Vaccines are altering how we interpret COVID-19 numbers

Chicago’s United Center Opens As Mass Vaccination Site
Photograph by Scott Olson/Getty Photographs

It’s by no means been doable to know for positive how many individuals in the US are sick with COVID-19 at a selected time. As an alternative, we mix all the metrics — the share of checks run that come again constructive, the variety of new instances reported every day, folks coming to the emergency room sick with COVID-19 signs — to get an estimate. It’s just like the story of the blind males and the elephant: specialists can really feel out the completely different items of knowledge to get a way of what an outbreak appears to be like like, even after they can’t see it instantly.

We’ve seen the identical elephant emerge time and again over the previous yr. First, the share of checks that come again constructive will increase. After a slight lag, hospitalizations begin to rise, after which…

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