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04.16.20

Cleveland Fed researcher finds COVID-19 mortality rates still increasing rapidly in US states, but less rapidly than before

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The cumulative COVID-19 mortality rate of the United States doubled or more each week between the end of February and April 12, 2020, finds Cleveland Fed policy economist Joel Elvery. Although the pace of growth in most states slowed in the week leading up to April 12, mortality rates still doubled or more in 37 states. South Dakota had the highest daily percentage change during that week, followed by Pennsylvania.

In the Cleveland Fed’s District, the growth in mortality rates has continued to slow in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, but not in Pennsylvania. Among Fourth District states, Pennsylvania had the highest and the fastest-growing COVID-19 mortality rate.

In comparison with other US states, Pennsylvania’s epidemic has been on a poor trajectory recently—the state had the second-highest daily percentage change of any state, and its mortality rate was higher than those in three-fourths of other states, Elvery finds. Kentucky and Ohio are near the middle of the distribution across states in both the level and growth of mortality rates, while West Virginia has the second-lowest mortality rate of any state.

Read more: A Speeding Rate Starts to Slow: COVID-19 Mortality Rates by State

In case you missed it: Getting to Accuracy: Measuring COVID-19 by Mortality Rates and Percentage Changes

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