Monday, March 30, 2020

Alaska COVID-19 Count Monday March 30, 2020 - New Cases = 5, New Deaths =0, New Hospitalizations =0

My Calendar chart of new cases:

CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ALASKA MARCH 2020
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
new/totalhos=hospital

12th  = 0/013th = 1/114th = 0/115th = 0/1
16th = 0/117th = 2/318th = 3/619th = 3/920th = 3/1221st= 2/1422nd= 8/22
23rd=14/3624th =6/42
1 hos 1 dead
25th = 17/59
3 hos 1 dead
26th = 10/69
3 hos 1 dead
27th =16/89
5 hos 2 dead
28th = 13/102
6 hos 2 dead
29th=12/114
6 hos  3 dead
30th= 5/119
6 hos  3 dead








We had the fewest new cases since March 21.  That's good.  Though we also had fewer new tests (59).  It would be nice if we could start leveling off and having fewer new positive cases.  But I'm not holding my breath.  Not yet.

State Charts



While I've been complaining about the lack of numbers, they've been down there in that line right above.  But since I've been getting screenshots, that link doesn't work.  So I checked it today and it downloads a table with all from March  to the present that looks like this (not enough room to put the whole thing, but if you're interested you can go to the link below.

ASPHL is Alaska State Public Health Lab



And here's my chart, updated for today.  And with the link above, I was able to get exact numbers to correct what I had for March 26.  














How To Convince People To Do The Right Thing To Avoid COVID-19 - COVID-19 The Video Game

From The Atlantic:

 "Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces."

Now reimagine this as a video game with thousands of players online together.  Their goal is to avoid getting infected, keep their grandparents alive, keep hospitals from having to turn people away.

How many rounds would it take for them to figure out they have to self-isolate and wash their hands?

Wouldn't it be better if they could figure this out in a video game instead of real life?

Let's imagine another version of the game, aimed at policy makers.  How many rounds would they have to play to figure out how to keep the virus from spreading.  And how NOT slowing it down will affect the economy and the health care system?

Was there money in the stimulus package for gaming companies?


I'd note also that the use of war metaphors for every crisis tells us more about who we are than it helps solve problems.   This is a natural disaster.  Like with a hurricane we have to avoid the fury of the storm.  We have to avoid hosting the virus.  Going to war with nature is the source of the biggest human problems in the world today - climate change, ocean acidification, species loss, industrial waste caused illnesses, economic disparities, etc.  Finding a sustainable balance within nature is NOT war.

This Corona Virus game is about whether people can cooperate to save themselves and each other from harm and death.

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Sunday March 29, 2020 Alaska COVID-19 Report - 1 New Death to 3, 1 New Hospitalization to 7, 12 New Cases to 114

Today's new State report is up.  First, here's my calendar summary.

CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ALASKA MARCH 2020
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
new/totalhos=hospital

12th  = 0/013th = 1/114th = 0/115th = 0/1
16th = 0/117th = 2/318th = 3/619th = 3/920th = 3/1221st= 2/1422nd= 8/22
23rd=14/3624th =6/42
1 hos 1 dead
25th = 17/59
3 hos 1 dead
26th = 10/69
3 hos 1 dead
27th =16/89
5 hos 2 dead
28th = 13/102
6 hos 2 dead
29th=12/114
7 hos  3 dead







We have 12 new cases for a total of 114 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

We also have one more death since yesterday, for a total of 3.  

We have one more hospitalized, for a total of 7.





 The last few days the number of tests has been going up and down fairly sharply.  Not sure why.  Again, not sure if the numbers reflect the number of tests on a particular day, or tests reported to the state on a particular day.  Or even whether they are tests given or tests results.  Or whether it could mean any of those.


My chart tracking cases over time.  I've been making changes that reflect changes in the data offered by the state.  The chart immediately above used to just be negative cases.  One can still calculate the negative tests by subtracting total tests on a day from new confirmed cases.  But you can tell if they are from the State labs or private labs.  That info might be meaningful (not sure) but I changed the chart because the original info was no longer available.
Today I've added four new columns to show info that started showing up March 24 - deaths and hospitalizations.





