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Right now, coming out of the Omicron surge in Rhode Island, cases are dropping at faster rates than we have seen at any other stage of the pandemic except for maybe a few days at the end of May and beginning of June in 2021. The drop has been a sustained, exponential decay that started mid-January. This isn’t just a drop because of testing at home; hospitalizations (a lagging indicator of cases) are falling precipitously as well, and it appears deaths (which lag even further) are also beginning to drop.

Based on what I’m seeing (a sustained daily drop in cases of 7-8%), I’m making a prediction. I predict that the “weekly cases per 100k people” metric - one used by CDC and RIDoH to gauge community transmission - will drop below the “High” threshold of 100 (as defined by the CDC) before the end of February. I’ll also be so bold to say I think this is a conservative prediction based on the current trend.

Follow along with the charts below to see how I’m doing (same data, 2nd chart plotted with the horizontal axis in log-scale).

A few notes - the red exponential projection is a decrease of 8.5% a day starting from the value reported on January 16. The yellow trend is based on the average day-over-day change from the past 7 days projected from the recently reported data. In the most recently reported data, the dynamically-calculated average day-over-day change for the past 7 days has been:

If you want to see the sheet with the raw data (that automatically updates from RIDoH’s sheet as it updates) you can see it here.

In case you’re interested - the 8.5% daily drop projection hits the following thresholds on the following days:

Date Weekly Cases per 100k CDC Category
Feb 24 100 High → Substantial
Mar 4 50 Substantial → Moderate
Mar 22 10 Moderate → Low
Mar 30 5 Low

Things are changing very quickly. I hope that Governor McKee, Dr. McDonald at RIDoH, and school boards and school administrators are preparing now to let us get the most out of the lull in COVID that is rapidly approaching. It’s too soon to say what things will look like in 6 months, but the next 2-3 are looking very promising right now.