The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released a helpful model that shows when individual states can expect to see coronavirus peaks.
As the coronavirus is impacting states differently, so too does the IHME project different peaks in confirmed cases and deaths.
While New York is currently leading the country in both cases and deaths, the IHME projects it will peak by April 13th. New Jersey and Connecticut—two other states which top the charts in cases and deaths—are also projected to begin to see a downward slope by mid-April.
Axios reports Indiana, Michigan, Vermont, and Louisiana are also expected to peak at that time.
The next wave of peaks are expected between April 13 – 20, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C.
Why it matters: States like Virginia and Maryland have more time to prepare for their systems to be maximally strained — if they make good use of that time.
States’ coronavirus peaks are defined as the point at which there is the most demand for resources, namely hospital beds and ventilators.
- This is also the point at which the most health care workers will be needed to care for coronavirus patients.
Some experts warn that states expected to face the hardest hit later in the year aren’t using their lead time well.
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- “The states that are going to be affected last need to start husbanding resources now, because the feds could get tapped out … by some of these early states, particularly New York, which has absorbed a lot of federal resources,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told me.
- Even though they may not be seeing a huge number of cases now, states like Texas and Florida should stop doing elective surgeries now in order to preserve personal protective equipment — like masks, gowns and gloves — for their health care workers, Gottlieb added.
And, via IHME:
Compared to licensed capacity and average annual occupancy rates, excess demand from COVID-19 at the peak of the pandemic in the second week of April is predicted to be 64,175 (95% UI 7,977 to 251,059) total beds and 17,309 (95% UI 2,432 to 57,584) ICU beds. At the peak of the pandemic, ventilator use is predicted to be 19,481 (95% UI 9,767 to 39,674). The date of peak excess demand by state varies from the second week of April through May. We estimate that there will be a total of 81,114 deaths (95% UI 38,242 to 162,106) from COVID-19 over the next 4 months in the US. Deaths from COVID-19 are estimated to drop below 10 deaths per day between May 31 and June 6.
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE
In addition to a large number of deaths from COVID-19, the epidemic in the US will place a load well beyond the current capacity of hospitals to manage, especially for ICU care. These estimates can help inform the development and implementation of strategies to mitigate this gap, including reducing non-COVID-19 demand for services and temporarily increasing system capacity. These are urgently needed given that peak volumes are estimated to be only three weeks away. The estimated excess demand on hospital systems is predicated on the enactment of social distancing measures in all states that have not done so already within the next week and maintenance of these measures throughout the epidemic, emphasizing the importance of implementing, enforcing, and maintaining these measures to mitigate hospital system overload and prevent deaths.