Charts Are Helpful, But Be Careful

I'm playing with the charting abilities of Numbers (Mac's Excel).  It's really easy to make charts, even if you have no idea what they mean.  So let's look at two charts I made to help you see how using different scales affect how good or bad things look.

First - a chart with cumulative cases and cumulative deaths over time in Alaska.


This scale seems reasonably useful for total cases (114), but the scale  really hard to see the deaths (3).

I also made a chart of just the deaths.  It shows how radically different it looks with a different scale.


Here, the curve for deaths looks a lot like the curve for cases.  You'll note there were 3 days with one death before the second death.  Then two days before the third death.  And there was a long lag time (14 days) from the first reported case to the first reported death.  So we can assume that deaths from earlier confirmed cases are going to start leading to a quicker increase - but at a much lower rate - of deaths.  But keep your skepticism handy since I'm treading beyond what I have a firm understanding of.

The State posted this additional information:

"The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) today announced 12 new cases of COVID-19 in six  Alaska communities – Anchorage (4), Eagle River (1), Fairbanks (4), North Pole (1), Juneau (1) and Ketchikan (1).
DHSS also reported the third death of an Alaskan from COVID-19. The individual was a 73-year-old Anchorage resident. The patient was tested on March 23 and admitted to an Anchorage hospital and passed away on the evening of March 28.
Five of the new cases are older adults (60+); two are adults aged 30-59; four are younger adults aged 19-29 and one is under 18.  Six are female and six are male. Six of the cases are close contacts of previously diagnosed cases; one is travel-related and five are still under investigation.
So far the communities in Alaska that have had laboratory-confirmed cases include Anchorage (including JBER), Eagle River/Chugiak, Girdwood, Fairbanks, North Pole, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, Palmer, Seward, Soldotna and Sterling."

US Senate candidate Al Gross, an orthopedic surgeon, held a large phone question and answer session on the Corona Virus today.  His wife, a pediatrician, also answered some of the questions.  He sounded a little stiff in the opening, but once he started answering questions he seemed more relaxed.


For all the posts on the state reports click on the tag/label Alaska COVID-19 Count.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Alaska COVID-19 Count March 28 - 17 More Cases For A Total Of 102 [Updated]


First, my updated summary in calendar form so you can see, day by day, the how many cases are being confirmed.  The first confirmed case was reported Friday March 13.  Fifteen days later we have 102 confirmed cases, 6 hospitalized, and 2 dead. (One was an Alaskan who caught the virus and died in Washington State.)


CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ALASKA MARCH 2020
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
new/totalhos=hospital

12th  = 0/013th = 1/114th = 0/115th = 0/1
16th = 0/117th = 2/318th = 3/619th = 3/920th = 3/1221st= 2/1422nd= 8/22
23rd=14/3624th =6/42
1 hos 1 dead
25th = 17/59
3 hos 1 dead
26th = 10/69
3 hos 1 dead
27th =16/89
5 hos 2 dead
28th = 17/102
6 hos 2 dead









The highest daily increase in confirmed cases was Wednesday March 25, with 17 cases.  [UPDATE: March 28, 2020 8:50pm The three days since the number of new cases was 10, 16, and 13.  Whoops, I messed up, it's 17 more today, not 13.  I'm going through and fixing this.] If you look at the last of the State posted charts (daily tests given) you'll see there was a spike of tests given on March 23.  Did it take two days for many of them to be reported, resulting in the increase on the 25th?  Tests dropped sharply on the 24th, then up slightly on the 25th and more on the 26th, then dropped again.  
I mention this because the number of positive cases may well be related to how many tests were given, but that's speculation.  Graphing the daily tests along with the daily new confirmed cases is a worthy project, but beyond the time I'm ready to commit here.  I see my job here as providing the raw data over time, since the State replaces its page with a new one each day, so people get just the latest snapshot.  And there's enough ambiguity about how long it takes for test results to get reported that any correlation could be messed up by time lags.  



Now, the State's charts for today, Saturday, March 28, 2020.  (You can see the daily updates here.)


Note that the scale of this chart (above) changes from day to day, as the numbers on the left hand axis increase and the number of days increases.


The Municipality of Anchorage (Anchorage and Eagle River/Chugiak) have just over half the state cases, which roughly proportional to its share of the statewide population.






