Everyday the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) publishes data on the people who have been tested for COVID-19, have tested positive, are currently hospitalized and have died.
Once a week the NCDHHS publishes data on how many people have recovered. Without knowing how many people have recovered it is impossible to know how many people in the state currently have confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number the NCDHHS ballyhoos everyday is how many people have tested positive since the state started testing in March. It’s a big scary number but the fact that people tested positive in March doesn’t seem to have as much to do with life in September.
According to the NCDHHS, on Sept. 28, the number of people who have recovered since March is 184,422, but that might be corrected because the number who had recovered as of Sept. 21 was 176,422. It’s possible, but hard to believe, that exactly 8,000 people recovered in the past week.
The number of people who have tested positive since March according to the NCDHHS is 203,568 and the number of deaths in the state from COVID-19 is 3,418, which means the number of people in North Carolina with confirmed active cases of COVID-19 on Sept. 28 was 15,728.
On Sept. 21, using the same math, the number of active cases in the state was 14,712, which makes that 184,422 number doubly suspect because with the number of people testing positive going down, the number of people with confirmed active cases should also be going down. The number of recoveries in the past week according to the NCDHHS is the lowest since June.
The NCDHHS has had to revise its numbers in the past, and if it isn’t going to revise these numbers some explanation should be forthcoming.
On the national front there is additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has revised the fatality ratio estimates for COVID-19 based on age ranges.
According to the CDC, for those in the 0-19 age range the “Infection Fatality Ratio” is 0.00003. Turning that around it means that in the 0-19 age range according to the CDC 99.997 percent of the people who contract COVID-19 will survive.
The “Infection Fatality Ratio” for people in the 20-49 age range is 0.0002 which means that of those between 20-49 who contract COVID-19 99.98 percent will survive.
In the 50 to 69 age range, which includes some people over 65 who are considered high risk, the “Infection Fatality Ratio” is 0.005 which means 99.5 percent of those who contract COVID-19 will survive.
Even in the age range of those over 70 years old, where everyone is considered at risk, the “Infection Fatality Ratio” is 0.054 which means that 94.6 percent of people with COVID-19 are expected to survive.
According to the CDC these numbers are the “Current Best Estimate.”