Good News on COVID No One Will Likely Report
August 28, 2020, 10:20 am
- Arizona ICU beds in use for COVID patients fell to 16%, the lowest number of beds in use for COVID since April 10.
- COVID patients, even at the nationally ballyhooed Arizona peak, never reached 60% of ICU beds. Total ICU capacity utilization never exceeded 91% (note that these likely overstate the numbers, as a shooting victim who tests positive for COVID can be listed as a COVID patient).
There is something weird about the COVID test and/or test process we are using in AZ. We are still testing a lot of people every day and the test positive rate for the state is still high, like 5-8% each day. But the number of new cases is falling rapidly to levels we last saw in May, and the number of hospitalizations have fallen into early April levels. So what gives?
One anecdotal data point is an employee of ours who tested positive without symptoms (he has other medical issues that brought him into the hospital). Weeks and weeks later he continues to test positive on followup tests and continues to be entirely asymptomatic. My hypothesis is that we are retesting the hell out of people and using a test that is overly sensitive and does not really indicate disease activity.
One other note on this same fellow — he and we are in somewhat of a bind on his employment. We are working under contract to a division of the Federal government and they require that employees test negative before they return to work. Many corporations have the same internal policy. So what do folks in this situation do? They are likely perfectly safe to everyone but can’t get a negative test. Do they ever get to work again?