My chart tracking the increases daily.



I decided to try a graph to see what it would add.  It definitely shows the exponential growth of positive cases in Alaska.  When they talk about "flattening the curve" they're talking about keeping this from going up too high by having fewer and fewer new cases each day.  We can do this by not testing or by being strict about self isolation.  (Just to be clear, the first option doesn't actually do any good, it just means we don't have any data to know what's happening.)

The steepness of this curve can be manipulated by widening the columns.  This was the default width in Numbers (Mac's version of Excel).



To see all these posts (and all the State charts since March 12, 2020, click here.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Alaska COVID-19 Case Count 3/27/20 -1 More Dead, 2 More Hospitalize, 16 More Confirmed to 85 Total

[UPDATED March 27, 2020 8:50pm:  The ADN has more details on today's death - a 63 year old woman with underlying health issues - and further restrictions on Alaskans.]


My calendar update on new confirmed cases/cumulative total, plus hospitalizations and deaths based on State posting.  [Note: that link will take you to the latest posting, not necessarily the one with the charts below.  That's what motivated me to make screenshots each day and reformat the information.]

CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ALASKA MARCH 2020
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
new/totalhos=hospital

12th  = 0/013th = 1/114th = 0/115th = 0/1
16th = 0/117th = 2/318th = 3/619th = 3/920th = 3/1221st= 2/1422nd= 8/22
23rd=14/3624th =6/42
1 hos 
1 dead
25th = 17/59
3 hos 
1 dead
26th = 10/69
3 hos 
1 dead
27th =16/89
5 hos 
2 dead











State's Posting Today


If you notice, the first case in the chart was on March 5.  The state didn't post its first confirmed case until March 13.  So that's why the chart says "Date of Onset."  The line about "cases being assigned . . . is still not clear to me.  I'm assuming they mean to a date on the chart.  Does onset mean when patient first exhibited symptoms?  And I'm hazy on the difference between diagnosis and report.  I assume someone could be diagnosed one day and reported to the State another day.  But I'm not sure if that's what they mean.


 Fairbanks has overtaken Ketchikan for second place after Anchorage.  Ketchikan has added 1 case to get to 12 and Fairbanks has added 5 to get to 15.




We now have had 2388 people tested.  But be careful.  The last date on the cumulative graph is 3/25, but the last date on the test by day chart is 3/26.  I understand how easy it is to get things wrong.    One of the kind of things that makes tracking these numbers sketchy.  Take everything with a grain of salt.  That said, let me thank the people who are putting this all together everyday.  Getting all these details right is a daunting task.  Especially with all the other assignments I'm sure the charters have.  I have enough trouble just collecting their data and getting it accurate, so I know how easy it is to not see something that needs a fix.  

But using their total number of people tested and the total number of people confirmed, as I figure this, we have about 3.5% of the people taking the test testing positive.  [Note: one of the deaths was tested and confirmed Outside of Alaska, so his test wouldn't be in our totals (I don't think), but his confirmed status would be.  

We're all presuming that the people tested had symptoms and or traveled somewhere where the virus is widespread.  This the rest of the population that wasn't tested, shouldn't be positive at that same rate.  But that's a big presumption.  Here's what the numbers would look like if the rest of the population tested positive at:
1% = 7300 people positive
.5%= 3650 people positive
.1% =  730 people positive

And many of those folks are circulating and spreading the virus.  So the number of actual positive cases would be growing very quickly every day.  


My Original Chart - I've changed the format here because the State's format changes made it impossible to keep filling in some of the columns accurately.  I think the info on here is the most important - of what the state gives us.  But it also overlaps with the chart on top somewhat, but in a different format.  




Alaska COVID-19 Case Counts For Thursday March 27


Yesterday's State report showed us UP 10 new cases (less than the day before) to a total of 69.



CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES ALASKA MARCH 2020
MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
new/total


12th  = 0/013th = 1/114th = 0/115th = 0/1
16th = 0/117th = 2/318th = 3/619th = 3/920th = 3/1221st= 2/1422nd= 8/22
23rd=14/3624th =6/42
1 hos 1 dead
25th = 17/59
3 hos 1 dead
26th = 10/69
3 hos 1 dead












Here are the charts the State put up.


