This post shows how we should track the Covid-19 cases to better understand the impact of relaxations of people movement in a particular location. The author believes that a day to day trend of tracking new cases no longer serve any purpose (See the day to day trend below for Lafayette Parish). The new cases per day trend is somewhat misleading especially for decision makers.
The better way to look at Covid-19 new cases should atleast be a cumulative no. of cases on a weekly basis. In the early stages of pandemic we had to rely on daily tracking of cases but now it is time to change the way we look at the data. See the trend for Lafayette Parish on a weekly basis below:
The tracking on a weekly basis clearly shows that the trend of new cases per week was following downward trend between 4/19/20 to 4/29/20. Of course we all know that was due to strict lockdown measures followed by everyone. Once the lockdown measures were slightly relaxed the new cases per week started to move upward between 4/29/20 to 5/14/20.
We should keep in mind that when relaxations are introduced the way the virus spreads among citizens have not changed compared to times at which all of it started. The relaxations are meant to help the local economy and everyone should play a role in adhering to practices that limit the exposure of virus to them as well as to others.
The authors intention is to avoid another strict lockdown in the near future and this post along with the trends/models may help local leaders to take necessary measures and request citizens of the Parish work towards taking common sense measures to limit exposure to Covid-19.
This post will be updated every week (Thursday after 2pm) to see how further relaxation measures along with citizens actions will play a role in number of new cases in coming weeks.
Be safe and act responsibly.
Srinivasan Ambatipati, PhD