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Statistical Insights

Is Your State in High Risk?

--- Updated on April 18, 2021

It is well known that we can't directly compare one state to another purely based on the number of confirmed cases due to different population sizes. Statistics used in the spatial representation of aggregated (e.g., county or state-level) disease risk data include the infection rate (IR), standardized infection ratio (SIR), and the weekly local risk (WLR). The IR is the number of cases and the population divided by the population in the area. The SIR is the classic statistic used in representing spatial patterns of disease distribution. It standardizes the data by re-expressing them as the ratio between the observed number of cases and the number that would have been expected in a standard population. It is the infected cases per population divided by country infected cases per population. The WLR is another risk measure, which is calculated using the average number of new cases in the past week divided by the population in the area. The WLR gives you a way to assess the state's current risk level compared to other states.

Now let us compare the IR, SIR, and WLR among all the states after adjusting the population's effect. In the early stage of the pandemic, New York and New Jersey have the highest IR/SIRs.

Please also check Growth Rate app for the top 12 states in cumulative infected counts. Are you interested in finding the risk of your state or county? The interactive map in our shiny app provides a real-time 7-day rolling forecast of the WLR at both the state level and county level. Check it out to see your community's current and predicted risk level!