so our testing is decelerating? The day before 1,148 Virginians were tested.

    So at a time when COVID-19 deaths are doubling every 2.65 days our testing is somewhere between flatlining and slightly declining?

    Where are Virginia’s liberal news outlets in demanding answers from our Democratically controlled state government on the level of testing?

    Where are the so-called journalists in Virginia when Ralph Northam conducts yet another press conference without so much as a single mention of tests or testing in his prepared remarks?

    • Fair question: Given the increased availability of testing kits (from UVa, if nowhere else) why isn’t testing increasing with each passing day?

      Are there other bottlenecks to testing, such as the lack of personal protective equipment, which health care professionals are required to wear when administering a test?

      Is the demand for testing slacking off? That’s hard to imagine but it’s a theoretical possibility.

      Is the slackening pace of test more apparent than real? Could testing be shifting to sources that entail longer wait for results?

      Or can we just mark it down to bureaucratic incompetence?

      • If the Govs were looking to the Feds for leadership and guidance and it was lacking – that leads to other problems at the state level – especially if the States were relying on the Feds to lead.

        Over and over, from all the other State Governors, we’re hearing that the Feds role is dysfunctional and unpredictable, so yeah.. that causes problems. Big Whoop!

      • If the demand for testing is slacking off then this was no more than a typical flu year and it’s time to reopen the economy. Coonman can have it one way or the other – testing demand is slacking off and it’s time to reopen the economy or needed tests aren’t being performed and he owes the citizens of Virginia an explanation as to why.

      • Above Jim asks:

        “Fair question: Given the increased availability of testing kits (from UVa, if nowhere else) why isn’t testing increasing with each passing day?”

        Suggested answer: UVA doesn’t want to spend its own money. UVA will not do work to save other lives in this crisis unless somebody gives it a gift of money devoted to that express task.

  3. From Alexandria Living Magazine this morning:

    The Alexandria Health Department Sunday confirmed four more cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, bringing the total to 32. In Fairfax County, there are 188. Arlington County has 84 cases.

    “Local health departments are continuing to contact people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

    The numbers may still be underreported, as some people have reported to Alexandria Living Magazine that they know someone with or they themselves have symptoms and are unable to get tested.”

    https://alexandrialivingmagazine.com/news/coronavirus-covid-19-alexandria-va-fairfax-county-march-30-update/

  4. With the changes in VDH testing guidelines, of course the number of tests will drop. Why isn’t anyone talking about this? Is the new goal to encourage community spread so we can get to the immunity certificates sooner?

    We need healthcare workers and first responders to be available now, so they’re getting tested.

    Trials of antivirals are going on all over, so they need suitable candidates with the virus for human testing to see if they work.

    VDH doesn’t want to kill off those hostage to congregate living facilities including workers.

    That covers three of four testing guidelines.

    The fourth:

    There is not one word about testing on the VDH page on
    “What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?”

    On the page for -+jki99″What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (CO-*—
    30
    30.0
    ………………………………..
       VID-19)?”

  5. The faster we get to the top of that curve, the faster we get to the bottom on the other side.

  6. Sorry for botched post above–the cat stepped on the keyboard and knocked over a cup of tea at the same time.)

    With the changes in VDH testing guidelines, of course the number of tests will drop. Is the new goal to encourage community spread so we can get to the immunity certificates sooner?

    We need healthcare workers and first responders to be available now, so they’re getting tested IF they have a fever or other symptoms.

    Trials of antivirals are going on all over, so they need suitable candidates with the virus for human testing to see if they work. Hospitalized individuals are a ready pool, as well as being indicators of potential ventilator needs.

    VDH doesn’t want to kill off those hostage to congregate living facilities including workers, so they’ll be tested IF they have fever or symptoms.

    That covers three of four testing guidelines.

    The other reason: “Potential cluster of unknown respiratory illness where influenza has been ruled out, with priority for healthcare facility outbreaks. All suspected clusters or outbreaks should be reported to the local health department immediately.”

    Hate to ask, but how do you decide there’s an outbreak without testing? By ER visits or hospitalization admissions?

    There is not one word about testing on the VDH page on
    “What to do if you were potentially exposed to someone with confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?”

    On the page for “What to do if you have confirmed or suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?”
    “Not every person who has been exposed to COVID-19 needs to be tested. In most instances, a positive test would not change what a doctor tells you to do to get better….If you are being tested for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself as if you have COVID-19.”

  7. I am unable to confirm, using Google, a statement made this morning to the financial industry by Novartis’ chairman that hydroxychloroquine kills the virus. This would not be news except that chairmen of major corporations do not normally make market-affecting statements that would get them sued if untrue. Stay tuned.

