COVID-19 Update: The Data Takes a Nap

It’s the weekend, and the Virginia Department of Health’s compilation of COVID-19 statistics is subject to reporting delays, so the number of new confirmed cases and hospitalizations is likely incomplete. So, be not deceived by the low numbers. As occurred with last weekend’s data, we’ll see a huge rebound Tuesday.

Even I, as eager as I am to spot some new trend in the statistical noise, am reluctant to draw any conclusions from today’s report. But for the data junkies among you, here’s the latest re-cap for Virginia.

Total COVID-19 cases: 5,274 up 197 from the previous day
Total hospitalizations: 872, up 35 from the previous day
ICUs in use: 440, up 14
Ventilators in use: 294, up 11
Total deaths
: 141, up eleven
Total tests: 39,985, up 1,9896
% tests positive: 9.9% yesterday

My advice on a Sunday morning: Go back to bed.

Update: But wait! John Butcher is boldly going where I once went but now fear to tread: He thinks he espies a bending of the logarithmic curve! Continue reading to see his graph based on new COVID-19 cases reported to the VDH.

“The Health Dept. data may be problematic but they appear to be internally consistent, and they’re most of what we have,” John writes. “One caveat: The VHHA number of hospital patients with test results pending has dropped, suggesting that the increasing number of tests may be boosting the hospital counts and, perhaps, the case totals.”

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6 responses to “COVID-19 Update: The Data Takes a Nap”

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    The data is not high quality data… and as a result, anyone who is looking closely at it to derive any specific knowledge is more likely than not, chasing their proverbial tails.

    It was inevitable that most of us would look to this data because really the pandemic is a numbers game and little else really informs us.

    But the numbers are just not consistent or uniform and anyone who works with data as a profession will tell you that it’s an unsatisfying exercise if you looking for precision.

    The numbers are the numbers – they are not the truth from on high – they are an approximation … a rough estimate… not precise. They are being sourced from a lot of different places in different time frames… and we pretty much know that the number of actual infections is likely undercounted – which does have implications – if we actually knew by how much and what other data was also under or over counted.

  2. Fairfax Co showed a big step increase last week, in the reported number of COVID cases bumped up from about my eyeball level of about +40/per day to about +150/day…I do not know if that is actual increase in cases or reported increase.

  3. djrippert Avatar

    Virginia’s Democratic Governor Ralph Northam ranked 38th out of 50 governors for COVID-19 response. Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan ranked #2.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      yeah, but that’s where Virginia ranks on a LOT of things, no?

      Heckfire – if Northam emulated the Feds , he’d just tell the counties/cities they’re on their own, right? Go get their own “stuff”…


      1. idiocracy Avatar

        The only things keeping Virginia from being dead last in many cases are Louisiana and Mississippi.

  4. Jim Loving Avatar
    Jim Loving

    Speaking of data, its time to start thinking about the next phase of the pandemic – controlling its spread with an economic re-opening that MUST include much more testing and contact tracing.

    Google and Apple have implemented technology to do this, using cell phone data, but the nation and Virginia must decide about its use as a tool too augment the likely insufficient public health and other staff to do adequate contact tracing and in determining the degree of privacy protection for American citizens.

    Background information:

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