Has COVID-19 Peaked In the U.S.?

The Centers for Disease Control web site says there have been around 240,000 identified cases of the Wuhan virus in the U.S., and, as of today, 5,543 deaths. I have generally not paid much attention to data on cases, because the number of cases reported obviously depends in large part on the number of tests being carried out. More tests will generate more cases. Still, this chart suggests that the epidemic may be peaking in the U.S.

It tracks the daily number of cases by date of onset. Click to enlarge:

The bars on the right side of the chart will of course rise higher as more cases come in. But putting that aside, if these numbers are representative, the peak in terms of new cases may already have been reached. I believe some models predict that deaths will peak around mid-April, which I think would be consistent, as deaths obviously lag onset of illness.

One reason why I am reluctant to assign too much significance to this chart is that it includes just a little over one-fourth of the total number of cases. I assume that is because in many instances, the date of onset is unknown or not reported. If the one-quarter represented in the chart are a random sample, the trend should be accurate. But I don’t know that that is true.

In any event, like all of the other data on COVID-19 currently swirling around, you can take it for what it is worth and draw your own conclusions.

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