Charted Territory

A data-driven blog that uses chart, maps, cartograms, and other visualizations to understand important societal issues.

Elections, Health

America’s Third COVID Wave

The headline: America is in the middle of a third COVID wave.

The chart:

  • Each line is the weekly COVID-19 rate (weekly cases per million) for each state and DC from March 6th to October 10th.
  • The states are colored according to the 2016 election result. Red states voted for Trump, with dark-red states having the largest Trump vote percentage. Blue states voted for Clinton, with dark-blue states having the largest Clinton vote percentage.
  • Three waves of COVID are apparent::
    • WAVE #1 (mid-March to end of May): The Northeast typified by NY, NJ, MA, RI, CT, DC, and LA’s New Orleans spike.
    • WAVE #2 (mid-June to mid-August): The South typified by AR, FL, LA, MS, SC, TX, GA, and NV.
    • WAVE #3 (early-September to present): Mid/Mountain-West typified by ND, SD, MT, WI, NE, UT, ID, IA, and WY.
  • The first wave is dominated by Blue States. The 12 “best” states currently are Blue.
  • The second and third waves are dominated by Red states. The 16 “worst” states currently are Red.
  • The first wave occurred when testing rates were low. The real rates were likely much higher.
  • The second and third waves occurred when testing rates were relatively steady (see https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/testing/individual-states).
  • Several states in the third wave are demonstrating rates potentially much higher than the second wave (though perhaps not the first wave if the true numbers were known).

The data: COVID-19 data were collected from USAFacts (https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/). Election data were collected and compiled by Charted Territory.

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