Case Update, August 2nd, 2021, Peak in New Deaths?, Breakthrough Cases.

This is a case update, and it will come with a big correction from last week.

New confirmed cases continue to rise due to the Delta variant in the US, California, and San Diego County, although at a noticeably slower rate.

I said last week that we may see the peak in US cases this week because Sunday’s number was the same as the previous week’s. This week’s numbers were erratic, but continues to show an upward trend, with yesterday’s new case number being higher than last week’s. So we are still on an upward trend, but it is slowing.

Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Endcoronavirus County Level Map, August 1st, 2021
Proportion of current cases from various SARS-2 Variants. The Delta/India variant (B.1.617.2) is in orange. From CDC data.

For California and San Diego County, new case numbers are definitely flattening, and we could very well start seeing a downward trend this week.

Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from Johns Hopkins University COVID site. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from San Diego County Public Health. See also regularly updated slides from SD County. Graph is presented in a logarithmic format to emphasize small numbers. Note that each number on the left is 10x higher than the one below it.
Graph is by me, from data collected from San Diego County Public Health. See also regularly updated slides from SD County.

Correction on new deaths: Last week I said that new deaths were not rising at all as a response to the higher Delta peak case numbers. While this was true last week and is still true, I also have to say that I assumed that deaths generally followed cases by 2 weeks. After looking back at data from the US and other countries, deaths appear to trail new cases by anywhere from a few days to as many as 4 weeks. Since our current wave started at the beginning of July, it’s still too early to say if we will get a new peak in COVID deaths.

Several countries have indeed seen Delta peaks in cases without a peak in deaths so far. The UK and Portugal are both 6 weeks into their Delta variant peaks, without a substantial rise in deaths so far. My statements from last week may still end up being true. I will certainly keep you posted on this.

New cases and daily deaths in the UK. From Johns Hopkins University COVID site.
New cases and daily deaths in Portugal. From Johns Hopkins University COVID site.

How many breakthrough cases? There has been a lot of discussion around breakthrough cases, a new COVID case in a person who has been fully vaccinated. According to the CDC, there have been 6,587 hospitalizations or deaths in 163 million vaccinated Americans as of July 26. This is a proportionally small number, but is obviously not zero.

I could only find data until April 30th for any SARS-2 infection, 10,262 infections for 101 million vaccinated Americans from January 1st, to April 30th. Note that this is before the Delta wave started in the US (early July). There were 12,376,975 confirmed infections in the US during that time, so the proportion of infections in vaccinated individuals is 0.083% according to CDC numbers.

While the proportion of infections and deaths in vaccinated is very low, I hear persistent unconfirmed stories about vaccinated people being infected. Hopefully, given the politicized environment, we will someday get good data on this.

Don’t fear, but be smart,
Erik

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