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Positive COVID-19 Cases Prove to be Unusable Metric for Brazos County

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Data from Brazos County Health District and Texas DSHS was analyzed to determine if there was a relationship between new COVID-19 cases and new hospitalizations of Brazos County residents.

The analysis shows that cases are not a predictor of hospital admissions in Brazos County.

The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 has been one of the best measurements of the size and severity of outbreaks across the United States—and one of the few indicators of the strain on local health-care systems.

According to the CDC, the median time to ICU admission from the onset of illness or symptoms ranged from 10 to 12 days. An increase in cases should result in an increase in hospitalization 12 days after cases rise.

Several reasons could explain the lack of correlation. New cases vary based on the amount of testing in an area and the accuracy rate of tests. The amount of testing in Brazos County has varied significantly over time. Brazos County Health District does not differentiate between symptomatic cases and asymptomatic cases. Hospitalization numbers also include people admitted for other medical conditions and not necessarily someone seeking treatment for COVID-19. Tracking symptomatic cases may provide a better predictor of hospital admissions.

The Correlation Coefficient measures the strength of a linear relationship between two variables. There is a correlation coefficient of new COVID-19 cases and new hospitalizations of 5.12%. The larger the value, the stronger the relationship. Generally, 95% or more is considered a good statistical fit. Less than 20% is regarded as no correlation.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-guidance-management-patients.html

https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/additionaldata.aspx

https://statisticsbyjim.com/regression/interpret-r-squared-regression/

Brazos County Health District Hospitalizations

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