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Data Without Doctoring

Data Without Doctoring Dr. David Owen 10/26/2020

Morning update: Covid hospitalization trendline continues to be confirmed upward with numbers approaching end of Sept. %covid beds statewide is up to 5.11% but a lot of this increase is due to a large decrease in overall beds (the denominator). Nonetheless the trend, although minimal at this point, is upward. Deaths, for some reason continue to be underreported and are only being assigned to the last weeks of Oct. This is a mystery as we have had continuous assignment of reported deaths to July and Aug. for many weeks now. Why the sudden stop is unclear. I'd like to think that all of the deaths which occurred then, have finally been reported and perhaps this is so. But still, we are also not seeing any deaths assigned to the previous month, Sept. either, so something's up. ED symptom visits have inflected to the lower aspect of the multi-month trendline, which is good news. Covid and influenza symptom clusters presenting to EDs is also declining. We are probably entering a time of increased flu, which is almost certainly going to be confused with covid symptomatology, so an accurate assessment of ED symptom visits one way or the other is going to be difficult unless a rapid covid test is available. Bottom line, we now have to question ALL of the data, which makes my task on assessing daily covid status formidable. So, there is evidence of onset of a spike upward but the extent and degree is uncertain at this time. My guess is that it will not be a severe, NY-like spike, nor as "flatly" high as in July-Aug. in Florida, and deaths will not approach our plateau of end of July, early August. As hospital beds are freely available in the tri-county area I will continue to not monitor specific hospitals. ___


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