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Updated Aug 12 - Framingham Coronavirus Numbers in Context

This post is no longer being updated. You can see latest Covid-19 coverage at http://www.district2framingham.com/tags/covid19/.

When we hear that Framingham has 1,857 confirmed cases of Covid-19, it can be helpful to compare that number with other data. How does that number compare with reported cases in previous days? And with the situation elsewhere? Also: What does the curve look like, and is it starting to flatten?

Note: It’s important to remember that testing throughout the U.S. remains inadequate, so the real number of infections is still unknown. And, testing per population can vary by region. With that in mind . . .

Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases Over Time

The above graph looks at cumulative known positive cases based on data released by Mayor Spicer’s office. The city reports 115 active cases, as well as 1621 recoveries and, sadly, 121 coronavirus-related deaths.

As of August 12, the city reported that 67 known cases were at MCI-Framingham. In addition, the city has said that some of the new cases in recent days are those who live with an infected person where in-home isolation is not feasible, while a number of others are at nursing homes.

To look at growth rates, it can be useful to use a logarithm scale. You can read more about logs in this New York Times story, A Different Way to Chart the Spread of Coronavirus. But basically, in the graph below with a log 2 scale, each increase of 1 represents a doubling of the underlying value – so it’s easy to see how long it’s taking for cases to double.

Important: No updates were reported on May 10, May 25, or May 31. May 11 figures include both the 10th and 11th, which explains most if not all of the apparent spike on the 11th in these graphs.

Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases Over Time, Log 2 Scale

And if you want to look specifically at daily new cases over time:

New Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases by Day

43 of the new cases on May 21 are connected with nursing homes.

7-Day Average of Daily New Framingham Known COVID-19 Cases

(The apparent spike on May 17 is because the average includes the double-day reporting on May 11 but not the 0 report on May 10. There will be similar spikes with non-reporting on the 25th and 31st as well.)

Because Framingham is a small percent of the state’s population, testing specifically among city residents may otherwise be uneven here.

Daily Framingham Known Active COVID-19 Cases

(Total cases among current residents minus those who have recovered)

Massachusetts Known COVID-19 Cases Per 100K

At 1,857 known cases, Framingham has and has had about 2,540 per 100,000 people. That includes 4 new cases reported today (August 12).

Framingham’s per-capita known cases is considerably higher than the state-wide average. Massachusetts overall is at 1,654 per 100K with a total of 112,969 overall known positives.

Framingham’s rate is also higher than the Middlesex County average of 1,665 known confirmed positive cases per 100,000, as well. Note, too, that Framingham is considerably more densely populated than the county average (roughly 2,800 vs 1,800 per sq mile).

Looking at Framingham minus known cases among incarcerated people, the city’s rate is approximately 2,454 per 100,000, estimating about 189 inmates at the prison.

Also, rates of testing per population in each county may be different.

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