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Updated - Framingham Coronavirus Numbers in Context

Data last updated on March 31, 2020 08:40 pm

When we hear that Framingham has 77 confirmed cases of Covid-19, it’s hard to make much sense of that without being able to compare that number with something else. How does the most recent number compare with reported cases in previous days? In other words, what does the curve look like and is it starting to flatten?

Also: How does Framingham’s number of known infections compare with the situtaion elsewhere, using known cases per 100,000 population to look at areas of different size?

It’s important to always remember that U.S. testing is so inadequate, the real number of people infected by the virus is actually unknown (and likely much higher). And, if testing per population varies by region, even within the same state or county, higher concentrations of known cases may not reflect actual rates of infection.

With all that in mind . . .

Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases Over Time

The above graph looks at cumulative known positive cases. Note that the city reports 57 active cases, as well as 18 recoveries and, sadly, Framingham’s first two coronavirus-related deaths.

To look at growth rates, it can be useful to use a logarithm scale. You can read more about logs in this New York Times story, A Different Way to Chart the Spread of Coronavirus. But basically, in the graph below with a log 2 scale, each increase of 1 represents a doubling of the underlying value – so it’s easy to see how long it’s taking for cases to double.

Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases Over Time, Log 2 Scale

Massachusetts Known COVID-19 Cases Per 100K

At 77 known cases, Framingham has/had about 105.3 per 100,000 people. That’s now higher than the Massachusetts state-wide average, which is 96.9 per 100K with a total of 6,620 overall known positives.

All of Middlesex County has 84 known confirmed positive cases per 100,000, also lower than Framingham.

The Framingham rate islower than either Suffolk or Berkshire Counties and about the average levels in Norfolk County. However, rates of testing per population in each county may be different.

With those caveats in mind, here’s a map of known cases per 100,000 people by county in Massachusetts:

Finally: An animation of known cases per 100,000 people over time by county.

You can see a lot more information about state Coronavirus trends at my interactive Massachusetts COVID-19 Web app.

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