Friday Stats and More

Based on the CDC’s Cases in the U.S. website, here is the FEHBlog’s chart of new weekly COVID-19 cases and deaths over the 20th through 45th weeks of this year (beginning May 14 and ending November 11; using Thursday as the first day of the week in order to facilitate this weekly update):

That’s an eyepopper. 700,000 new cases in one week. Interestingly the CDC’s flu surveillance report as of November 7 continues to state that “Seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains low.” Twin epidemics of course would be worse.

The FEHBlog has noted that the new cases and deaths chart shows a flat line for new weekly deaths  because new cases greatly exceed new deaths. Accordingly here is a chart of new COVID-19 deaths over the same period (May 14 through November 11).

It’s worth adding that the highest number of weekly deaths occurred just before the start of this chart on May 14. Here a chart covering the period from April 2 through May 13, 2020.

Consequently, while new cases now are skyrocketing, current new weekly deaths (a weekly average of 5,473 over the past six weeks) are significantly lower than the above six week time frame (a weekly average of 10,408). That indicates to the FEHBlog that medical care is improving.

In other news —

  • offers Open Season decision making advice from the folks who write the Consumers’ Checkbook “Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.” While OPM with carrier input has made great strides in improving its FEHB plan comparison tool. the Checkbook Guide remains the gold standard in the FEHBlog’s opinion. The FEHBlog does purchase the Checkbook Guide and the price is around $11 for online access.
  • FedWeek provides more names on the Biden Administration OPM “landing team.” The FEHBlog is not familiar with any of them for what that’s worth.