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By Dr. Peter J. Plantes

April 8, 2020

The CV19 Lab Testing Dashboard powered by hc1 shows people who are working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the latest trends in COVID-19 lab testing data at the national, state, county, and local level. Request access to this free public health service at cv19dashboard.org.

The data in the CV19 Lab Testing Dashboard represents approximately 40% of all tests performed in the United States to date. Approximately 767,000 tests over the last 30 days have been analyzed, graphed, trended, and mapped nationally, by state, by county, and by public use microdata area (PUMA)  in both National and State Deep Dive dashboards.

My analysis of the national dashboard shows these emerging trends: 

  • Even in places where rates of testing are increasing, the percentage of citizens tested remains incredibly small. In Rhode Island, for example, the testing rate has increased by 1331% over the previous week, but that state is testing less than 1%  of the population. Connecticut, Arizona, Massachusetts, Washington, and Mississippi are the other states with relatively high Rates of Testing (however, all by <1%).
  • The percentage of test results that have detected COVID-19 is accelerating at a rate of nearly 70%.  During the most recent 5-day period where data aggregation is complete (March 30 to April 3), the % Detected of those tested is 19.06% versus 11.24% Detected during the March 21 to 25 period.
  • The percentage of test results that have detected COVID-19 continues to rise. This increase is happening despite broader application of testing (see the 1331% testing rate increase in Rhode Island mentioned above) and efforts toward social distancing mitigation.
  • Of the total number of patients who had test results that detected  COVID-19 in the last 14 days, patients in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s all had percentages in the double digits. Patients who are less than 10 years old make up less than 1% of the total number of patients who tested positive, and those who are 10 to 19 years old represent 1.56% of those who tested positive.
  • The percentage of those tested where COVID-19 was detected increases in a linear manner for each age group from less than 10 years old (3.8%) to 70-79 (21.4%) to more than 80 years old (23.7%). 
  • More women (60%)  than men (40%) are tested, but more men (21.3%) than women (15.3%) have results that detected COVID-19.  

The bottom line is that we would expect to see a rising trend of ER visits, hospitalizations, ICU transfers, and ventilator use nationally over the next 8 to 21 days at least. There is no reduction in the national trend of percentage of test results where COVID-19 is detected to indicate the current level of mitigation is slowing the rate of pandemic infection. In fact, the rate is increasing.  

To view how these trends are showing up at the local level, drill into the State Deep Dive dashboards for your area. If you see similar increasing % Detected rates, your community should expect to see a rising wave of severely clinically ill patients from COVID-19 over the next 8 to 21 days. 

The more local data that is represented, the more sensitive and specific the trend analysis will be on a local level. I, therefore, encourage all  COVID-19 testing center labs to join the CV19 Lab Testing Dashboard Coalition where together we can save lives by mitigating the spread of COVID-19. 

About the Author

Peter J. Plantes, M.D. has three decades of experience creating service and delivery solutions that enhance marketplace success and clinical performance for clinical practice groups, academic faculty group practices, hospitals, health systems, and health care organizations. His success stems from his ability to blend and synergize clinical knowledge, operational expertise, financial performance, and collaborative methodology with his deep commitment to serve patients and improve the health of the community. Dr. Plantes has served in CEO & Physician Executive roles for a number of large healthcare clinical delivery networks including regional community networks, academic practices, national hospital networks, international health systems (Chile, Colombia),  and corporate managed care/HMO networks. 

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