U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: The Weekend-Effect 'Mystery'
14 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 25, 2020
In this paper, we examine U.S. COVID-19 deaths by day of the week. Mysteriously, the same pattern has repeated every single week of the pandemic: deaths rise from Tuesday-Friday and come down Saturday-Monday, hitting a nadir on Sunday or Monday. We show that such deaths are substantially higher during the Tuesday to Friday period than they are during the Saturday to Monday period. Controlling for time trends, deaths during the Tuesday to Friday period are at least 40 percent higher than the Saturday to Monday period.
The weekend effect does not obtain in New York City. Without New York City, controlling for time trends, deaths during the Tuesday to Friday period in the U.S. are 50 percent higher than the Saturday to Monday period. This is much larger than the “weekend” effect for the rest of the world (approximately 20 percent.) We provide some preliminary thoughts as to why this obtains in the case of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., but not those in New York City. Further research is encouraged.
Note: Funding: None to declare
Declaration of Interest: None to declare
Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, COVID-19 Deaths, U.S. Deaths, New York Deaths, Worldwide Deaths
JEL Classification: I1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation