According to Covid Act Now, as of January 2, 2022, there have been roughly 55.1 million cases and 824,000 deaths from COVID in the United States. Over the last 14 days, daily new cases have increased by about 100% and daily deaths have increased by about 5%.
Covid Act Now uses six key metrics to assess COVID across U.S. states, metros, and counties. Three of these—daily new cases (incidence), infection rate (RT) and positive test rate—assess a location's overall risk level. The other three—ICU capacity used, % vaccinated and vulnerability—reflect a location's ability to protect itself and recover from COVID.
A state or county’s overall risk level takes into account three metrics: daily new cases per 100K (incidence), infection rate (Rt), and test positivity.
- Daily new cases, also known as “incidence” in epidemiology, represents the current amount of COVID in a community.
- Infection rate is the direction and speed of growth. For instance, daily new cases may be low, but if infection rate is high, then we know that daily new cases will be high in the near future.
- Positive test rate is a measure of our confidence in the underlying data. For instance, if daily new cases and infection rate are both low, but test positivity is high, then the lack of sufficient testing suggests that we are not capturing the true levels of COVID and both daily new cases and infection rate are actually higher than what is currently reported.