Following up on my two previous posts (here and here), I am writing a third post on COVID-19 in Maryland because I believe we enter a new phase.
Before continuing, please note that the same disclaimer as in my previous post applies here (in short: read the CDC and MDH websites for official information).
In the first phase, the importance was to detect and make sure COVID-19 patients were treated (also: make sure not to overwhelm the healthcare system, flatten the curve, lower the baseline, & stay at home!). My two previous posts were following these efforts, thanks to daily data released by the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) on its dashboard. My second post will still be updated with the latest data from there, go read it!
This first phase is not over yet but we started to see metrics states and governments will consider in order to “reopen”. Hence this second phase is adding specifically these metrics, again thanks to the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) on its dashboard (and probably other data sources that will be linked as I use them).
In Maryland, the Governor issues a Roadmap to Recovery on April 24, 2020. In this (easy to read) document, a lot of aspects are introduced and here is what will be tracked and for how long:
- “state public health officials should review the numbers of new COVID-19 daily case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths carefully” and “The results of reopening decisions will take 2 to 3 weeks to be reflected in those numbers.“
- “the White House’s gating guidelines state that a 14-day downward trajectory of benchmark metrics – or at least a plateauing of rates – is required before recovery steps can begin, and before each additional recovery step can move forward“
That’s why Governor Larry Hogan tweeted his focus on April 24:
Governor Hogan’s focus was informed in part by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security’s Guidance for Governors about Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19 (PDF). There the proposed principles for action are:
States should consider initiating the reopening process when (1) the number of new cases has declined for at least 14 days; (2) rapid diagnostic testing capacity is sufficient to test, at minimum, all people with COVID-19 symptoms, including mild cases, as well as close contacts and those in essential roles; (3) the healthcare system is able to safely care for all patients, including providing appropriate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers; and (4) there is sufficient public health capacity to conduct contact tracing for all new cases and their close contactsPublic Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, April 17, 2020.
On April 27, 2020, this is what we currently have … On the first chart, the number of positive tests is increasing (probably due to the increase of testing done), hospitalizations and deaths are slowly going up, overall. On the third chart, it seems the number of people in ICU is plateauing. Below these charts, I’ll post the updated charts as days are passing …
Updated charts (look at the date at the bottom right):
To be continued …