COVID-19 Cases in the U.S. Continue to Rapidly Decline
Now, with the information through February 11, the shift is clear: Deaths are falling in long-term-care centers. Cases, too, have actually plunged. As essential, deaths in these centers are decreasing not simply in outright numbers, however as a share of COVID-19 deaths in the entire nation. In early January, the portion of COVID-19 deaths associated with break outs in long-term-care centers reduced listed below 30 percent for the very first time considering that we started gathering LTC information, in Might, and it has actually continued to reduce considering that. This modification associates highly with mass vaccinations in these centers.
Initially, the outright numbers: Omitting information from Missouri and New York City—both of which disposed great deals of undated deaths into their LTC information in the previous month, confounding analysis of both their specific states and the nationwide numbers—the variety of deaths in long-term-care centers has actually fallen half from the peak of reported deaths in mid-January.
However deaths are plainly falling amongst any age groups in the U.S., so one might envision that the decreases in long-term-care centers simply show this wider pattern. To check this theory, we took a look at the share of deaths that were connected to long-term-care centers. Keep in mind that these centers are house to less than 1 percent of the U.S. population. For months, the share of deaths connected to long-term-care centers bounced in between 30 and 40 percent. In mid-January, it was still 29 percent. Then, over the previous 3 weeks, the share of deaths associated with LTC break outs started to decrease.
For the week ending February 11, long-term-care-linked deaths represented just 18 percent of total reported deaths in the states where we have these data. One way to think about this is that the share of deaths associated with long-term-care facilities has been cut in half since early January.
Cause and effect have been very difficult to establish in the United States throughout the pandemic. Our national patchwork of data sets and policies has confounded many simple analyses that try to explain why cases or deaths are rising or falling. But this week, we have clear evidence that the vaccines are saving lives in exactly the places where we would expect to see their effects show up first. We are—at long last and after so many failures—beginning to protect the most vulnerable.
This week, in Texas, a major crisis has unfolded. Record-cold temperatures locked up the state’s energy infrastructure, causing huge power outages. Local news reports suggest that this slowed or stopped vaccination distribution and administration in many parts of the state. Testing sites were also closed in some areas, like Hidalgo County.
It’s not just operations but also reporting that can be disrupted. Over the previous year, we’ve seen that major storms can cause significant problems with the COVID-19 information that states report. Sometimes, these problems are easy to spot. A state will simply outright say: We cannot post information today. Other times, the wobbles a storm introduces into the information are not as noticeable.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.