Tuesday, June 9, 2020

How is Alameda County doing?

Alameda County remains the hardest-hit of the Bay Area counties, with far-and-away the highest case rates. Alameda County is the second-largest county in the Bay Area by population, with just under 1.7 million residents. For the epidemic to-date, it has had 3,950 cases confirmed, and 101 total deaths confirmed.

Getting a more detailed picture, though, is a challenge.

Since around May 1, the county has been performing at least 1,000 COVID-19 tests daily, and over the last 2 weeks that number has risen to an average of 1,500 tests daily.

The percent-positive rate for the tests, which had been at about 5%, has fallen slightly as the number of tests has risen, and is currently at about 4.5%, which overall works out to about 60-70 new cases reported each day.

Case rates vary dramatically by neighborhood, with some neighborhoods reporting 15x the per-capita cases as other neighborhoods.

The testing data is not broken down by neighborhood, just the confirmed cases data.

I assume that the 1,500 daily tests are not randomly selected, but rather are being performed "for cause": a person has symptoms and the doctor orders a test; a person works in a high-risk field and gets tested routinely; etc. This, too, is not described anywhere that I can find.

I thought maybe I'd try to find a "comparable" county elsewhere in California, but have had trouble doing so. Santa Clara County and San Mateo County seem like they are probably comparable, and maybe Orange County might count as comparable?

Anyway, I don't really know how to tell how Alameda County is doing.

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