Governor Whitmer’s COVID emergency is not supported by the statistics. As many have asserted, the Governor is not following the science as she wreaks havoc on the physical health and the financial health of Michigan citizens.
Doubling time is a statistical measurement commonly used to quantify the magnitude of a pandemic/epidemic. The doubling time refers to the number of days before the number of COVID cases doubles. For example, a doubling time of 5 days means that 5 days from now there will be twice as many confirmed COVID cases as there are today.
In the early stages of a pandemic, the doubling time is very short. For example, on March 29, 2020, the Detroit Free Press published an article with the headline, ‘Southeast Michigan is Burning’: Michigan’s coronavirus case count doubles every 3 days.’
A more thorough discussion of doubling times can be found here, https://blog.datawrapper.de/weekly-chart-coronavirus-doublingtimes/. This link also displays other useful information regarding COVID doubling times including:
- Doubling times for countries around the world are displayed. This allows readers to do some comparative analysis on their own.
- The calculation to determine doubling time is shown. This allows readers to calculate doubling times for their own jurisdictions (city, county, state, etc.)
So, the doubling rate was 3 days back on March 29, what is the doubling time today? Michigan chooses not to publish doubling times. This deprives citizens of access to a “measuring stick” which would enable citizens to make their own assessment as to how quickly/slowly progress is being made. As progress is made doubling time increases. For example, one would expect doubling time to increase as social-distancing and lockdowns are deployed.
As mentioned in prior articles, Michigan does not provide access to a full COVID dataset, making it difficult for citizens to have a full grasp of how our state is progressing. Michigan does not publish doubling times. Michigan does not believe in full transparency.
With that being said, Michigan does provide enough data for citizens to perform their own doubling time analyses if they are so inclined. Any analysis won’t be as comprehensive as it could be because, as stated previously, Michigan does not provide citizens with a complete set of COVID data.
Doubling Times as of May 12, 2020
In the table below, doubling times are provided for Livingston County, the State of Michigan, and each of the 8 Emergency Preparedness Regions in Michigan.
Doubling times are shown for the last 28 days. The doubling times were calculated using an average of the prior 5 days of data. Using a 5-day average matches what is most commonly been used for COVID analysis.
Every jurisdiction shows progress as doubling times have increased from April 15 to May 12. Region 7 shows the most progress with a doubling time of 1457 days. Region 6 shows the least progress with a doubling time of 31 days.
Of local interest, Livingston County has a doubling time of 308 days. Livingston County is far above its Region 1 doubling time of 156 days.
It has long been known that COVID rates are low in the Upper Peninsula (Region 8) and the Northern Lower Peninsula (Region 7). Therefore, as expected doubling times are the longest in these two locations. The doubling time of the Upper Peninsula is 303 days, while the doubling time of the Northern Lower Peninsula is a remarkable 1457 days. It is worth noting that several days of no new cases in the Northern Lower Peninsula has contributed to the 1457 day doubling time.
Also noteworthy, Livingston County has a doubling time longer than that of the Upper Peninsula.
Some might ask, what is a "good" doubling time. Obviously, longer is better. An internet search produced no definition of what is "good."
Absent a definition of "good" it becomes useful to observe the doubling time of a jurisdiction of interest and compare it to the doubling time of another jurisdiction. Let's compare doubling times to the country of South Korea.
South Korea has been heralded as having one of the most effective COVID mitigation efforts. The doubling time for South Korea is currently 251 days (https://blog.datawrapper.de/weekly-chart-coronavirus-doublingtimes/) for the last 5 days. Clearly there are jurisdictions in Michigan with performance superior to that of South Korea.
Before concluding it should be mentioned that the number of COVID cases is dependent upon the number of COVID tests performed. The more tests that are performed, the more COVID cases will be discovered. It is important to keep this in mind because, with greater availability of test kits, more and more COVID tests are being performed. This means that more and more COVID cases are being included in the statistics. These "extra" cases of COVID will artificially shorten the doubling times.
|date||Livingston||Region 1||Region 2N||Region 2S||Region 3||Region 5||Region 6||Region 7||Region 8||State|
Region1 – Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, and Shiawassee counties.
Region 2S – City of Detroit and Monroe, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties.
Region 2N - Macomb, Oakland and St. Clair counties.
Region 3 - Saginaw, Alcona, Iosco, Ogemaw, Arenac, Gladwin, Midland, Bay, Genesee, Tuscola, Lapeer, Sanilac, and Huron counties.
Region 5 - Allegan, Barry, Calhoun, Branch, St. Joseph, Cass, Berrien, Van Buren, and Kalamazoo counties.
Region 6 - Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola and Ottawa counties.
Region 7 - Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Leelanau, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Oscoda, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Presque Ilse, Cheboygan, Emmet and Charlevoix counties.
Region 8 - Chippewa, Mackinac, Luce, Schoolcraft, Delta, Alger, Marquette, Dickinson, Menominee, Baraga, Iron, Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, and Keweenaw counties