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Number of new COVID-19 cases still rising in U. S., while leveling off in Italy and Spain

Geogrande.com / Published April 4, 2020

BEND, OREGON - A leading indicator of the future trend of the COVID-19 virus is the number of new cases reported each day. The United States of America currently leads the world in the number of new cases each day, followed by Italy and Spain. On April 3, 2020, the U. S. reported 32,425 new cases, compared to 7,472 in Spain and 4,585 in Italy (data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control).

Graph - New cases as of April, U. S., Spain, Italy

During the last week, the U. S. has been reporting more new cases each day than the previous day, while Italy and Spain have been reporting a leveling off of new cases in the 4,000 to 9,000 range (see accompanying graph).

The accompanying graph uses as a starting day of the virus outbreak the first day that 300 daily new cases were exceeded in each country. The virus control efforts such as stay-at-home orders appear to be limiting the increase in the number of new cases in Italy and Spain, but not yet in the U. S. Significant control efforts began on March 14 in Spain, on March 11 in Italy, and around March 16 in the U. S.

Following the start of control measures, the number of daily new cases reached their maximum of 9,222 new cases on day 24 (April 1) in Spain and 6,557 new cases on day 21 (March 21) in Italy, although the daily tally could resume climbing in either country. The U. S. appears to have not yet peaked as of day 24 (April 3) of the U. S. outbreak.

The number of days between the start of significant control measures and the peak number of daily new cases was 18 days in Spain (March 14 to April 1) and 10 days in Italy (March 11 to March 21). As of April 4 it has been 19 days since the U. S. began significant control measures on approximately March 16.