Saturday, April 24, 2021

New Jersey remains the second worst state in new Covid infections per capita; more than twice the national average

An April 23 article in Statnews by Andrew Joseph titled States with springtime Covid-19 surges appear to have turned a corner contains text:

Trends can also be moving in the right direction when, in raw numbers, infections are still high. Cases may be coming down in Michigan, but they’re still higher than they were there at just about at any other point in the pandemic. National case counts in the 60,000 range as opposed to the, say, 20,000 range mean that many more people will suffer severe outcomes from the coronavirus. And while death counts have dropped dramatically from the more than 3,000 people taken daily in the United States in stretches of January and February, the progress has been stalled at more than 700 deaths per day. The hope is that if case counts continue to fall over the coming weeks, deaths will follow in turn.

But there was an intermediate hurdle: In some states, cases started rising again this spring, as politicians eased restrictions and individuals grew more relaxed. More transmissible variants of the coronavirus pushed cases up or slowed progress — most notably B.1.1.7, which ignited major outbreaks in the United Kingdom (where it first emerged) and then in other European countries. Some recent transmission in New York and New Jersey also seems to have been driven by another variant, B.1.526. The declining case counts in Michigan and other states suggest we may be back on track. “I’m hopeful for that,” epidemiologist Stephen Kissler of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health said about the U.S. dodging the full brunt of B.1.1.7. “I’m cautiously optimistic.”

A list of the "bad" states for new Covid cases follows. With the national average 129.3 new Covid cases per 100,000 people, Michigan (432.4) and New Jersey ( 261 ) remain numbers one and two as being the worst, both being at a level more than twice the national average. As to easing of restrictions, New Jersey did very little in the time period preceding and during the spring 2021 increase. Separately, there is no evidence that the five worst states [Mich, NJ, Del., PA, Minnesota ] had unusual levels of B.1.1.7 relative to states with lower levels of covid per 100,000. The situation in Michigan remains largely unexplained.


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