We have recently begun publishing a daily look at state by state metrics for the COVID-19 outbreak that includes both the total number and day over day increases in the number of confirmed cases, deaths, and tests performed. In addition to the actual numbers, each day we also include a look at these metrics on a per capita basis to better highlight which states are doing the best and worst. This daily snapshot provides a very useful tool to stay on top of the latest trends in the pandemic.
Through the end of March, there have been a total of 183,935 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, and of those, there have been 3,727 deaths. Looking just at those numbers, a 2% fatality rate is a very scary number. Almost everyone agrees, however, that the actual number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is probably much higher. The only question is how many more cases are out there? Right now, unless you are a celebrity or an athlete, it seems that you can only get tested if you are showing symptoms or you have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have it. Therefore in order to get a better idea on the scope of the outbreak, testing has to become much more widespread and focus not just on suspected cases, but also on randomized samples.
While there has been a significant improvement compared to a few weeks ago, the pace of testing in the US still has a lot of room for improvement. In the entire United States, we have only just surpassed a total of one million tests which represents just 0.34% of the population. The chart below shows a rundown of testing as a percentage of each state’s population. New York currently leads the way with over 205K tests, representing just over 1% of its population. Other states with per capita testing at the high end of the range include Washington, Louisiana, Vermont, and Massachusetts. On the downside, Oklahoma is right on the bottom of the list with just 0.05% of its population having been tested. One notable state where testing has been low is in California. While it was one of the first states to feel the outbreak, only 0.22% of its population has been tested. One of the major factors that will drive when Americans can get back to some sense of normalcy in their lives is to find out how widespread the COVID-19 outbreak has been in terms of who has or has already had it, but until there are some major improvements in the pace of testing, that’s going to be a hard trend to get a grasp of. Start a two-week free trial to Bespoke Premium to see our list of “Stocks for the COVID Economy.”