Updated Modeling for COVID-19

On October 1, we predict there will be 3,887,718 COVID-19 infected patients in the United States. Our estimate, based on 3,887,718 infections on October 1 (inclusive) would be that we will have 170,492 deaths. Depending on whether the death rate changes, we could have upwards of 205,266 deaths, but we feel confident, based on our modeling, that the number of deaths will be closer to 170,492. We will be reassessing these numbers every 7 days.

For daily COVID-19 updates, follow Dr. Wright on Twitter!


COVID-19 Update (6/11/20)

By our way of counting, this is Day 161 of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we have neither a vaccine nor a widely available drug to effectively treat or prevent this infection. Our first USA case was identified in Washington State on Day 21 of the pandemic. In those next 140 days (20 weeks) the United States, as of 6/08/20, had 2,007,499 known COVID-19 PCR positive infected patients and 112,469 deaths, giving us a death rate of 5.6%. We had 18,905 new cases and 16,923 people in serious or critical condition on that day. That was the twentieth consecutive day that we’ve had over 16,900 people in serious or critical condition in the United States. We have 1,315,537 more COVID-19 positive infected patients than any other country in the world. The five countries other than the United States with the most cases (Brazil, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and India) have a total of 1,991,945 cases combined, which is 15,544 fewer cases than in the United States. 

Four rapidly expanding “hot spot” countries on 6/07/20 are India with 257,486 infections and 10,864 new infections, Peru with 186,515 infections and 4,757 new infections, Russia with 467,673 infections and 8,849 new infections and Brazil with 691,962 infections and 18,375 new infections. 

Our Updated COVID-19 Projections

The University of Washington’s Institute of Health Metrics (IHME) said on 4/28/20 that we would have a total of 74,000 deaths in the USA by August 5, 2020. In contrast to this, we analyzed the case and death data using our two methods again on 5/22/20.  We estimated that we would reach 2,000,000 infected patients by June 7th (in 15.4 days, 369 hours or 2.2 weeks) and have between 17,710 and 20,513 new deaths for a total number of deaths between 115,357 and 118,156. The actual numbers by the morning of June 8th were 2,007,499 and 112,469 deaths (Worldometers). We use the Worldometers numbers rather than the Johns Hopkins numbers because Worldometers includes Veteran deaths in VA facilities, deaths in the US Military, deaths in Federal Prisons, and deaths in the Navajo Nation. 

Our estimates of the number of COVID-19 deaths on June 7th were higher than the actual deaths by 2,888 deaths or 2.57%. We think this overestimation of the number of deaths might be because of hyperimmune plasma use, Remdesivir use, use of both or possibly better critical care at US hospitals. Other possibilities might be decreasing virulence of COVID-19 or flaws in our predicted models of deaths. Our modeling of the number of infected patients was off by 0.37% or 7,499 additional infections.

All of our past predictions from 4/28/20, 5/03/20, 5/08/20 and 5/22/20 for time to reach 2,000,000 infections and the estimate of the number of deaths are listed in the following chart:

A month ago, the University of Washington re-projected the number of deaths by August 4, 2020 to be 134,475. When we checked their website on 5/23/20, they had revised this number to 143,357.

We don’t usually project out 2 months for total infections and deaths, but if we did, using our methodologies, in our new projections over the next 58 days we would predict that by August 4, 2020 inclusive in the United States we will have 3,264,069 COVID-19 infected patients and a total of between 165,307 and 182,836 deaths. If the death rate (now 5.60%) decreases further, these estimates of the number of deaths will be too high.

State of California

As of 6/07/20, the State of California has 131,319 total infections, 2,279 new infections, 4,653 total deaths. On 6/07/20, California reported 4,506 hospitalized COVID-19 patients (on that day) and 1,301 patients in the ICU. If California were a country, it would rank 18th in total number of cases in the world (above China) and 14th in total deaths (above Mexico). It would rank 4th in the world in ICU patients (between Brazil and Iran). 

Monterey County

As of 6/07/20, Monterey County has 763 total  COVID-19 infections, 12 new infections and 11 total deaths (3 new deaths since our last report on 5/24/20). An unknown number of deaths (< 11 according to CPHD) have been reported at a skilled nursing home in Salinas (Windsor The Ridge Rehabilitation Center).  COVID-19 infections in Healthcare workers at two other skilled nursing facilities in the cities of Monterey and Soledad have been reported to CPHD. Two infected State prison employees have been reported in a state prison in Soledad.

We have expanding numbers of infections in eight zip codes 93901 (Salinas, 54 total infections), 93905 (Salinas, 233 total infections), 93906 (Salinas, 144 total infections), 93907 (North County, 31 total infections), 93926 (Gonzales, 28 total infections), 93927 (Greenfield, 67 total infections), 93960 (Soledad, 49 total infections) and 93930 (King City, 63 total infections). We continue to have new infections and deaths in our county that are not occurring in our neighboring agricultural counties Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. We have five times the number of deaths that Santa Cruz and San Benito County have. We are not yet seeing infections in Pacific Grove, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Carmel Highlands or Carmel Valley.  The differences in total infections  in parts of our county compared to these other counties, valleys and cities have not been explained by public health officials.

Recommended Reading

Coronavirus in prisons: See which area of the San Joaquin Valley is the most impacted 

Protest held at Avenal State Prison after COVID-19 outbreak inside facility 

Chicago coronavirus: Autopsy shows Chicago infant died of COVID-19 in March, ME says 


Helping Marginalized Communities During the Pandemic – Part 1

Marginalized communities across the globe have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next week we’ll be spotlighting some of these communities and providing links to organizations that are working to help them access medical care, economic relief, and other essential services. We invite you to LEARN by reading about these communities and their unique challenges during the pandemic, DONATE to organizations that are helping, and ADVOCATE by signing petitions and contacting your government officials. 

Civil Rights Activists and Communities of Color

Over the past few weeks, millions of anti-racist activists have taken to the streets to protest and seek justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and other victims of police violence. On May 31, the Associated Press estimated that more than 4,000 people across the country had been arrested over several days of demonstrations. As they exercised their first amendment rights, activists bravely risked both exposure to COVID-19 and injury at the hands of police and white supremacists. Now, many sit in jails unable to afford bail. We know that the risk of COVID-19 infection is much higher in institutional settings like jails and prisons, so it’s imperative, for their safety, that anti-racist activists be freed on bail as soon as possible. 




The Navajo Nation and Other Indigenous Communities

First, we acknowledge that our clinic is located on stolen Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribal land. The Rumsen were among many indigenous peoples whose lives were forever changed by genocidal acts of enslavement, kidnapping, rape, child separation, and displacement perpetrated by the governments and civilians of Spain, Mexico, and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1864, a large group of the Costanoan Rumsen Carmel Tribal people relocated from the Monterey Bay area to the Prado-Chino area in Southern California, and many of their descendants still reside in Pomona, California. Other descendants include the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation.  

Navajo Nation COVID-19 Data as of 6/2/2020.

The Navajo Nation extends into the states of Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, covering over 27,000 square miles and has a population of over 173,000. On May 18, CNN reported that the Navajo Nation had surpassed New York state for the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the US, despite having some of the strictest non-pharmaceutical interventions in place. The All-Pueblo Council of Governors and Navajo Nation leaders have asked the public to stay away from tribal lands and nearby recreational areas (like the Grand Canyon) during the pandemic to limit spread of the virus.