Texas has been honored to have COVID-19 new case record-setting days, sometimes in a row. One might believe that everyone testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus was going to die. That is the impression many have.
What is reality? According to https://texas2036.shinyapps.io/covid_tracker/, Texas has over 400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the third-highest in the United States. A bit under 150,000 cases are still active – the 6th highest in the United States. Texas does have the number 1 ranking in the United States for COVID-19 recoveries – nearly a quarter of a million Texans have recovered to date.
However, the death rate is 1.6%, the 40th highest in the United States. Texas is the third highest in the number of new cases and barely making a dent in the death statistics. The middle of July saw the highest number of deaths in Texas – 181. There has been a very steep decline since. The past six days the daily death numbers have been below 100/day. Three days ago, twelve people were reported as dead with or of COVID-19.
Around the middle of July, Texas had its highest daily record-setting days for new COVID-19 confirmed cases – just under 11,000 that day. Since then, the number of new COVID-19 cases has been in decline with the lowest day being the 27th of July with under 5,000 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases has declined from over 9,500 to under 8,000 in recent days.
Texas measures the Texas Effective Reproduction Rate for infections, Rt, which relates to how many people can be infected. When Rt goes below 1.0, the number of infections slow down. One infected person infects less than one additional person. Three days ago, Rt went below 1.0.
Texas is no different than any other state with mortality rates for elderly with pre-existing health conditions. Slightly over one-third of COVID-19 deaths are 80+ years of age. About 12.5% of anyone in their 70s has lost their lives to COVID-19.
It is slightly lower for those in their 50s and 60s. 5.5% of people in their 40s and 2% of those in their 30s have lost their lives to this disease. COVID-19 has claimed less than 1% for anyone below 29 years of age. Teen deaths average around 0.1% and the death rate for children is at 0.03%.
Testing has continued at a rapid rate. The middle of July saw a seven-day rolling average of over 17% infection rate – the number of people confirmed as having COVID-19 compared to all tested. Since then, the seven-day rolling average has declined to 12%.
It is interesting to note that the influenza rates have mirrored the COVID-19 rates. The graphs of daily COVID-19 infections and influenza-like symptoms could be laid on top of each other without much difference.
The first week of July saw the COVID-19 daily hospitalization rate peak at around 9.5%. Approximately 6.5% of all active COVID-19 cases in Texas are currently hospitalized. The remaining active cases are in self-quarantine. The seven-day rolling average for COVID-19 hospitalizations has been trending downward for over two weeks.
Yes, massive numbers of new cases grab headlines. They are scary. But the real numbers that count – the number hospitalized daily and the mortality rates are not reported. Texas is much better off than headlines tell us – and getting better every day!
Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com
Red, the link above will take you to official Texss COVID statistics for deaths, as reported by Texss DSHS.
Your numbers are at significant variance with the numbers the State of Texas is reporting to the Governor and the public. They are at significant variance from the numbers you are using and are NOT indicating a dramatic drop in the number of daily deaths.
You are quite diligent at calculating and interpreting the data that you find from your sources. It does NOT jibe with official Texas numbers, which brings up concerns that your analysis and conclusions may be lulling people into dangerous complacency regarding protecting themselves and their families from this killer disease.
Thanks, Roy. I looked at the website referred to in your link and didn’t trust it. Why? I find that sometimes the county records do not always agree with state roll-ups. For example, your link shows 1208 deaths in Harris County. However, at the local Harris County COVID-19 website, the number of deaths a week ago was 575. Yesterday, a week later, the death toll rose to 685. Why is Harris County reporting so many fewer deaths? I noted on your referral link that on July 27, 675 daily deaths were reported that day – a number far from the trend line. Did a large group of death certificates finally make it to the state level? I do not know, but when I see numbers that do not make sense I tend to not use that data. Montgomery County shows 53 deaths a week ago and 65 COVID-19 deaths yesterday. It bothered me a bit with this slight increase since daily records showed zero daily deaths, but I accepted that the real death total could have gone from 53 to 65. Liberty County reported 3 total deaths and then it jumped to 26 COVID-19 deaths almost overnight. Chambers County went from 5 to 6 deaths in a week. Waller County went from 0 to 4 total deaths in a week. Fort Bend County went from 85 to 96 – again realistic. But, Brazoria County went from 35 to 60 in a week. That is not realistic, even though it is the County reporting it. I record daily COVID-19 deaths in the greater Houston area because I can’t find a single source that gives me the data I am looking for. It is a pain to take time daily to go to each county website – they all report things differently. But, I can see things happening instantly when I look at the data daily. I tried to correlate hospital deaths in various hospitals with the county data, but hospital deaths are reported instantly and other websites rely on death certificates which take several days to record. With so many different locations reporting differing data in the United States for COVID-19 data, who do you believe in a single day’s website check? I have no problem justifying the data I analyze and publicize. I love statistics and taught it for years at the college level. I got nine hours of statistics waived when I was working on a Ph.D. degree at the University of Houston many years ago based on a fifteen-minute conversation with the stat professor. If you find other websites that look promising, please send them to me. I will track the data going back months and look closely when I see a daily jump that does not make sense. I didn’t mean to write a rant to comment on your comment, but you are right about there being a significant variance with ‘official’ Texas COVID-19 statistics. When in doubt, I go to the lowest sources – usually the county level in researching COVID-19 deaths.