March 21 – Forecasting COVID-19 in Mississippi

This morning we found out there are now 140 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi. This is a 60% daily jump over the previous day. This chart shows the daily growth in COVID-19 cases in Mississippi since March 18. The blue line is the 50% daily growth rate, which equates to the number of cases doubling every two days. The yellow line is 60% daily growth. The red line shows the actual number of reported cases in Mississippi over the past few days. You can see that we are trending closer to the yellow line than the blue line. This is not surprising because the testing capacity and capabilities have improved. It also, however, means that we should be prepared for some surprising jumps in the number of cases over the next week. At this rate, we’ll reach 357 cases by Monday and 2,336 cases by Friday. 

Following growth of COVID-19 in Mississippi over 4 days

Certainly, diagnosing more cases is an important step towards slowing the overall spread across the state. Unfortunately, I think we also need to keep in mind that we have no measure of how many people have been infected with coronavirus but are not being tested. We will probably never know how many people actually have the virus right now, but there are certainly many more than 140. This is true in every state and every country reporting data. I’ve received firsthand reports of this from several countries. In fact, this morning my mother shared the news that a friend’s husband went to a triage tent outside a NJ hospital and was told that he most certainly had COVID-19, but they were not even going to bother testing him. Instead, he was told to go home and self-isolate unless his condition deteriorated significantly. It seems likely that Mississippi could be just a few days away from a similar reality. So, be careful and stay safe.

Click here to see my first post about growth rates.

Click here to see yesterday’s post about slowing the growth rate.


I am not a medical doctor, a healthcare specialist, biologist, or public health professional. I am a trained financial economist building an economist growth model and explaining the impact of personal and policy outcomes on that model.

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