More Iowa Covid-19 Growth Data

We’re about 2 weeks into our own shelter-in-place situation at our house and I’ve been watching a few sites on a regular basis. Specifically the State of Iowa IDPH Site and the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering dataset.

After watching these sites change, I keep wondering how far off the model is at Covid Act Now so I started pulling together some data.

Regardless of whether or not you believe the reported COVID-19 numbers should be higher because of testing, we can observe that the baseline numbers being reported by the state are accelerating. I tweeted about this last night but was unfortunately too tired to post anything. I kept coming back to the same questions.

  • What’s the point where we hit 1,000 & 10,000 cases at current trends?
  • What’s the point where we’re going to start asking where the ventilators are?

Here’s what the numbers show yesterday at 179 total cases

Here’s how they look today after we broke the 200 cases mark

Using the historical data we can get some insight into what the answers might be.

  • What’s the point where we hit 1,000 & 10,000 cases at current trends?
    • Looks like mid April @ 1,000 cases assuming things don’t accelerate even more.
    • Looks like Early May @ 10K cases assuming status quo.
  • What’s the point where we’re going to start asking where the ventilators are?
    • Well. That seems like it’s now.

The data used for the graphs above can be seen on the first tab of the Google Sheet this is all coming from. I couldn’t find a simply table anywhere that shows daily growth so I created one.

If you’re curious about where I got the data, I’ve opened up the spreadsheet for your view. I cited the source where I found it. Unfortunately I didn’t find Iowa Starting Line until pretty far into my search.

Feel free to make a copy and track independently. It’s worth noting that this is not the most scientific approach. I’m simply recording public data and applying trend lines. The two trend lines used are linear and polynomial.

There are many more questions swirling around in my head at this point.

  • What is the average hospital stay for a patient that needs to be in the hospital?
  • What % of patients need to be hospitalized once they contract COVID-19?
  • When will we know that social distancing is working?
  • Is the current trend-line actually slowed or did we not get the reduction we had hoped?
  • What is the 4 day and 7 day growth rate and when do we anticipate it slowing?

I’m working through my own questions as I think about what’s best for our family, the team I work with, and myself. The state is doing a great job communicating what it can in Iowa and while I’m still advocating that we go shelter-in-place it doesn’t mean the world stops, nor should it. Even if shelter-in-place is put in place we have to start finding opportunities to help and grow stronger as we come out of this.

After my last entry I started to get a number of e-mails from people offering help. Once this is published I’m going to start posting some things on the website below. The website is just a website. There’s no business interest, it’s just a way to get information out that isn’t through this blog. Based on the e-mails I’ve been getting it’s clear that people want information and direction on how to help one another I’m just getting more inbound than I can handle. I’m also working full days like many of you and my ambition to help is outweighing the hours I have outside of my regular work obligations. Obligations I take ever more seriously the more I see my friends not be able to do their jobs or close their companies.

The URL is