COVID19

This letter was sent to CMS Administrator Seema Verma over the weekend by Peter Lee, Executive Director of Covered California:

Dear Administrator Verma:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the nation, endangering Americans and filling our hospitals from coast to coast. In the middle of this rising crisis, nearly 80 percent of the health insurance marketplaces, including all of those supported by the federally facilitated exchange (FFE) and a small number of state-based exchanges, are set to close their open-enrollment periods on December 15th.

We are writing to recommend that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) extend the Healthcare.gov open-enrollment period through January 31st or, at a minimum through December 30th, to allow Americans more time to sign up for health care coverage during this pandemic.

via Covered California:

As COVID-19 Pandemic Surges Across the State, Covered California Takes the Unprecedented Step of Giving Consumers Until Dec. 30 to Sign up Up for Coverage that That Begins on Jan. 1

A picture is worth 1,000 words and all that.

I was doing this earlier in the summer but stopped updating it in August; I've started over with a fresh spreadsheet and have expanded it to include every U.S. territory, including not just DC & Puerto Rico but also American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even the Northern Mariana Islands.

I've done my best to label every state/territory, which obviously isn't easy to do for most of them given how tangled it gets in the middle. The most obvious point is that New York and New Jersey, which towered over every other state last spring, are now utterly dwarfed by North & South Dakota, which are skyrocketing.

North and South Dakota are the first two states where more than 10% of the entire population has tested positive (in fact, North Dakota is past 11% already. Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Utah could all potentially hit the 10% milestone by New Year's Eve as well.

Of all the elected officials who have been aping Donald Trump's horrific COVID-19 pandemic denialism, perhaps none have been worse (at least in terms of actual policy impact) than Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem.

Not only has Gov. Noem refused to take any significant action to slow the spread of COVID-19, she's openly mocked those who do and is even starring in TV ads encouraging tourism of South Dakota based on her refusal to impose any reasonable measures using federal COVID-19 relief funding...even as South Dakota has become the second worst COVID hot spot in the nation (first place? SD's neighbor to the north...North Dakota).

In response to widespread criticism, Gov. Noem today penned an Op-Ed for the Wall St. Journal in which she argues that everything is actually peachy-kean in the Mount Rushmore State:

The other day this depressing tweet was posted by the Dean of Brown University School of Public Health:

There were 225,000 new cases identified yesterday
Sat through Monday, cases will dip (usually do)
But we are now seeing Thanksgiving effect
Based on yesterday's cases alone
Expect 5K-6K hospitalizations 12/11 (if hospitals can accommodate)
and 4,000 deaths on 12/26

Thread https://t.co/y6p1HNbFk9

— Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) December 5, 2020

This was a very specific projection (especially the 4,000 deaths on 12/26) so I decided to do the math. Deaths have been lagging positive tests by around three weeks, give or take, so in theory you should just have to go back to see how many people tested positive 21 days earlier to get an idea of how many people will  die on a given day...as well as letting you project the death toll up to three weeks ahead, as Dr. Jha did above.

  • Physicians and health centers across the state announce they are reaching out personally to all their patients to encourage them to stay safe from COVID and get insurance coverage if they are eligible — many will receive Covered California’s masks to get the message out that now is the time to get covered and stay covered.
  • California’s leading provider organizations — including the California Hospital Association, California Medical Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, the California Primary Care Association and America’s Medical Groups — are making sure the trusted voice of physicians and other health care heroes are speaking to millions of Californians with the message of remaining vigilant until the vaccine arrives.
  • According to a survey conducted by Covered California, the pandemic continues to touch most Californians, finding that 52 percent of Californians say the pandemic has affected their lives significantly, more than 40 percent personally know someone who has tested positive for the virus, and more than one in four people knows someone who has died from COVID-19.

    A picture is worth 1,000 words and all that.

    I was doing this earlier in the summer but stopped updating it in August; I've started over with a fresh spreadsheet and have expanded it to include every U.S. territory, including not just DC & Puerto Rico but also American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even the Northern Mariana Islands.

    I've done my best to label every state/territory, which obviously isn't easy to do for most of them given how tangled it gets in the middle. The most obvious point is that New York and New Jersey, which towered over every other state last spring, are now utterly dwarfed by North & South Dakota, which are skyrocketing.

    North Dakota recently became the first state to cross the 10% infection threshold, with South Dakota not far behind. Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Utah could all potentially hit the 10% milestone by New Year's Eve as well.

    "Picture worth 1,000 words" and all that.

    I was doing this earlier in the summer but stopped updating it in August; I've started over with a fresh spreadsheet and have expanded it to include every U.S. territory, including not just DC & Puerto Rico but also American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even the Northern Mariana Islands.

    I've done my best to label every state/territory, which obviously isn't easy to do for most of them given how tangled it gets in the middle. The most obvious point is that New York and New Jersey, which towered over every other state last spring, are now utterly dwarfed by North & South Dakota, which are skyrocketing.

    North Dakota recently became the first state to cross the 10% infection threshold, with South Dakota not far behind. Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Utah could all potentially hit the 10% milestone by New Year's Eve as well.

    "Picture worth 1,000 words" and all that.

    I was doing this earlier in the summer but stopped updating it in August; I've started over with a fresh spreadsheet and have expanded it to include every U.S. territory, including not just DC & Puerto Rico but also American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even the Northern Mariana Islands.

    I've done my best to label every state/territory, which obviously isn't easy to do for most of them given how tangled it gets in the middle. The most obvious point is that while New York and New Jersey are still far above every other state, other states are quickly catching up...and the trajectories of both North & South Dakota are incredibly disturbing in particular.

    "Picture worth 1,000 words" and all that.

    I was doing this earlier in the summer but stopped updating it in August; I've started over with a fresh spreadsheet and have expanded it to include every U.S. territory, including not just DC & Puerto Rico but also American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and even the Northern Mariana Islands.

    I've done my best to label every state/territory, which obviously isn't easy to do for most of them given how tangled it gets in the middle. The most obvious point is that New York and New Jersey, which towered over every other state last spring, are now utterly dwarfed by North & South Dakota, which are skyrocketing.

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