Gas station without pumps

2020 April 16

Death rate from COVID-19 by county

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:37
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The Associated Press has finally released a more interesting map of the COVID-19 distribution in the US: Death rate from COVID-19 by county, which shows deaths/100,000. Previously they were doing a map by raw numbers, which showed hot spots wherever the population was high, but did not distinguish between true hot spots, like New York City, and relatively mild outbreaks, like Los Angeles. This map is also based on death counts, which are more uniformly counted than confirmed cases (though still subject to varying definitions).

The high death rates in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Michigan, and Massachusetts have been in the news a lot, but I’ve not seen much about the hot spot in southwestern Georgia.  Also, the geographic distribution is a little strange—some areas have very high death rates, while neighboring ones are still near zero (contrast Rhode Island with its neighbors New York and Massachusetts).

This new map has some problems of its own—some “hot spots” are due to small-sample effects in unpopulated areas, like Oldham County, TX, with one death giving a rate of 47.85/100,000 and the highest death rate in California being Mono County, where one death gives 7.06/100,000.  The highest death rate in California that isn’t just a small-sample artifact is Los Angeles County, at 4.53 deaths/100,000, which is way less than New York City’s 136/100,000, which exceeds the death rate of any country (even tiny San Marino, the country with the world’s highest COVID-19 death rate, has only 113.2/100,000).

Despite the problems with small samples for lightly populated counties, this map gives a much more revealing picture of where there are serious problems with COVID-19 than other maps I have seen.

1 Comment »

  1. […] Death rate from COVID-19 by county, I commented that the AP map in Death rate from COVID-19 by county (same name, but different […]

    Pingback by Exponential and logistic models aren’t working | Gas station without pumps — 2020 April 24 @ 00:01 | Reply


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