January 25, 2023: COVID Weekly Data Update

Excess Deaths

In November 2020, I made an Epi 101 video with the City of Brookings discussing how excess deaths were calculated (YouTube link).  During the three years of 2017 to 2019, weekly observed deaths exceeded the upper 95% threshold for expected deaths four times nationally and three times in South Dakota.  As shown below, weekly observed deaths continue to exceed the upper 95% threshold for expected deaths throughout most of the pandemic, including in 2022. 

One of the interesting things to note is that the green bar represents deaths from all causes, excluding COVID-19, whereas the blue bars represent COVID-19 deaths.  As seen for national and South Dakota deaths, not only do COVID-19 deaths lead to above-normal numbers of deaths, but the number of deaths from all causes, excluding COVID-19 also exceeds the upper 95% threshold for various weeks.  What is not known is whether these excess deaths excluding COVID-19 are a result of misclassification of deaths, delay in receiving healthcare, or a continued strain on the health systems resulting from the pandemic. 

Wastewater and Sludge SARS-CoV-2 Levels

Brookings Municipal Utilities Wastewater Department and Drs. McFadden and Huber at USD have been collaborating on monitoring of wastewater and sludge for the COVID virus in the city’s water treatment facility.  Enough data points have been gathered that trends, or patterns, in the data are starting to emerge.  Looking at data from several cities around the state, the group at USD has noticed a spike in COVID virus levels at the beginning of the school year with levels tending to drop prior to Christmas vacation and then a slight increase after the vacation break.  Wastewater levels measure the virus in wastewater at that point in time, while the sludge levels tend to indicate levels over several days.  As expected, sludge levels increase shortly after increases are seen in wastewater.  This method is being developed to use as a surveillance technique.

The folks at USD also have been genotyping some clinical samples and have seen primarily the BA.5 variant.  We anticipate that when the XBB variant takes hold in South Dakota, the number of cases will increase significantly due to the XBB variant’s ability to be easily transmitted. 

City of Brookings Wastewater and Sludge SARS-CoV-2 Levels

Updates:

Brookings County (low community level; high community transmission [% test positivity = 37% vs. 32% last week])

  • Only 16.4% of people 18 years of age and older in Brookings County have received the updated bivalent booster (link to data here). 
  • 9,294 total cases:  30 new cases this week vs. 22 in the previous week. The age distribution of new cases this past week was not obtained:
    • –% were under 20 years of age (vs. 32% in previous week)
    • –% were 20-39 years (vs. 18% in previous week)
    • –% were 40-59 years (vs. 23% in previous week)
    • –% were 60 years or older (vs. 27% in previous week)
  • 247 Brookings County residents have been hospitalized with COVID: 0 hospitalizations posted this past week compared to 0 in the previous week. 
  • Currently, the percentage of staffed beds that are COVID-occupied in the Sioux Empire region is 2.4% (compared to 3.3% last week), and 20.7% of the total hospital beds are available (compared to 17.5% last week).
  • 64 Brookings County residents have died of COVID:  no new deaths were reported this past week compared to 1 death in the previous week.

South Dakota (low community level; high community transmission [% test positivity = 20-24% vs. 20-24% last week])

  • Only 19.4% of people 18 years of age and older in South Dakota have received the updated bivalent booster (link to data here). 
  • 273,929 cases: 575 new cases this week vs. 464 in the previous week. Of the new cases this past week:
    • 17% were under 20 years of age (vs. 21% in previous week)
    • 27% were 20-39 years (vs. 24% in previous week)
    • 21% were 40-59 years (vs. 20% in previous week)
    • 35% were 60 years or older (vs. 35% in previous week)
  • 12,338 South Dakota residents have been admitted to in-state hospitals with COVID: 39 were admitted to in-state hospitals this week vs. 24 last week. Of the new hospital admissions this past week:
    • 5% were under 20 years of age (vs. 8% in previous week)
    • 3% were 20-39 years (vs. 4% in previous week)
    • 23% were 40-59 years (vs. 17% in previous week)
    • 69% were 60 years or older (vs. 71% in previous week)
  • 49 people are currently hospitalized vs. 57 last Wednesday (8 currently in the ICU vs. 8 last week).
  • Currently, the percentage of staffed beds statewide that are COVID-occupied is 2.3% (compared to 2.7% last week), and 34.6% of the total hospital beds are available (compared to 29.7% last week).
  • 3,149 South Dakotans have died from COVID:  4 new deaths reported this week vs. 12 in the previous week.  Of the new deaths reported this past week, all were aged 60 years or older.

USA

  • 103.9 million cases:  293,022 new cases this week vs. 462,568 in the previous week
  • 1.12 million total deaths:  3,723 deaths this week vs. 4,170 in the previous week

Worldwide

  • 673.7 million cases: 1.85 million cases this week vs. 2.55 million in the previous week
  • 6.74 million deaths: 16,065 deaths this week vs. 15,809 in the previous week 

Take care of yourself and each other and have a happy new year.

Published by Bonnysblog78398238

I'm interested in numbers.

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