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Hard Times Ahead as Minor Gains Lost

With COVID-19 data from this week showing record case numbers and hospitalizations, Kinsa’s data show no signs of things getting better. 15 states are signalling imminent increases in our early-warning system, including the already hard-hit states of Texas, Missouri and West Virginia. El Paso county in Texas, where cases are already high at 176 cases per 100k residents, is projected to only get worse.

The Midwest and Mountain West haven’t fared well over the last few weeks and there are no indications of case and hospitalization counts plateauing in these regions. Eight counties in Colorado look particularly troubling, according to our forward-looking data that accounts for rate of transmission or Rt. An Rt above one means each person infected with an illness infects more than one other person, suggesting that case counts will grow. We see similar trends in counties in Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois and others.

Watchlist

  • Northeastern Arkansas
  • Colorado 
  • Southern FL
  • Boise area, ID 
  • Chicago area, IL 
  • Western Indiana 
  • Wichita area, KS
  • Louisville area, KY 
  • Michigan
  • Missouri 
  • Cleveland & Akron areas, OH
  • Tulsa area, OK
  • Nashville area, TN 
  • Spokane area, WA 
  • Madison area, WI

Many of the downward trends we saw in the rate of transmission of fever-based illnesses in the previous week in places like California, Oregon and Washington have begun to reverse.

Illness Transmission United States November 2020

More areas have an increased transmission rate compared to last week. In the case of Oregon and southern Washington, things have shifted for the worse. Hotspots show up along the Idaho border in a cluster that extends to Montana.

While it’s an inauspicious end to the fall months, there is some potentially good news on the horizon. Some of our early flu indicators are showing that this season’s outbreak may be more tame than previous years, possibly sparing us the dreaded “twin-demic.”