3. High-risk states are seeing fewer new coronavirus cases
The first stages of reopening haven’t produced a surge in coronavirus cases in most states, Axios health care editor Sam Baker writes.
- But the reopening process is still in its early stages, so a second wave of infections still remains distinctly possible.
Between the lines: This chart — an update of a popular chart we brought you last week — compares each state's seven-day average of new cases from Monday, and the seven-day average from a week prior, May 4.
- Comparing the averages of two weeks helps smooth out a lot of the noise in how states sometimes inconsistently conduct and report tests.
- Total cases are an imperfect measure, in isolation, of an outbreak’s severity, because that count is limited by the amount of testing in each state, as well as differences in reporting.
- But they're still an important part of the puzzle as federal guidelines call for a steady decline in new cases for any reopening process to proceed.
Some of the states that skeptics were most worried about, including Florida and Georgia, haven’t seen the rise in total cases that some experts feared.
- Florida’s new cases actually declined by 14% compared to the previous week, and Georgia’s fell by 12%.
- Nevada leads the pack with a 44% reduction, while several hard-hit states that embraced aggressive lockdowns to help contain early outbreaks — Michigan, New York and New Jersey — all saw reductions of at least 30%.
South Dakota saw a startling 123% increase, likely the result of outbreaks in the meat processing industry.