PHOENIX — State health officials reported 5,070 confirmed COVID-19 cases Friday. The number was not attributed to any reporting anomalies. The last time the state reported a confirmed case number over 5,000 was on January 31.
Breaking down the similarities and differences between the same time last year, COVID-19 trends were lower during the same time frame. On November 19, 2020, the seven-day average of newly added cases was 2,951. Today that same metric is 3,685. Case trends were increasing faster last year and five days later the seven-day average surpassed where the state is today.
Comparatively, last year’s winter surge saw COVID-19 cases increasing faster than the trendlines are moving now. In 2020, the longer-term 14-day average of newly added cases began to grow on October 14 eventually reaching an acceleration peak on November 23rd when the average was more than double what it was two weeks prior. So far current 14-day case trend growth peaked on November 9, growing 60% higher than it had been two weeks prior. If trends reflect similar movement seen in 2020, acceleration should begin to slow the first week of December.
The reason case trends are watched so closely is they are a consistent leading indicator of the direction that other COVID-19 metrics will move. When Cases, Hospitalizations, Ventilators, and Deaths are scaled together it becomes how much impact cases have on everything else.
Recently updated modeling from the University of Washington projects that estimated daily infections will peak on or around December 1 with Hospitalizations and Deaths following on or around December 20 and 26 respectively.