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The following is a daily rolling forecast of Covid-19 cases and deaths in the USA and New York State, looking 2 months ahead. It is prepared by Dr. Chaman L. Jain, Professor of Economics at St. John’s University, and author of the book, Fundamentals of Demand Planning & Forecasting. This forecast will be updated weekly as new data emerges. 

When preparing a forecast for something new, whether it’s a product or a virus, we typically identify an analogous “item”. We identify how the analogous item behaved in the past to predict how the new item will behave in the future. But the patterns of Covid-19 cases and deaths do not correspond with any virus we have experienced before, making this impossible. Further, the patterns in countries like South Korea and China that have nearly gone through the whole coronavirus cycle, do not match with what we are currently experiencing in the U.S.A. Therefore, the only option we have is to study the pattern of cases in the U.S.A. and then extrapolate it going forward. We now have enough data to do so.

Forecasting Coronavirus Cases & Mortality In The United States

Usually, the pattern of a virus (like a new product in business) forms a S curve where it first increases at an accelerated rate and then increases at a decelerating rate. This is exactly what we are seeing in the U.S.A. Covid-19 data. Data shows that we reached the point of inflection in the week of March 16th, a key turning point when the daily percentage increase in total cases started increasing but at a decreasing rate. In that week, the weekly average of daily increases as a percentage of total cases hit 38%. Thereafter, it started declining and fell to 3.6% in the week of April 20th. I believe this pattern will continue and that the total number of cases in the U.S.A. will hit 1.7 million by June 30th. After that, we will still have cases of coronavirus, though their number will be much smaller.

The U.S death rate from coronavirus also follows a similar pattern. It reached its point of inflection in the week of April 20th when the weekly average of daily deaths as a percentage of total cases reached 0.2%. I expect this percentage will continue to slowly decline. With that, I expect the death toll in the U.S to reach 170,000 by June 30th.

New York State Forecasts

Among all the states, New York state has been hit the hardest. In this state, the pattern of people affected by the virus is very similar to that of the  U.S.A. as a whole. The weekly average of daily percentage increases in total cases peaked in the week of March 16th when it rose to 58%. Thereafter, it started declining and reached 2.5% in the week of April 20th. I expect this pattern to continue and that the number of cases in New York will reach 385,000 by June 30th.

Regarding the number of deaths in New York state, the pattern is the same as the total number of cases. The daily number of deaths as a percentage of total cases kept on rising until the week of March 30th. Thereafter it declined and is expected to decline further. With that, the total number of deaths in New York State is predicted to reach 30,000 by June 30th.

It should be noted that every forecast is based on certain assumptions. A key assumption here is that things will continue the way they have in the past. During the time period observed to create our forecasts, no vaccine to treat this virus was available. The development of such a vaccine would cause us to revisit our forecasts.

 Daily forecasts are provided in Table 1. One can observe how accurate they are by comparing each day’s forecasts with actuals.

Forecasts Of Coronavirus Cases & Deaths

USA NEW YORK STATE
Date Accumulated Total Cases Accumulated

Total Deaths

Accumulated Total Cases Accumulated

Total Deaths

30-Apr

1-May

2-May

3-May

4-May

5-May

6-May

7-May

8-May

9-May

10-May

11-May

12-May

13-May

14-May

15-May

16-May

17-May

18-May

19-May

20-May

21-May

22-May

23-May

24-May

25-May

26-May

27-May

28-May

29-May

30-May

31-May

1-Jun

2-Jun

3-Jun

4-Jun

5-Jun

6-Jun

7-Jun

8-Jun

9-Jun

10-Jun

11-Jun

12-Jun

13-Jun

14-Jun

15-Jun

16-Jun

17-Jun

18-Jun

19-Jun

20-Jun

21-Jun

22-Jun

23-Jun

24-Jun

25-Jun

26-Jun

27-Jun

28-Jun

29-Jun

30-Jun

1,088,033

1,112,407

1,137,326

1,162,803

1,183,949

1,205,479

1,227,401

1,249,721

1,272,448

1,295,587

1,319,148

1,335,319

1,351,689

1,368,259

1,385,033

1,402,012

1,419,200

1,436,598

1,448,470

1,460,440

1,472,510

1,484,679

1,496,949

1,509,320

1,521,793

1,530,271

1,538,796

1,547,369

1,555,990

1,564,658

1,573,375

1,582,141

1,588,083

1,594,047

1,600,034

1,606,043

1,612,075

1,618,129

1,624,206

1,628,318

1,632,441

1,636,574

1,640,717

1,644,871

1,649,036

1,653,211

1,656,032

1,658,859

1,661,690

1,664,526

1,667,367

1,670,213

1,673,064

1,674,989

1,676,916

1,678,845

1,680,777

1,682,711

1,684,647

1,686,585

1,687,893

1,689,202

63,896

66,187

68,529

70,923

73,049

75,213

77,417

79,661

81,946

84,273

86,641

88,733

90,849

92,992

95,161

97,356

99,579

101,828

103,807

105,801

107,812

109,840

111,884

113,945

115,758

117,580

119,413

121,256

123,109

124,972

126,846

128,731

130,380

132,036

133,698

135,366

137,040

138,721

140,408

141,883

143,361

144,844

146,330

147,820

149,313

150,811

152,119

153,429

154,742

156,057

157,374

158,693

160,015

161,169

162,324

163,481

164,639

165,798

166,958

168,120

169,134

170,149

303,917

308,203

312,549

316,957

319,970

323,011

326,082

329,182

332,311

335,470

338,659

340,830

343,014

345,212

347,425

349,651

351,892

354,147

355,677

357,213

358,757

360,307

361,863

363,426

364,996

366,059

367,126

368,195

369,267

370,342

371,421

372,503

373,234

373,967

374,701

375,437

376,174

376,912

377,652

378,152

378,653

379,154

379,656

380,158

380,661

381,165

381,505

381,845

382,186

382,527

382,868

383,210

383,552

383,783

384,014

384,244

384,476

384,707

384,938

385,170

385,326

385,482

18,015

18,349

18,687

19,031

19,325

19,622

19,923

20,226

20,532

20,840

21,152

21,419

21,687

21,957

22,229

22,503

22,778

23,055

23,292

23,529

23,768

24,008

24,248

24,490

24,733

24,940

25,147

25,355

25,564

25,773

25,983

26,194

26,373

26,553

26,733

26,914

27,094

27,275

27,457

27,611

27,766

27,921

28,076

28,231

28,387

28,542

28,675

28,807

28,940

29,073

29,206

29,339

29,472

29,585

29,699

29,812

29,925

30,039

30,153

30,266

30,380

30,477

 Check back next week for the updated forecast.