COVID-19: 10/12/2020 Update (Including International, National, State and Local News)

Worldwide Daily Cases 10.12.2020 (Source: Worldometers)

I hope you enjoyed a quiet weekend with the rain outside and football or a quiet book inside. Rainy fall weekends are among our favorites. We completed the Bill and Ted trilogy with the Urban children and I must say, “Face the Music” was most excellent. To me, it was better than the original – or maybe my expectations were lowered by “Bogus Journey,” which was so bad I grieved for the 1 1/2 hours of my life lost to the cause.

We’re using some of our time with the young ones to pursue movies they’ve missed and next up is the original King Kong. There are sneaky life lessons and lots of campy fun hidden in each one. Here’s the weekly comprehensive report. Remember, “Be excellent to each other.”

International News:

Just over 37.8 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 across the world. Of these, almost 1.1 million people have died of the illness. About 28.4 million have recovered and over 8.3 million remain ill. In the week since the last report, about 2.3 million people have become ill and about 39,000 have died. In the previous week, about 2.1 million had become ill and about 40,000 had died.

Yesterday, 277,998 new cases were reported, along with 3,874 deaths. Compared to the same day a week ago this reflects an increase of 28,000 cases, but about 100 fewer deaths for the day. The current seven-day average of new cases, 324,001, was approximately 288.3 a week ago, showing a daily increase of cases of about 37.5 thousand in just one week. As cases are rapidly tracking upward, there were four consecutive days of new records last week, culminating with a new high of 359,270 on Saturday. We are adding a new million cases every three-to-four days.

Worldwide Daily Deaths 10.12.2020 (Source: Worldometers)

Deaths remain remarkably level in recent weeks, but may be showing signs of reversing the trend. The current average for daily deaths is 5,285, up from about 5,000 the same day last week, however down slightly from 5,300 two weeks ago. As of yesterday, three of the four countries reporting the most deaths were the same as a week earlier, with Mexico leaving the top four and being replaced by Argentina: India (813), the U.S. (325), Argentina (287) and Brazil (270). Whereas the top three countries in cases and deaths once represented over half of the totals, that is no longer the case. Nine countries reported at least 100 deaths for the day.

In all recent weeks, four countries (on the day I report each week) reported over 10,000 new cases. This week, there are six countries reporting over 10,000, reflecting the fact that the spread is wider. While the top four countries are the same as last week, they’ve been joined by two other countries: India (67,757), the U.S. (41,935), France (16,101), Russia (13,634), the U.K. (12,872), and Argentina (10,324). Each of the six countries reported more cases on the same day this week than last, with the exception of India.

Nothing indicates the wider nature of the spread than the countries reporting over 1,000 cases for the day. On the same day in recent weeks, that number as been successively: 28, 31, 33, 34. Yesterday, 39 countries reported over 1,000 new cases for the day. Europe has 15 countries in the list (11 last week), Asia (which includes the middle east) has 12 (same as last week) and South America has 5 (same as last week), and Africa has four.

After discovering a dozen cases, China plans to test the entire 9.5 million residents of Quingdao in a five day period. Here’s a fresh, brief look at Sweden, the country that continues to fascinate the world for its alternative approach to the virus. With the virus erupting in Europe, once more, restrictions are being applied, but more selectively to hot spots.

U.S. Daily Cases 10.12.2020 (Source: Worldometers)

National News:

As of this writing, just under (by about 700) 8,000,000 Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and just under 220,000 have died of the illness. Over 5.1 million have recovered and about 2.65 million people remain ill. In the week since the last report, about 358,000 cases have been added and over 5,300 Americans have died. Cases are significantly higher than the previous two weeks (317k, 270K), while deaths increased this week over last, but matched the previous week (5,100, 5,300).

The U.S. continues to lead the world in cases, though India has closed to within 800,000 and appears likely to surpass the U.S. eventually. The number of daily cases is clearly rising in the U.S. over the last month. On September 12, the daily average of new cases was 35,582. A week ago it was 43,804 and it now sits at 50,014, about where it was on August 18.

U.S. Daily Deaths 10.12.2020 (Source: Worldometers)

Deaths are now averaging 725 per day and have continued to decline slowly, with a few surges, since early August. A month ago the average number of deaths was 760. Last week on the same day, the average was 736. States leading in deaths yesterday were Florida (90), Texas (28) and Georgia (23).

The number of states reporting 1,000 new cases or multiple thousands for the day reflects the trend: Last week I reported two states with multiple thousands and twelve with 1,000 or more. This week (same day for comparison), there are five states with multiple thousands and sixteen with 1,000 or more new cases. The ones with multiple cases: Texas (2,789), Illinois (2,727), California (2,723), Wisconsin (2,676), and Tennessee (2,068). Then entire group of sixteen states is a mix of southern and mid-western, with only three exceptions: California (3rd), New York (13th) and Pennsylvania (16th).

