Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Forecast Was Off by 850 Cases Monday, Actual Cases Just One-Third of ‘Mitigated’ Projections

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Ohio health officials and Gov. Mike DeWine continue to reference a coronavirus model that hasn’t been updated since March 28.

The Ohio Star still hasn’t been provided with any information on the identities of the Ohio State University researchers behind the controversial model.

The Ohio Department of Health (OHD) claims on its website for the forecast model that it was “created based on current data” and becomes “more precise as more information is available.”

However, the model still predicts that the coronavirus pandemic will reach its peak in Ohio on April 25 when the state is projected to have 9,689 new cases. But that number is based on the information that was available as of March 28 and hasn’t been updated since.

For April 6, the model predicted that Ohio would have 1,257 new COVID-19 cases. In actuality, the state reported 407 new cases Monday, increasing from 4,043 cases to 4,450 between Sunday and Monday. That means the ODH’s model was off by 850 cases for Monday.

Actual new cases of COVID-19 as reported on Monday, April 6 in Ohio were less than one-third of the current projections of the controversial and mysterious OHD coronavirus model, upon which Gov. DeWine has based a number of aggressive actions that have shut down most of Ohio’s economy.

Nonetheless, Gov. DeWine and ODH Director Amy Acton frequently referenced the outdated model at various press conferences last week, The Ohio Star reported.

For comparison, the model developed by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts that the pandemic will peak in Ohio on April 12 when the state will have an estimated 29 deaths. The IHME model predicts Ohio will reach peak resource use on Wednesday and will need just 262 ICU beds.

Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, told WCMH that the lower figures in his model reflect a “massive infusion of new data.”

“As we obtain more data and more precise data, the forecasts we at IHME created have become more accurate,” he told the outlet. “And these projections are vital to health planners, policymakers, and anyone else associated with caring for those affected by and infected with the coronavirus.”

He did note that IHME’s forecast assumes that “social distancing remains in place until the end of May.”

“As we noted previously, the trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. Our projections are strengthened by the new downturns in more regions. This is evidence that social distancing is crucial,” he added.

As of Monday, Ohio had tested a total of 48,378 individuals for the virus and had experienced 142 deaths.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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