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Data Visualization: COVID-19 Phase 1 Re-Opening Readiness

Insights / 05.07.2020

Ron Hadler / Sr. Director, Marketing Technology

The White House has unveiled guidelines for Opening Up America Again: a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. Leveraging Domo, we’ve developed several visualizations to help predict when each state will satisfy the gating criteria in relation to the trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases and be ready for phase one re-opening. Johns Hopkins University has generously made its COVID-19 data sets available, which we import and run through our forecast algorithm daily. So, check back as frequently as you like for updates to our interactive visualizations.

Please note that we are not factoring in flu-like symptom trajectory, hospital capacity, or testing availability criteria, which are also critical. However, without a downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases, those additional criteria are moot. We aren’t taking a political or personal health-oriented stance on the guidelines outlined by the White House, or the decisions of state and local officials. We are simply reporting against those criteria to help inform businesses about the risks and the potential for increased and sustained economic activity in the states they operate in.

As of the date of this post, about half of the states are starting to relax restrictions, at least partially, reopening restaurants, retail stores, offices, entertainment venues, gyms, and/or personal care businesses. The New York Times is publishing each state’s re-opening status, and updating the list regularly. While many states are already reopening, there is a risk that doing so prematurely, in an aggressive manner, will cause a significant spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Reopening, prior to getting Coronavirus under control, could have two significant impacts on business:

  1. A strong resurgence of the virus due to relaxed social distancing could extend the timeline for truly flattening the curve and even cause some states to revert back to shelter-in-place orders. The costs associated with re-opening and then closing again could hurt many businesses, especially those that need to alter their operations and physical environment in order to safely serve the public and/or protect workers. So, businesses should note the trajectory of cases where they do business, even if state/local officials allow them to open.

  2. While consumers may have permission to resume eating, drinking, shopping, etc. in public, they may not be comfortable risking their personal health to do so, especially if cases are still rising in their area. Businesses could be burdened with all of the expense of reopening, but earn minimal revenue in return, so keeping a pulse on consumer sentiment in your area, through a tool like Resonate or your own surveys is extremely important. Morning Consult also provides some great intel at the national level, for free, which they update often.

On the other hand, businesses should be ready to hit the ground running when conditions are right, so keeping an eye on a sustained downward trajectory in cases, and positive tests as a percent of total tests, should help you make more informed decisions.

Number of Days with a Decrease in New Positive Cases

The first "Cases" criteria is a "Downward trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period". You can hover on a state for quick stats or click to drill down for more detailed trends.

Methodology

  1. We took the net new cases testing positive each day and subtracted it from the previous day's net new cases.

  2. We counted the number of days that the positive cases decreased in the past 14 days.

  3. We counted the number of consecutive days cases decreased in the past 5 days.

To calculate our Readiness Score:

  • We added the Days Decreasing and Consecutive Days.
  • We divided the total by the incident rate. (The incident rate is the confirmed cases per 100,000 people). Using the incident rate normalizes the data across all states.

We used the following ranges to determine when a state is ready to open:

  • 0 - 4 = 3+ weeks away
  • 5 - 7 = 2 weeks away
  • 8 - 10 = 1 week away
  • 11+ = Imminent

Decrease in Positive Tests as Percent of Total Tests

The second cases criteria is a "Downward trajectory of positive tests as a percent of total tests within a 14-day period (flat or increasing volume of tests)"

Methodology

  1. We took the net new tests performed each day and calculated the new positive results as a percentage of total tested each day.
  2. We took the difference in the percentage of new cases from the previous day's percentage.
  3. We counted the number of days that the percentage of new cases decreased in the past 14 days.
  4. We counted the number of consecutive days the percentage of new cases decreased in the past 5 days.

To calculate our Readiness Score:

  1. We added the Days Decreasing and Consecutive Days.
  2. We divided the total by the testing rate. (The incident rate is the tests performed per 100,000 people). Using the testing rate normalizes the data across all states.

We used the following ranges to determine when a state is ready to open:

  • 0 - 4 = 3+ weeks away
  • 5 - 7 = 2 weeks away
  • 8 - 10 = 1 week away
  • 11+ = Imminent

Details for each State

Note: Please click within the empty space on the scroll bars to navigate up or down the table.  You cannot click and drag as normal.

The above visualizations provide guidance about COVID-19 and when you may expect to be able to re-open your business locations. These are at the state level and may be much different for your specific county or city. These guidelines should not supplant the information from your city, county, or state governments. Hopefully, the above visualizations are an easily digestible depiction of how new cases and testing are trending in your state.

Red Door updates the data each evening between 8 pm - 9 pm PST.

Interested in learning more about our Data Science or Analytics services? We’re here to help. Contact us today.

Data Analytics & Visualization,Insights