Sunday, March 29, 2020

COVID19: Ranking The States

This morning I have a table to summarize some of the COVID19 stats for the US as a whole. It's a bit rough and ready, as you can see, but I hope it may allow us to clarify a few things--including expectations for next week. Let me explain what we have here, first.

I've basically taken the Worldometer summary table. The states (and DC) are ranked by total cases, but in parentheses I've added the rank of each state by population. (If you notice a ranking discrepancy, it's because I deleted PR, without changing the numbered ranking.) Then I added a far right hand column with total tests performed. (H/T Ray So-Cal).

A perusal of the ranking by Covid10 compared to population ranking provides a rough and ready idea of where the states stand--at the present time--on a per capita basis. Keep in mind something rather important in this regard. The main ports of entry into the US from foreign countries that might import Covid19 prominently include these:

NY, LA, SF, Seattle, Chicago, DC, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Boston, Detroit.

You'd expect the states that contain those cities to rank high up on the total cases. You might also want to add in neighboring states in some cases--NJ, next to NY, for example.

Next you'll want to compare total testing with population ranking. That will tell you which states are more or less on the ball with their testing programs (we're all behind and playing catch up) and which states have dropped the ball.

If a state ranks pretty high on total cases but has done little testing as compared to its population ranking you could probably expect--if you're a betting type of person--that in the coming week or two as lots more testing gets done those states are gonna get hammered.

For example.

Michigan and California rank near the top of the table, but are way, way, behind other states in terms of testing if you compare them to their population ranking. Both states--but especially California--are top destinations for foreign travelers from China. Texas (2) is more down toward the middle of the chart and is home to two top ports of entry, but has been slow to get testing going--when you consider its population. Louisiana (25) has been hard hit. On the other hand, it has been doing a fair amount of testing on a per capita basis. Georgia (8) is also behind on its testing. These are the states I'll be watching for dramatic developments, although the entire top third of the table bears watching. IL and FL have top ports of entry, for example. They've been testing, doing a better job than CA and MI, but it's still relatively early days.

Maybe some other aspects of these stats will jump out at you. The stats aren't totally up to date, but they mostly reflect yesterday and won't be much off on a comparative basis.


  1. Nice!

    I did a similar spreadsheet using data from

    I added a couple of columns, and the results for Ca worry me. What I was looking for was trends, and the % of positives tells you when states are behind.NY has huge issues, they are around 34%. CA still has 60,000 tests pending.

    I’m Hoping the 5-45 minute tests go into production ASAP and testing expands X10. And they start giving out quinine like candy. For first responders and healthcare workers perhaps they all should take it as a preventative. It seems to be most effective when used early.

    1. Thanks for the help. I had to tailor the table to fit the blog. I didn't want to get into editing the html to make it work, so I just kinda winged it.

      I'm afraid the numbers for some of the states mentioned will be very ugly next week. Hopefully the meds will become widely available. We need that--not just social distancing.

    2. California has the largest population in the United States, and It is second only to Texas in area. It has two major cities, neither of which approaches NYC in population or density. We’ll see.

      Dr. Birx cautioned that, with the advent of greater testing, the numbers of positives would grow during the next few weeks. That then takes the relative percentages down for the hospitalized and the deceased. A number that would interest me would be the total number of tests given to persons with symptoms and how many of those actually test positive for COVID-19.

      In California, I believe the fact that we live so spread out will help. A relative few live in congested cities. We don’t have to rely on public transportation, where we would be crowded together. Every place where there might be crowding has been closed. We’ll see.

    3. Those are valid points, which apply to most of the US in general--reasons why I've believed there is room for optimism. Still, I learned last night that there are a surprising number of cases in expensive suburbs in my area--world traveling business people? However, the fact that CA ranks so high in total cases already while it lags so
      badly in testing should give pause. Lately the reporting I've seen has emphasized that they believe most transmission is by actual physical contact--with a person or surface connected to a person--rather than airborne. With enough of that before social distancing took hold, CA's huge population could still produce large numbers of cases.

      Time will tell. I'm making no predictions (Fauci, today, is saying 100-200K deaths--quite a range). I just wanted to see if we could get a sense of what to keep an eye on for the near term, and then maybe we'll get a sense for the longer term.

  2. What about D.C.? Combined with Maryland or Virginia?

    1. Mark, your data sheet is interesting. I am sitting here in amazement at my belief that the second of the two major cities CA cities I was thinking about - San Francisco - is actually #4 in population after Los Angeles (nearly 4 million at last count), San Diego and San Jose. San Francisco is more compressed…

      The Los Angeles Times did a major compilation of data from the entire state for this long, comprehensive (and understandably temporary as to accuracy) piece:

    2. Very interesting article. Note how it has spread to the wealthier outlying counties around the Bay area. And San Jose ... Not surprising, though--it falls in line with the money paragraphs of the article (for me):

      "How is the virus spreading?

      "Most early California cases were linked to foreign travel and returning tourists who passed the illness on to family and close contacts."

      I originally thought this would lead to limited spread in the US, and that may still be true. The spread in East/West Coast areas and major port of entry areas may not be as contained.

      "While some cases are still under investigation, daily reports published by the state show a growing share is now attributed to community spread. That's the term used when a virus is no longer contained to small groups and the source of exposure is unknown. Experts say this is a sign the sickness is spreading more widely."

  3. On the debate, over whether most transmission is by actual physical contact-- with a person or surface connected to a person --rather than airborne, see a paper on "Estimating the asymptomatic proportion of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on board the Diamond Princess", at .

    Perhaps the most striking finding is that "Of the 634 confirmed cases, a total of 306 and *328* were reported to be symptomatic and *asymptomatic*, respectively."

    Only 328 out of 634 getting any symptoms, despite the accompanying chart showing, the clear preponderance (almost *3/4*) of the infected being over age 60, and being all-but packed in like sardines, for almost a month.

  4. The link posted by aNM does not work. I believe this is the correct url:

  5. Total deaths and total testing colums obscured by bookcases.

    1. Sorry, not for me. Don't know how to do it any better.

    2. Neill, I’m seeing them just fine. Try reducing the size of the font you are using (I have Zoom In and Zoom Out at top of window that changes this). It may bring those columns into sight.

  6. One New York doctor’s results with his 699 COVID patients: Zero deaths.
    Yesterday Rudy Giuliani interviewed a NYC suburb doctor (Vladimir Zelenko) who decided to prescribe HydroxyChloroquine + Zinc + Z-pac after reading a S-Korea & French studies. He says people are dying in U.S. hospitals because they aren’t using HydroxyChloroquine until the patients lungs are compromised by ARDS (50% mortality). (That’s “compassionate use”). Doctor says you must prescribe HydroxyChloroquine BEFORE ARDS becomes entrenched in lungs.