When Is a Covid-19 Epidemic Plateau Not One?

Possible answer: When new cases and the Percent Test Positivity Rate progressively increase for 12 days or more. 

I do not have much more to add to my comments of November 13 but will allow the data to speak for itself.  Yesterday’s announced 2195 new cases is the highest daily count since October 14.  Yesterday’s case count was higher than any of the previous 4 Wednesdays.  Given that this week’s 3 remaining weekdays through Saturday comprise those with historically higher counts, it can be projected that the total number of new cases this week will exceed those of the previous three or even four weeks.  Since the number of daily tests has been fairly stable, increased testing does not explain the increase in case numbers but the progressively increasing Test Positivity Rate helps.  Hospital utilization is creeping up and along with ICU and ventilator utilization and deaths will eventually follow wherever new cases go.  Elsewhere in the world and in some other US states, that place is another winter surge.

I am personally being very careful to follow good public health measures including getting a booster vaccination, wearing a mask indoors in public, and limiting my exposure to groups. I recommend the same to everyone else.

The full set of updated data visualizations can be viewed on KHPI’s interactive Tableau Public Website.


Data on this overview plot of cases and deaths and all those graphs below current to 11-17-21.

7-Day average new cases exceeding 14-Day average indicating epidemic expansion.

New case counts for individual Wednesdays.

Test Positivity Rate and 7-Day average new case counts rising for last 12 days at least.

Weekly new case counts. Most recent week includes only Sun. through Wed.

Hospital and ICU utilization through 11-17-21.


Peter Hasselbacher, MD
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UofL
18 November 2021

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