  8. Good data from Buzzfeed supplied by Larry. 39 states are testing more heavily than Virginia (on a per capita basis). 10 states are testing less. We have the 18th highest death rate per capita and the 40th best testing rate per capita.

    Virginia is the 9th wealthiest US state. We tax our citizens slightly higher than average. This is a competence problem not a poverty problem. We have billions in the rainy day fund. This is a competence problem not a financing problem.

    Testing totals (per 100,000 people):

    DC – 459
    Tennessee – 312
    Maryland – 246
    North Carolina – 190
    West Virginia – 169 (data may be in question)
    Virginia – 144
    Kentucky – 136

    I really don’t want to hear another empty suited blowhard from our General Assembly spew about how superior Virginia is to Maryland. When push comes to shove Maryland’s state government is getting the tests done at a considerably higher rate than the Imperial Clown Show in Richmond. Other states, like New Mexico, are far far better off despite not being a COVID-19 hotspot.

    The reason Ralph “the Mime” Northam doesn’t talk about testing is now also clear. He is covering up the negligence of his administration through willful silence.

    • I’m somewhat convinced by Dj but not entirely. Virginia is gradually
      turning to MD “blue” with the help of NoVa so there is hope.

      I’m sure DJ wil advocate that the Capital be moved from Richmond to Fairfax at some point.. 😉

      • Ha ha. As I’ve said before … “The Virginia Way” knows no political party. Eileen Filler-Corn stuffed an anti-corruption bill as fast as any of her Republican predecessors. I’m rapidly starting to see her as Dick Saslaw in drag. Meanwhile Republican Tommy Norment remains a walking poster child for term limits as he approaches his 30th year in the General Assembly. Maybe it’s me but I’m starting to think a return of recently more centrist Ken Cuccinelli is what the state needs right now. Either that or Chap Petersen.

        The capital of Virginia should be in Charlottesville not Richmond or Fairfax. Copy Austin. State capital. Top notch university. Great place to live, very picturesque. Open minded to using public funds to advance the economy so long as there is a pay back – airports for example.

        Richmond had its chance to develop into something special for the state over the last 100 years. It never happened. No Atlanta, no Charlotte, no Raleigh, no Nashville, nothing like that. People from Richmond tell me they like it that way. Fine by me. But states need to develop real cities given the wealth generation that comes from cities these days. If Richmonders want to “opt out” of being a real fast growing southern city they should also be willing to give up being the home of the state capital. Let some other Virginia city that’s willing to try to make something of themselves become the capita. Richmond’s time has elapsed.

        If not Charlottesville then Roanoke.

  9. CrazyJD Would the chairman’s statement be covered under the Disclaimer on forward-looking statements in their press release on March 20th? https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/novartis-commits-donate-130-million-doses-hydroxychloroquine-support-global-covid-19-pandemic-response

    I wish they would release some of those current 50 million doses for people with lupus who are being denied prescription refills.

  10. There are reports from people who have pre-existing conditions and were taking these drug that now cannot get it… that’s not good.

  11. ZURICH, March 29 (Reuters) – Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said his Sandoz generics unit’s malaria, lupus and arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine is the company’s biggest hope against the coronavirus, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported on Sunday.

    “Pre-clinical studies in animals as well as the first data from clinical studies show that hydroxychloroquine kills the coronavirus,” Narasimhan told the newspaper. “We’re working with Swiss hospitals on possible treatment protocols for the clinical use of the drug, but it’s too early to say anything definitively.”

    He said the company is currently looking for additional active drug ingredients to make more hydroxychloroquine, should clinical trials be successful.

    Narasimhan said three other Novartis drugs – Jakavi for cancer, multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya and fever drug Ilaris – are being studied for their effect on complications related to COVID-19, the newspaper reported. This follows separate efforts to re-purpose drugs made by companies including Roche and Sanofi to treat complications related to the disease. For the original story click here: [bit.ly/2JluSbc] Further company coverage (Reporting by Zurich Newsroom; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-novartis/novartis-ceo-malaria-drug-is-biggest-hope-against-coronavirus-sonntagszeitung-idUSL8N2BM02W

    • I heard about that 10 days ago and left a comment on one of these articles about it. Heard another rumor recently – famotidine. Easy to get – it’s the active ingredient in PepsidAC.

      Supposedly shortens and somewhat alleviates the symptoms of COVID-19. Kind of the Tamiflu of this epidemic I guess.

  12. Larry, that is true. Someone in my family is one of them.

  13. Apparently the governor of Virginia has issued a stay at home order:

    https://www.wsls.com/news/local/2020/03/30/stay-at-home-order-issued-for-all-virginia-as-coronavirus-cases-grow/

    Executive Order #55

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