Thread 🧵. This week I believe there may be more public data and rationale to support the CMOH's "plateau" opinion although there's still a LOT of uncertainty.
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First, we need to recognize that testing and positivity bounce around weekly. Fewer tests on weekends (31.K conducted Sunday and reported this morning) often associate with a higher positivity (2.2% today) and lower than normal cases (704). Maybe it would be ~1000 with 45K tests.
Lower weekend testing also reduces the tests pending investigation. These 7 day moving averages show that the backlog is back in the normal range but will probably rise some during the week. Still, we see progress but that's not really because of expanded test capacity, it's
because asymptomatics were discouraged from testing in late September (also because of long lineups). Then a new Oct 5 online screening process zeroed in on the more probable prospects like the symptomatic or outbreak-related. This has driven testing down to the 37K range. But...
while test positivity rose initially with the less probable discouraged from getting tested, it has since flattened over recent days (see the 7 day average since Oct 15 in the last chart). These are tenuous numbers to arrive at a conclusion but I assume the CMOH has more detail.
And while I and others pointed to the dramatic doubling rate projections given the trends to the start of October,
some steps like limiting bar hours did take place in late Sept followed by the Oct 10 modified Stage 2 in Toronto, Peel, and Ottawa.
It's only been 8 days, not much time to impact cases but it is possible. Epi experts would know better. But it has been 2 weeks since the testing change and at some point the post-change case trend needs to be considered despite the uncertainty in indicators like Rt.
While I prefer a more conservative smoothing parameter of .4 (left), if I focus more on the recent trend, - the "William's Plateau" - the trend does in fact flatten as I further localize the parameter.
Indicators like new cases, Rt, and Speed are very uncertain right now but are turning down. This could be just the result of changes in testing but we still need to pay attention.
Where does this leave us? Every day new data lies further away from the testing changes and targeted Stage 2.5 restrictions. The test and case *trends* we see emerging deserve more weight over time. Those trends shed a glimmer of optimism mixed with a dose of uncertainty.
Let's hope Dr. Williams is right this time. We need a break from the upward trend. But only people smarter than me would place bets on where this wave is heading right now, I just don't know. Ultimately, your actions will guide the curve. #FlattenTheCurve
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