King County Coronavirus Daily Prediction: 6-22

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I raised the alert on Thursday that infections were way up, and then on Friday there was a delay in posting the data – King County didn’t update until after 8pm (normally the target is 1pm) due to “data issues.”

When the number was finally posted – I checked around 10pm, it was over 100. Yesterday’s number was a bit lower at 69 but still way too high.

We’re now significantly above the threshold for Phase 2, sitting at 28.7 infections per 100k residents vs. the 25 maximum. I bet the state will watch the situation over the next week. Clearly, it’s not the easing of restrictions that have caused the recent spike. It’s “other activities” – aka protesting – where people are not observing social distancing. Then, they’re bringing the virus back to their friends and family.

I suggested a few weeks ago that it might take 2 weeks or so for infections to spike after the protests on 5/30 and 5/31. Sure enough, it was relatively calm, and then boom, 6/14, 2 weeks later, started the rise in infections.

So where do we go from here. In general, people are observing social distancing and wearing masks. That is going to keep R0 low. There’s no reason to believe that the R0 should be much above 1. However, the “mega-spreading” events, like protests, where people are engaging in spreading activities (like yelling) while not observing social distancing / mask wearing is a recipe for disaster.

Will sports resume? I love how there are different models out there: the NBA is putting a bubble over themselves at Disney, while the NFL is full speed ahead with full stadiums. At this rate, I think there is significant risk to college football. All it takes is for a couple schools to close their campus and the whole model falls apart. You might see the SEC and a few other conferences try to do a conference-only schedule or something like that. So there will probably be some football, but perhaps not normal / full football. We’ll see.

The models say 40 and 46 infections for tomorrow. The polynomial model (aka Wave 2) still has more predictive power at this point.

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