A new model produced by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts that 159 people will die in a single day at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Tennessee.
Nationally, IHME’s analysis estimates that 93,765 people will die from the virus over the next four months. The forecast predicts that hospitals across the U.S. could be overwhelmed by the second full week of April because of an increase in demand for ICU beds. (The numbers in this story are based on the model’s predictions as of Wednesday afternoon).
Specifically, the forecast predicts that 41 states will need more ICU beds than they have while 11 states may need to increase their ICU capacity by 50 percent.
“Our estimated trajectory of COVID-19 deaths assumes continued and uninterrupted vigilance by the general public, hospital and health workers, and government agencies,” Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the IHME at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, said in a press release.
“The trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. We encourage everyone to adhere to those precautions to help save lives,” he added.
Murray said the model was developed in response to requests from hospital systems and state governments to help determine when COVID-19 would overwhelm their ability to care for patients.
Overall, the model predicts that the country will reach peak resource use on April 16. At the peak of the pandemic, the country will need 38,849 ICU beds and will have a shortage of 18,905 beds, according to the IHME model.
The forecast predicts that the virus will reach its peak on April 16 – when a projected 2,607 Americans will die. In Tennessee, the virus is projected to reach its peak on April 20 and will result in 159 fatalities in a single day. In total, the forecast estimates that the state will have 3,259 deaths over the next four months.
The forecast shows that Tennessee will need 2,301 ICU beds at the peak of the pandemic and currently has a shortage of 1,672 beds.
For comparison, the model predicts that the virus won’t reach its peak in Kentucky until May 14 and estimates that the state will only have 15 deaths on that day.
IHME said it will update the forecast routinely to provide real-time predictions for hospital systems and elected officials. The model is based on several data sources, including:
- Local governments, national governments, and the World Health Organization
- Government declarations on implementation of social distancing policies
- Data from the American Hospital Association on licensed hospital bed and ICU capacity and average annual utilization of these services by state
- Data on COVID-19-related demand for ICU services in the United States
- Age-specific death rate data from China, Italy, South Korea, and the U.S.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Tennessee had 2,683 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 200 hospitalizations, and 24 deaths. The state has tested 32,452 individuals for the virus.
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