The biggest domestic news has continued to be the health of the President. President Trump has been declared to no longer be a risk for spreading the virus by the White House doctor, and held his first public event (with several hundred guests) at the White House over the weekend, saying that he is now immune and the virus “is disappearing.” New York City has instituted targeted lockdowns and began issuing fines for violations over the weekend. CNN reports that 31 states have increasing numbers of cases.

Tennessee Daily Cases 10.12.2020 (Source: TN.gov)

State News:

Yesterday, the state of Tennessee reported 2,068 new cases, fifth highest in the country for the day. Three of the last seven days have yielded over 2,000 cases and the four-day-average has escalated rapidly, from 1,174 on 10/4 to its current 1,930. That said, testing seems to have resumed higher levels, so that accounts for some of the increase.

There are now pandemic totals of 204,848 confirmed cases and 9,869 probable cases. Of these, 193,849 people have recovered or are considered inactive. 8,232 people are currently ill, which compares to 5,972 a week earlier, and 7,408 on Friday.

The state reported 9 deaths yesterday, with a total of 62 for the three-day period since the last report. The state is currently averaging 27 deaths each day, down from 29 a week earlier. 47 Tennesseans were hospitalized with COVID-19, yesterday, bringing the pandemic total to 9,180. Of these, 846 remain hospitalized, with 245 in ICUs and 126 on ventilators. Going into the weekend, those numbers were 1,021 hospitalized, 283 in ICUs and 144 on ventilators, reflecting an improvement in all three categories.

Tennessee Daily Testing and Positive Test Result Rate 10.12.2020 (Source: Johns Hopkins University)

Reported testing yesterday totaled roughly 31,000 tests with a positive result rate of 6.72%. The number of tests given in the state over the last eight days is more reflective of earlier levels, after a previous drop. Johns Hopkins University is reporting a 6.7% average positive rate for the state over the last seven days. While still slightly higher than preferred, the positive test rate has remained steady and well below previous levels.

Knox County Daily Cases 10.12.2020 (Source: Knox County Health Department)

Knox County News:

Cases in Knox County are increasing. We began October by completing 8 consecutive days of numbers below 100. October 6 and 7 were our first back-to-back days over 100 since September 9 – 13 produced five consecutive days over 100. The numbers of new cases for Saturday, Sunday and today are 130, 108 and 139.

The pandemic total is now 11,024 confirmed cases, with 501 probable cases. 10,308 are considered recovered and 1,131 are currently ill with the virus. There were 957 at my last report on Friday. Of most pressing concern, is that hospitalizations continue to establish new records. We tied a record on 10/5 with 50 hospitalizations of COVID-positive Knox County residents at one time. That number has steadily climbed since and is now at 66. There were no deaths reported in the last three days, leaving that total at 86 for the county.

University of Tennessee Active Cases 10.12.2020 (Source: University of Tennessee)

University of Tennessee News:

The University of Tennessee is reporting 59 active cases, almost identical to the number reported for the last week. 1,553 students and staff have recovered. New cases reported each of the last three days were 11, 4, and 1. 293 are in quarantine or isolation, 25 more than I reported on Friday. No clusters were identified.

For now, I will continue to report UT statistics, but I’m not sure how much longer that will continue to be the case. One of two things is true: It is possible the of cases are so low at the University of Tennessee and, since they are included in Knox County numbers as appropriate, there is no reason to report them separately. Alternately, the data coming out of the University of Tennessee is vastly under reporting the true level of illness. In that case, there is no need to continue reporting misleading numbers.

I’d be interested in your take on whether to continue.

Knox County Schools News:

The Knox County School System is on fall break and is not updating their numbers until they return to school next week.

Comments

  1. If the UT numbers are rolled up with Knox County, I don’t see any need to report them separately.

  2. I think you should continue with UTK numbers, and we need to determine why they are under reporting and try to get them on board with accurate numbers. A drive down Cumberland will show anyone why there are cases at UTK. Students are not social distancing and many are not masked.

  3. Perhaps you could report on UT weekly? Fridays might be good, after the Chancellor’s report.
    One of the big problems for UT in trying to monitor covid is that they have limited ways to influence the behavior of students who don’t live in the dorms. Most dorm occupants are freshmen; students who live off-campus far outnumber the ones in the dorms. All students are required to self-report if they test positive or are sick, but not everyone is obeying the rules. So there isn’t even a way to estimate the magnitude of under-reporting.

