The Canary in the Coal Mine is Singing a Little Louder

June 4, 2020

Today is the day we matched our highest percentage change in Florida’s new Covid-19 cases.

Back on May 26, I published my new logarithmic model on the daily new cases in Florida (“The Canary in the Coal Mine is Beginning to Sing”).

Using a logarithmic transformation (natural log), I changed the daily new cases into a daily percentage of change and applied this data in a predictive cubic regression statistical technique.

Instead of trying to make sense of daily data that was going up and down like a yo-yo and making it impossible to interpret especially when using an linear bar graph even with a three or seven day average line though it. The percentage change growth is easy to understand, especially in graphs. Below is the latest model graph from data released today.

Using a cubic regression model with the natural log of new Covid cases we can predict the new path of the virus’s growth. The curved line is the model’s predicted path of Covid-19 growth rate in percentage changes over time. As you can see, the growth of new cases started out small but accelerated by the 20th day and peaked around the 40th day or around April 8th.

From that day, the growth of new cases slowly declined until about day 70 or around May 13th. From this point, the number of new cases slowly began to grow again. On May 18th, most of Florida was allowed to open their doors to the public. That was about 78 days into Florida’a pandemic. This is about when the curve started slowly upward. Probably a coincidence.

Remember that the daily data points are percent changes from each day, measuring the virus’s percentage growth and not the number of new cases. In other words, the Covid virus infections are increasing.

Will the Covid virus infections continue to grow? The model path says yes based on the current growth rate. It is important to note that this model is extremely sensitive and could easily change course. But it isn’t comforting to realize the gains the state made with social distancing and masks, is starting to evaporate. Keep tuned and wear your mask. Be safe…

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By Jim Kane

Jim Kane is a pollster and media advisor, and was for fifteen years an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Kane is founder of the polling firm USAPoll and served as the Director of the Florida Voter Poll. His political clients have included both Republican and Democratic candidates, including the Republican Party of Florida, and both the Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel newspapers. At the University of Florida, Professor Kane taught graduate level courses in political science on Survey Research, Lobbying and Special Interest Groups in America, Political Campaigning, and Political Behavior. In addition to his professional and academic career, Jim Kane has been actively involved in local and state policy decisions. He was elected to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation Board (1978-1982) and the Port Everglades Authority (1988-1994). Kane also served as an appointed member of the Broward County Planning Council (1995-2003), Broward County Management Review Committee (Chair, 1990-1991), Broward County Consumer Protection Board (1976-1982), and the Broward County School Board Consultants Review Committee (1986-1990).

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