COVID19

HHS Dept. Logo

As previewed last week, the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept. has officially rolled out their new COVID-19 "Test to Treat" program:

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Launches Nationwide Test-to-Treat Initiative Ensuring Rapid ‘On the Spot’ Access to Lifesaving COVID Treatments

COVID

For months I posted weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan). This basically amounts to the point when the Delta Variant wave hit the U.S., although it had been quietly spreading under the radar for a few months prior to that.

More recently, I've switched to posting the same data starting on December 15th, which is (roughly) the start of the Omicron variant wave (although this is fuzzier than the start of the Delta wave).

As always, here's my methodology:

Medicaid

As I noted last summer and again a few weeks ago, as of this writing the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration currently set to expire on April 16, 2022):

In March 2020, Congress offered states additional Medicaid funding as long as they agreed to keep everyone enrolled in the program for the duration of the federal public health emergency, regardless of their eligibility status. As of January 2021, nearly 10 million had joined Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) during the pandemic, pushing enrollment to a record high of more than 80 million people. (Some independent analyses put the current total higher, closer to 90 million.)

White House logo

I'm not going to mince words here: While the Omicron variant wave of the COVID pandemic appears to have mostly subsided nationally (the 7-day new case average has plummeted from an all-time high of around 800,000/day nationally in mid-January to around 55,000/day now), I think the seemingly across-the-board abandonment of mask mandates at the federal, state and local levels is still a big mistake.

I would have waited until new daily cases drop further (to perhaps 10 per 100,000 per day, or around ~33,000/day nationally) and hold at that rate or lower for a solid month before giving the "all clear" for vaccinated folks to remove their masks at most indoor settings.

For unvaccinated people, of course, I'd want them to be required to wear masks indoors in public until they actually get vaccinated (which, aside from young children, nearly all of them should have done already; it's been nearly a year since they've been widely available, for God's sake).

COVID

For months I posted weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan). This basically amounts to the point when the Delta Variant wave hit the U.S., although it had been quietly spreading under the radar for a few months prior to that.

More recently, I've switched to posting the same data starting on December 15th, which is (roughly) the start of the Omicron variant wave (although this is fuzzier than the start of the Delta wave).

As always, here's my methodology:

COVID-19 Vaccine

NOTE: Given how much the national pace of vaccination shots has slowed down recently (the 7-day average is down to around ~330,000/day), going forward this will be a MONTHLY update, unless the pace picks up again significantly.

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by county residents who have received the 2nd COVID-19 shot only (or 1st in the case of the J&J vaccine).
  • I base my percentages on the total population via the 2020 U.S. Census as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old (or even over 4 years old).
COVID-19 Vaccine

Last summer, I pulled together the occasional vaccination rate scatter plot graphs I'd been compiling for months into a single animated GIF image to show how both the correlation (R^2) and steepness (slope) of the partisan COVID vaccination divide grew from almost nothing at all to a gaping chasm over a six month period, from February 2021 through August 2021.

Today, I'm presenting an updated version of this animation which not only includes the following six months as well (September 2021 - February 2022), but also cleans up & standardizes the layout of each graph as much as possible. This includes making sure the thru date is in the upper right-hand corner on all of them, moving the population key to the lower-right corner, removing the (naive in retrospect) "herd immunity target" line, and moving the R^2 stamp immediately below the thru date to make the graph itself as clean as possible.

COVID

For months I posted weekly looks at the rate of COVID-19 cases & deaths at the county level since the end of June, broken out by partisan lean (i.e, what percent of the vote Donald Trump received in 2020), as well as by the vaccination rate of each county in the U.S. (nonpartisan).

This basically amounts to the point when the Delta Variant wave hit the U.S., although it had been quietly spreading under the radar for a few months prior to that.

Now that we're a full two months into the Omicron Variant wave, I've updated my case/death rate tracking to reflect that as well...because the data so far is showing a completely new chapter as we enter the 3rd year of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As always, here's my methodology:

COVID-19 Vaccine

Methodology reminders:

  • I go by county residents who have received the 2nd COVID-19 shot only (or 1st in the case of the J&J vaccine).
    • Note: I've temporarily stopped tracking boosters again, as it appears that the data on this front is still too confused to get an accurate county-level national read.
  • I base my percentages on the total population via the 2020 U.S. Census as opposed to adults only or those over 11 years old (or even over 4 years old).
Medicaid

I wrote about this last summer, but as the Omicron variant wave of COVID-19 seems to be winding down (with an emphasis on seems) and the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration currently set to expire in 60 days (April 16, 2022), today felt like a good time to repost something about the situation:

What goes up usually goes back down eventually, and that's likely to be the case with Medicaid enrollment as soon as the public health crisis formally ends...whenever that may be.

Well, yesterday Ryan Levi and Dan Gorenstein of of the Tradeoffs healthcare policy podcast posted a new episode which attempts to dig into just when that might be, how many people could be kicked off of the program once that time comes and how to mitigate the fallout (I should note that they actually reference my own estimate in the program notes):

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