How will the COVID Christmas surge affect Tyler in the weeks ahead?

Stephen Fierbaugh takes us through the lifespan of a COVID surge, and what to expect as it does its damage in weeks to come.

In 2020 and into the new year, holiday gatherings bring ill tidings in Tyler, where the virus is expected to show a surge.

The timeline below has a representative Christmas infection date, but Christmas surge infections may occur during travel and gatherings both before and after Christmas holidays.

The data is based on the average patient as determined by the CDC, the ECDC, WHO and the Annals of Internal Medicine. Individuals may vary. 

The timeline is intended to inform risk management in the aggregate. It is not intended as medical advice.

Fri 25 Dec 2020There’s a 60% chance that a Christmas Eve service in Smith County with 50 people has at least one person with COVID-19.
Sat 26 Dec 2020
Sun 27 Dec 2020People infected on Christmas Day start becoming infectious.
Mon 28 Dec 2020Two out of three infected people will test positive with PCR and antigen tests.
Tue 29 Dec 2020Most infected people start developing symptoms. Fifty percent of infections of other people by people infected on Christmas occur before this point. Week one symptoms are most commonly fever, cough and flu-like symptoms, but a wide variety of other symptoms are possible.
Wed 30 Dec 2020
Thu 31 Dec 2020
Fri 1 Jan 2021Peak infectiousness subsides, but people remain infectious.
Sat 2 Jan 2021
Sun 3 Jan 2021
Mon 4 Jan 2021The virus’ next generation: People infected by people infected on Dec. 25 start showing symptoms.
Tue 5 Jan 2021Week two: For 80% of those symptomatic, the second week shows continued symptoms and gradual recovery. For 20%, symptoms worsen around this time and require hospitalization. Infected people start testing positive with antibody tests.
Wed 6 Jan 2021
Thu 7 Jan 2021
Fri 8 Jan 2021Forty percent of those infected on Christmas Day but have not developed symptoms are no longer infectious and are unlikely to develop symptoms.
Sat 9 Jan 2021Five percent of symptomatic people require ICU.
Sun 10 Jan 2021The third generation: People infected by people infected by people infected on Dec. 25 now start showing symptoms.
Mon 11 Jan 2021Many in ICU require mechanical ventilation.
Tue 12 Jan 2021
Wed 13 Jan 2021
Thu 14 Jan 2021
Fri 15 Jan 20212.3% of symptomatic people (about half of ICU COVID-19 patients) die.
Sat 16 Jan 2021The fourth generation: People infected by people infected by people infected by people infected on Christmas Day start showing symptoms.
Sun 17 Jan 2021Most people infected on Christmas Day are no longer infectious.
Mon 18 Jan 2021
Tue 19 Jan 2021Most people infected on Christmas Day who were hospitalized are released.
Long CovidAbout 10-20% of people infected on Christmas Day who developed symptoms will continue to show symptoms and may intermittently test positive for an extended period of time.


CDC, Considerations for Wearing Masks, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Discontinuation of Isolation for Persons with COVID-19 Not in Healthcare Settings, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Discontinuation of Transmission-Based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Healthcare Settings, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Evidence Supporting Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 While Presymptomatic or Asymptomatic, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, How COVID-19 Spreads, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Interim Guidelines for COVID-19 Antibody Testing, retrieved 11/28/20

CDC, Scientific Brief: Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2, retrieved 11/28/20

ECDC, Q&A on COVID-19: Basic Facts, retrieved 11/28/20

Georgia Institute of Technology, COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, retrieved 11/28/20

Kucirka and Lauer, Annals of Internal Medicine, Variation in False-Negative  Rate of Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction-Based SARS-CoV-2 Tests by Time Since Exposure, retrieved 11/28/20

WHO, Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): How is it transmitted, retrieved 11/28/20

Stephen Fierbaugh was lead IT Project Manager for a large hospital ship being built in China. Now, he’s looking for new places to serve. Are these statistics helpful? Would you like to see similar information for your city or organization? Stephen has his Masters in Intercultural Studies with a focus on ICT4D (technology) and is PMI certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP). Check out his LinkedIn for more examples of his skills and experience.

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