  4. It’s not just the data. You spend so much time and effort to provide the most accurate information possible, but it’s pretty clear that no one at UT really cares about data, much less health. If I were you, I’d stop tracking UT, as it can only impact the credibility of the rest of your information. I do not envy the chancellor, as that position seems to be one of much responsibility and little authority.

  5. Heather Johnson says

    Should the mass testing of certain on-campus residency halls make the UTK numbers more accurate? Are they still doing mass testing? I would agree that relying on volunteer testing at UTK probably doesn’t give us a true picture… That aside, I am concerned about our high number of people hospitalized in Knoxville. I know some people aren’t that concerned about how many cases we have in Knox County (since some people don’t get that sick), but I think everyone can agree that hospitalizations are not good and we do not (repeat, do not) want our hospitals overrun. That is one thing we need to keep an eye on (we have been on “yellow” for capacity in the hospitals for a while now). Thanks, always, for your reporting!

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Thank you. As for the mass testing – yes, they are continuing it. Unfortunately, that only gets to the students who live on campus and the vast majority do not.

  6. Bob Fischer says

    It was a pleasure to get out and relax at a sanctuary business for a relaxing game day brunch. The Rib Sticker Breakfast Bowl at Holly’s Gourmet Market will replace nicely all the brunch spots I drove by to get to this wonderful jewel of Homburg at Bearden. It was a pleasure to engage in masked banter with a server that was positive about his job and his view of hope for the world. While he admitted to having an occasional struggle with what is turning out to be an incredibly vocal minority sans masks, the hope and positive attitude that he brought with the meal was a much needed respite from what is a simple scientific issue, but increasingly becoming but a complex social problem. Sanctuary businesses are important to those of us masking for others. It’s a bit of selfishness for ourselves and a way to get out of the house. Thank you to all in business taking this seriously.

    With the advent of todays new cases it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a direct causal relationship between spreader events and new active cases. While it has been difficult establishing such a relationship earlier in the pandemic, due simply to the smaller number of cases and difficulty tracing back to any given event, the rise in cases and size of potential spreader events, has made these events stand out. What started out as an observational theory that 14 days out from an event, the event will be measurable is becoming more and more of a statistical certainty as these events start to stack on one another over time. Unfortunately Mayor Jacob’s cult/mob/terrorists/freedom fighters (there seems to be an ongoing dispute as to what to call this group) appear to have mastered weaponizing crowds as a means of spreading the virus, and without some sort of pushback or control, now hold the future spread of this disease in their hands. The first three spreader events of this recent cycle have tracked exactly to what they should have. We knew we would struggle keeping football and that it would require a collective effort, but frankly, I am at a loss about what to do with infected, mask-less mobs. Who would have thought that this could ever happen in Knoxville?

    I would like to see you keep reporting on the UT numbers. As the pandemic matures and our local surges continue, UT is offering some valuable insight, such as how changing attitudes can affect statistical outcomes. Since my information is anecdotal (from Little Fish) and a result of a daily survey that only measures a brief window of time each day, cross referencing statistics and information gives quite a big picture, not only in how UT is handling the disease, but what techniques they are using that might help our community as a whole, and your UT report helps in my understanding of the big picture of what has happened, and what to look for next. What I’m seeing and hearing in my small window, correlates with what I see from your statistics, and I see and hear a bunch down there that makes me wonder just what effect the various actions are having. Your report is an invaluable resource in helping me put that together.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed as to what the Missouri Game will do to the active cases as we look forward to our game with Kentucky. I would caution people to pay attention to the Friday and Saturday active case numbers to get an idea of what to prepare for. The bigger the spike, the more important mask usage, including outdoors and in the stadium, will be. We are now dealing with super spreader events as a weaponized means of infecting our community as well as a challenge to return to some semblance of normalcy while adapting to mask usage in the public arena. We are facing a challenge unique in our town’s history.

    Look out for your loved ones. Look out for your neighbors. Look out for the unknown person your involvement kept from getting this disease. Look out for yourself. Please wear a mask.

  7. I agree with the suggestion about including UT data weekly, and Friday after the chancellor’s report seems reasonable. For those who want more frequent info, the graphs are on the web (https://www.utk.edu/coronavirus/guides/data-monitoring-and-contingency-options/) and the chancellor’s videos also are archived (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjj8qCMOzI0dsw2qPT33wiaFfo0mc8TBU).

    I do think that faculty and administrators care about data and also about health. I am not sure that is true for many students, however. As someone else noted, observing on Cumberland Avenue tells a different story.

    Thanks as always for all the good reporting!

  8. Hospital utilization is concerning right now. I’m not sure where these charts came from. https://twitter.com/KnoxvilleHoller/status/1315694676108881922/photo/3

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