They've added to the description "cases are assigned by date of onset, diagnosis, or report - whichever is earliest..."   Previously these charts were 'date of onset.'  So, again, it seems to me, there is no consistent way to figure out the rate of increase of cases  from this chart, even though it is on a timeline, because the numbers might mean different things and we aren't told why any given box is assigned the date it has.  Or, if a given box on the chart today might be moved to a different date tomorrow.  Maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I understand what that says.  This chart does give a visual sense of the dominance of Anchorage cases.  And the graphs below give us another chronological look of tests, but not of confirmed cases.




Is Ketchikan the second highest community (11) because the person who brought it into the community saw so many people?  Because it was easier to track who he saw?  Or because a larger proportion of people were tested?


1388 people have been tested according to the top chart.  While they attach numbers to the cumulative chart, I don't know why they don't attach numbers to the daily chart.  It would be much easier to figure out the numbers.  As it is, we have to subtract yesterday's cumulative from today's to figure out a more precise number of those tested.  But then we don't know if these numbers represent actual tests on a given day, or whether these are when the tests are reported to the State.


MY CHART:  I've reformatted the chart because I was tracking data the State no longer provided.  I hope this works better.





One Person In A Leaky Boat Can Jeopardize Everyone - Same In A Pandemic

When Jim Jones' cult members drank the Kool Aid, it was a terrible tragedy.  An example of mass delusion resulting in many deaths.  But the people drinking the Kool Aid were only endangering themselves.

But when people don't self-isolate now, they endanger everyone.  Including themselves, not only through getting the virus, but through overburdening health facilities.

Then people with normal, treatable problems, may not have access to the health care they would normally get.  Car crashes, falls, fire victims, shooting victims, overdose victims, and on and on.

AND IT HAS ALREADY BEGUN

When you call the Medical Practice I go to here in Anchorage, Alaska, you get this message on the phone:
"Due to COVID-19 our visits are solely focused on the sick who need urgent care.  People scheduled for wellness visits are asked to postpone their visits."

So since I'm overall improved - three steps forward, two back - I'm not bothering them.  My coughing  is less frequent, my temperature lower (though it varies greatly and was 99˚F two nights ago, 98.4 last night), and today I don't feel as weak as I did a couple of days ago.

I also got the lab test report back.  They tested me for a lot more things that I realized and a quick glance shows that everything was negative.  The only thing I really wanted to be tested for was COVID-19, but that they didn't test for.






RESPIRATORY PATHOGEN PANEL,NAAT - Final result (03/11/2020 4:45 PM AKDT)
RESPIRATORY PATHOGEN PANEL,NAAT - Final result (03/11/2020 4:45 PM AKDT)
ComponentValueRef RangePerformed AtPathologist Signature
Respiratory Pathogens PanelNegative
Comment: 
A negative result does not rule out the presence of viral nucleic acid below the limit of detection of this assay or the presence of PCR inhibitors and does not rule out infection with these viruses.

This test is FDA approved and is intended for in vitro diagnostic use.
NegativePAMC MICRO LAB
AdenovirusNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Coronavirus 229ENot DetectedComment: This test does NOT detect the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Follow your local Public Health Authority's guidelines for COVID-19 testing.Not DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Coronavirus HKU1Not DetectedComment: This test does NOT detect the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Follow your local Public Health Authority's guidelines for COVID-19 testing.Not DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Coronavirus NL63Not DetectedComment: This test does NOT detect the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Follow your local Public Health Authority's guidelines for COVID-19 testing.Not DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Coronavirus OC43Not DetectedComment: This test does NOT detect the novel Coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Follow your local Public Health Authority's guidelines for COVID-19 testing.Not DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Human MetapneumovirusNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Rhinovirus/EnterovirusNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Influenza A PCRNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Influenza A 2009 H1Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Influenza A H1Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Influenza A H3Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Influenza B PCRNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Parainfluenza 1Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Parainfluenza 2Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Parainfluenza 3Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Parainfluenza 4Not DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
RSVNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Bordetella Pertussis PCRNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Chlamydia pneumoniaeNot DetectedNot DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB
Mycoplasma pneumoniaeNot Detected









Not DetectedPAMC MICRO LAB

Stay healthy everyone.