A health institute that has been making national and state COVID-19 forecasts revised its model for Ohio, suggesting that the peak will be hit Wednesday, leaving far fewer cases and deaths than the gruesome numbers painted by Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration.
The Sandusky Register reported on the model update Monday.
The forecaster is the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHMC), and it is a model that has been cited by many state and federal officials, including President Donald Trump.
The new forecast says Ohio’s COVID-19 outbreak will peak in its effect on hospital resources tomorrow and will peak in daily deaths on April 12, the Register said. It predicts 544 coronavirus deaths by Aug. 4.
The Ohio model is available here.
The model estimates the dates at which hospital resources like beds and ventilators will be most needed, which it says is tomorrow. The model says Ohio has 14,290 available beds, and as of tomorrow will be using only 1,372 beds.
There are 1,238 ICU beds in Ohio, and as of tomorrow, only 262 will be needed. Only 223 invasive ventilators will be necessary tomorrow.
The Ohio Star has extensively reported on the lack of transparency involved in the decisions by DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton in shutting down the state for two weeks and sending hundreds of thousands to unemployment lines.
According to a Monday story, the state is under a stay-at-home order until May 1, five days after Acton says will be the peak — April 25. Acton’s slides shown at presentations keep sliding around, with one showing the murky data comes from Ohio State University’s Infectious Disease Institute (IDI). However, ODH has not specifically named the epidemiologists who are responsible for the data in the projections, nor has it provided any details on the assumptions and methodology behind these projections.
The most recent slide suggests there would have been around 2,000 new cases this past Sunday, when there were only 304, according to data from the OHD website, as tracked in the COVID-19 project website.
On March 26, Acton said there could be up to 8,000 new cases a day by May 1.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.