And this is my best shot at giving your the most comprehensive picture of COVID19 in Texas today.
Cases: While Harris County is getting a lot of attention due to an increase in cases (and we should be worried about this), it looks like after adjusting for population, Dallas is in even worse shape. Another worrisome county is Bexar (San Antonio) given their recent steep incline. In order compare the severity of COVID across Texas counties, we NEED to adjust for population. I noticed this is missing in much of the news.
Testing: TPR has always been a problem in Texas. Our goal is 5%, and we are over 10% in most of Texas. We need to allocate resources to increase testing. Like NOW. We are not testing enough to get ahead of the epidemic.
Mortality: CFR looks steady in Texas. In fact, it’s decreasing. This is driven by COVID spread among younger Texans, who have the ability to fight off the disease compared to older populations. HOWEVER, this JUST measures mortality. This does NOT account for lifelong complications we are seeing among the young patients that survive. Which is a whole other story.
Future cases: I included classic Epi curves for each county (with 7-day average- blue line). I also included our June 13 projections calculated based on R(t), which takes into account testing, temperature/humidity, social distancing, and population density. Projections in Bexar, Travis, and Harris county are grossly UNDERestimated. We NEED to especially improve social distancing here. Projections for Dallas and Tarrant look accurate so far (but still need to improve social distancing so this projection goes flat).
Translation: We need to increase testing. We need to improve our social distancing. We need to be worried for all of Texas, but particularly the rate in Dallas and Bexar right now.
Love, your local epidemiologist
Data: DSHS. Graphs and analyses by yours truly.