A Vanderbilt coronavirus model has revised its estimated count of current Tennessee hospitalizations from the thousands to nearly 300.
The current model is available here.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center a month ago began releasing weekly models of possible coronavirus transmission and hospitalizations in regions of the state. As of May 11, 275 were currently hospitalized with COVID-19. The total number ever hospitalized was 1,363.
Last month, they said hospitalizations in Tennessee could by early May could hit up to 5,000 or even 15,000.
The worst-case says over 15,000 could need hospitalization by early May in a runway breakout; the middle-level assumes a peak in early June with about 5,000 hospitalizations; and the other assumes a mid-May peak with far fewer hospitalizations.
The researchers say their revisions come as the state has practiced social distancing.
Other factors may change the transmission rate later.
There are two important things to know about the data presented here. First, with an incubation period of up to 14 days, cases reported through this week likely reflect infections transmitted up to 2 weeks ago. Second, because of this time lag, we believe it is too early to assess the impact of businesses reopening across the state or of more Tennesseans resuming activities outside their homes. Therefore, data presented here should be considered a new “baseline” for monitoring changes moving forward.
Calculations using state data received through May 11 show the statewide transmission number, or “R,” to be 0.96 (Confidence interval: 0.90 – 1.04). Transmission numbers in the regions around Nashville and Memphis are similarly estimated at around 1.0 (Nashville area: 0.92-1.09, Memphis area: 0.91-1.10).
The researchers also say the spike in cases recently may be due to the fact that the state is testing large numbers of people in “congregate settings,” meaning nursing homes and prisons.
As of this writing, at least one new case was tested and confirmed positive within the last 10 days in 77 of 95 counties statewide.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.